Discovering Hope
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Life doesn’t always turn out as we dreamed it would. Frustrations  happen. People change. Circumstances can seem overwhelming at times. Is it possible to birth something hopeful, when all we can see is our challenges?

Being a positive mom doesn’t mean we ignore the pain or frustrations.  It does mean, as we embrace the challenges, we ask the question, “How can I grow or learn or make something good come out of this?”

Helen Keller showed us what it looks like to overcome the negatives. Born in 1880, a severe illness left her unable to see or hear. Yet through the patient and persistent instruction of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, Helen learned to read, write and speak. She didn’t stop there! She went on to study French and Greek at Radcliffe College. At the age of 26, she published her life story and became a well-known public figure and humanitarian, speaking in over twenty-five countries throughout the world. Her life and story has inspired countless millions to turn life’s challenges into possibilities.

She wrote, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Certainly her incredible accomplishments epitomize human potential in the face of adversity.

It’s not what happens to us that define us, it’s what we do with it that matters. Let’s be willing to change our focus. As moms, we can teach our kids to be creative and look for ways to make the best out of the worst. Each of us  can find hope in unlikely places, but we have to be looking for it.

Make this a week of possibilities!

Photo by Claude Piché on Unsplash

Read more in The Power of a Positive Mom

10 Principles of Positive People
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How would you describe a truly positive person? My personal definition includes someone who is both realistic and optimistic – a person who is an encourager rather than a discourager. A positive person doesn’t ignore the frustrations and the downsides of life, they just choose to look at them in light of the possibilities, not the problems.

The question is, can any mom become a more optimistic thinker, even the cup-half-empty sort? Recent studies in neuroscience tell us yes, people can change the way they think. Often when we get in a rut of negative thinking, we continue to play the same patterns of thought over and over again, but it is possible to start new patterns. When we change our thinking habits and focus on what is good and hopeful, our brains create new neuropathways. We can develop a new pattern of looking toward the opportunities, rather than dwelling on the obstacles.

Generally speaking, there are a few common characteristics I have observed in those moms who live with a sunny disposition. Positive people tend to:

  1. Focus on the good qualities in both people and circumstances, and stop comparing with others.
  2. Consider the needs of others, looking for ways to bring joy into someone else’s life.
  3. Practice daily gratitude to God and to others.
  4. Let go of past hurts and bitterness, and live with a forgiving heart.
  5. Choose to learn from their mistakes and mishaps.
  6. Grieve when they need to.
  7. Smile and laugh often.
  8. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, recognizing the benefit of exercise and eating well.
  9. Speak with love and kindness to everyone, no matter the position or role they play.
  10. Pray daily, giving cares and worries to God.

What about you? Are there any new habits you want to start forming as a mom? Which principles do you want to encourage in your kids?

 

Photo by Jared Sluyter on Unsplash

Choosing Happy
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Not too long ago I discovered a humorous list of “The 10 Commandments for an Unhappy Life.” It serves as a reminder of the choices we face every single day: Will we embrace both the gifts and the challenges life brings, or will we grumble and be miserable through the process? Will we be moms with a purposeful and positive mentality or people with a “poor me” mentality? Here’s the list:

10 Commandments for an Unhappy Life

  1. Thou shalt hold onto bitterness, hatred and anger.
  2. Thou shalt never get too close to anybody. Keep all of thy relationships on the surface level.
  3. Thou shalt wear a glum expression on thy face at all times, and guard against laughter.
  4. Thou shalt inflict blame and condemnation on all who disagree with thee.
  5. Thou shalt complain about the small stuff, forgetting the bigger picture.
  6. Thou shalt think of thy own needs and focus on thyself rather than thinking of the needs of others.
  7. Thou shalt hold regular pity parties, inviting others to join thee.
  8. Thou shalt not take a break, exercise or relax. Never allow thyself to be still, pray or meditate on truth.
  9. Thou shalt expect the worst in all situations, shame those around you and dwell on the feebleness, faults and fears of others, while never seeing thine own.
  10. Thou shalt attempt to control every situation without flexibility. *

I don’t know about you, but in the great adventure of life, I want to experience joy in the journey – not misery in the muck! I want my life to move in a positive direction and bless others, and I think you do too. Let’s be honest, no matter what our circumstances or background look like, we can choose our attitude and outlook in life.

In the next few weeks on this blog, I plan to examine the principles of a positive woman. Even if you are the “cup half empty” sort of person, you can begin to change your attitude and thought-life today. Let’s take some time to look over the “10 Commandments of an Unhappy Life” and consider any of the qualities that may apply to our own attitudes. Let’s also make a conscious decision to reverse our thinking and start a new pattern.

If you were to write, “10 Commandments for a Happy Mom,” what would you include on the list? I’ll show you my list next week.

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The positive message from this blogpost can be found in The Power of a Positive Woman.  To learn more about Karol’s encouraging books Click Here

 

*The 10 Commandments for an Unhappy Life” was adapted from Edward Rowell & Bonnie Steffen, Humor for Preaching and Teaching (1996)

 

Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

Childlike Faith
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I love the simple joy of a child’s heart.  Children tend to:

  • Live with faith.
  • Love generously.
  • Depend on their mommy and daddy.
  • Be filled with wonder.
  • Laugh freely.
  • Cry when they are hurt.
  • Require grace.
  • Ask for what they want.
  • Persist.
  • Believe, hope, dream.

Jesus said that the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children. Think about the attributes of little children. Jesus’ words had a bit of a shock-value to the religious leaders of the day. The pompous, rule-following Pharisees prided themselves on their own self-righteousness and personal perfection, while children were considered undeserving and lowly. Perhaps that’s exactly why Jesus chose a humble child as His example of what a follower of Christ really looks like.

Reflect for a moment on the simple and pure faith of a child. Isn’t it wonderful to think that it is this kind of faith that brings us into a relationship with God and transforms our lives?

What about you?  In what ways do you reflect a childlike faith as you come to your loving Heavenly Father? As you enjoy time with your little ones today, consider what qualities you want to develop as you trust in Jesus and walk your journey of faith.

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Check out Karol’s Positive Mom Devotional and Journal, on sale this month for $5.

Click Here for more details.

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New Arrival
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In the past few days, I have had the privilege of welcoming Addison Ann Wright into our family. She is our third grandchild! With the birth of each child, I am amazed by the wonder of creation. I can’t help but see the handiwork of our glorious Designer as I look at Addison’s precious fingers, toes and facial features. Even her sweet eye lashes and fingernails make me realize how God cares for the minutest details. I relish the thought that God has a unique plan and a purpose for Addison, just as He does for each one of us.

It’s interesting to think that God compares the birth of a newborn baby, with the spiritual birth of believers into His family. In His dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “ Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!.”

God does a new work in us when we place our faith in Christ. We are no longer the same. He births in us a heart that has the potential to truly love and forgive. He transforms our old self, which was a slave to sin, into a new creation that has the power to overcome sin. He replaces our despair with hope, our worry with peace and our sorrow with joy. He gives us a rebirth from within – a spiritual transformation!

Thank you, Lord for new life – both physically and spiritually. Thank you that every time we see a newborn baby, we can praise You for your handiwork and be reminded of the new work you have done in our lives. Thank you for caring for us and for being our wonderful and loving Heavenly Father. May we continue to grow and mature in godly wisdom.

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