This evening my little girl was trying to complete an online activity for school. One of many homework assignments. This year has been particularly difficult with homework – sometimes it feels as if we are drowning. Or maybe it’s just me. I’ve felt often like a failure as a mom. But I have decided that that is not how I want to view myself.  And I certainly don’t want my children to view themselves that way either.

My daughter finished her assignment, pressed submit, and waited patiently for the results. She looked over at me and said rather sadly, “I got two wrong.”

Immediately, I praised her, because that is pretty dang good!  

A bit later I started to wonder while standing at the sink doing the dishes, “Why do we look at it from the “wrong’ perspective so much.”

The wrong perspective…both in the way and the what.

I tend to look at things through the lense of “it must be me”…if something goes wrong “it must be me”, if something isn’t going well “it must be me”, if someone is unhappy “it must be me”, if everything isn’t perfect “it must be me’

As my friend says, “That’s stinkin’ thinkin’!”

The other part of that wrong perspective is it is easy to only see the negative and totally miss the positive. Like my little girl, I don’t tend to see the 8 I got right. I can only see the 2 I got wrong. My first thought is what I did wrong not what I did right.

I see that often with my decision making. Every decision can’t possibly have all positive results. Even the best decision is being made in a fallen world…stuff always happens, goes wrong, doesn’t exactly work as planned.

I saw a meme once that said, My life saying should be “Well that didn’t go as planned.”

Totally yes.

One of the things I have most often second-guessed is moving. Sometimes I can absolutely only see the negative. But God reminds me again and again that there have also been many, many wonderful things. I have a job I love, a home I love, a yard I love, my daughters finally got the help they needed in school, I’m closer to someone very special, and I’m able to help my mom more easily.  See good things…but I could make an equally long list of things that haven’t been awesome. I’m choosing not to write that list because it means that I’m focusing on it again.

And that is not what I should be doing!  Stay positive woman!

When I look at the things that God has allowed in my life and the things he has not allowed in my life, I often wonder what the plan really is…I know God has one. And I know it is truly the best. But golly sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. Sometimes it seems like I pray, God leads, and then somehow or another things go wonky and I start to wonder…did I miss something?

But instead of focusing on the “missing something”, I’m trying to focus on the “there something”! What good thing is there?

What blessings can I count?

There are many if I look. The key is looking. Taking a moment to take a deep breath. (Blessing #1 I’m alive) Open my eyes to see the beauty around me, whether it is a classroom with 4 windows or a home full of children and dogs. (Blessing #2 & 3) Listening to the birds, the rain, the laughter, the music, the sounds of life around me. (Blessing #4) Enjoying a hug from a child. (Blessing #5) Laughing at a text from a friend. (Blessing #6) Enjoying some commiserating over the antics of students with my coworkers. (Blessing #7) Food in the pantry and fridge. (Blessing #8)

See 8 good things.  

I bet I can find 8 good things for every two not so great things I tend to focus on. With a little effort I can change my thinking from negative to positive. From down to up. From hopeless to hopeful.

Sometimes people will say that if we just have Jesus, we have a lot. In the past there have been moments when, although I believe that, I haven’t embraced it. I have wanted more. More comfort, security, and ease. None of those are bad, in fact, I believe those things are all a part of my life because of Jesus, not because of circumstances.

Circumstances just make a better day, Jesus makes a better life.

Concentrating on the difficulties of the day can easily get me down, but looking for the blessings in the moments and recognizing the beauty of the life God has given me absolutely changes my perspective…lifts me up.

Like my little girl, I can look only at the mistakes, the difficulties. Or I can choose to look for the movement of God in my day and the delights of His blessings, no matter how big or small.

And maybe at the end of the day, I could make myself consider my day from the perspective of what went well instead of lamenting what didn’t.

What 8 things did I do right today?  🙂