Sunday, October 21, 2012

If Mama Ain't Happy. . .

My kids woke up before 6:00 a.m. this morning.
I rushed into their room.  "It is not time to wake up yet.  It is pitch dark outside.  Lay down and be quiet!"  My whispered instructions were not at all loving or full of grace.
I went back into my room and contemplated laying down when I heard the giggles coming from the kids' room.  I stormed back in and started to mutter threats at the kids, but when I realized the alarm would be going off in a minute, I stood with my hands on my hips, looking toward heaven and sighed.  "You might as well get up."
I flipped on the light, not caring that it made them both duck their heads from the brightness.  I marched into the kitchen and started slamming doors as I got their morning milk ready.  I had been awake since 4:00 a.m. because of the baby, and I was not in a good mood, to say the least.
Then that still, small voice spoke to me.  Do you really want to start your day off in a bad mood and take your bad attitude out on your kids?  Do you want your husband to suffer because you are cranky?  I sighed again.  No, Lord, I don't want to have a day like that.  Please forgive my bad attitude and help me to be gracious to my family.
I brought the milk out to the kids with a smile and asked them if they were ready to have a fun day.  And the rest of the day turned out pretty good.  However, it could have been a horrible day.  I could have chosen to make my family as miserable as I was.  After all, it was their fault I was in a bad mood to begin with, right?
Life will always make us miserable.  If we decide to let the bad things that happen to us dictate the way we act, we will be miserable indeed.  However, we can choose how we react, and choose to be joyful, even when we don't feel joyful.  The first step to being joyful and gracious is to act joyful and gracious.
I'll bet when you read the title, you finished it in your mind: If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.  Sadly, it is a true saying.  As wives and mothers, we set the tone for our homes.  If we choose to be in a bad mood, it rubs off on our kids and husbands.  Then we have a household full of resentment and discord.  However, if we choose to set aside our own selfish attitudes of crankiness and dissatisfaction, and instead, choose to be joyful, our homes will be full of happy husbands and content children.
I challenge you, the next time you are having a bad day, pause for a minute and ask the Lord to help you set aside your bad attitude, and give you grace to love on your family in a joyful manner.  Trust me, if you sincerely want to change your demeanor, God will help you. 
Because the opposite of that saying is also true:  If Mama is happy, then everybody is happy.