Steve and I are in, Costa Rica for a few days of rest, relaxation and renewal. As I write this, I’m sitting outside on the back deck, drinking a cup of coffee, overlooking the jungle and the ocean. The birds are singing, and off in the distance I can hear howling monkeys. It seems as though all of creation is singing God’s praises this morning.,
It’s easy to praise God when I’m on vacation and completely surrounded by beauty. But, what about when I’m home and the deadlines are piling up and stress surrounds me. Then what? I’ve been reflecting lately on my attitude and what type of legacy I’m creating for those coming up behind me. Do, I seem stressed out and tense often? Do I complain? Am I crabby when life doesn’t go my way? I want to pass on positivity to those coming up behind me.
As I’ve been reflecting on that this morning, I read this verse, “Then we your people, the sheep of your pastures, will praise you forever; From generation to generation we will proclaim your praise” (Psalm 79:13).
I want to be known as a woman who proclaims God’s goodness and love to others. After I’m long dead and gone I want to be remembered as one who praised God, not as one who griped and complained. When I’m in my last years, I don’t want to be the old woman who exudes negativity. Even then, I want people to see Jesus in me and feel His love for them. That means, I have to make choices now to become the woman I want to be then. I have to build a legacy of positivity now, to leave it then. So what choices am I making? Here’s just a few:
- Praising God intentionally every day. Do I fail? Yup! Sure do. For example, right before we left for Costa Rica, Denver and Colorado Springs got hit with a Spring snow storm. I wasn’t happy and felt quite tense driving down to the Springs where I was scheduled to speak. I kept thinking, “Really, Lord?” It’s April 28!” The Lord’s answers always crack me up. “Really Becky, Are you God?” Boom!
- Learning to take breaks when I feel the signs of tension and stress. It’s easy to push through stress and just get it done – whatever needs to be done. But, learning to recognize when I’m tense or stressed and taking an intentional break – like a walk, or coffee with a friend, or reading something light – has helped me immensely. Or, like right now, pulling away for a vacation with Steve. Learning to build in intentional times of rest and renewal, keeps me in life for the long haul because as you know, life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.
- Keeping a thankful list. Remembering all that God has done in my life and recording the good gifts He’s given me help me re-focus. I try to celebrate God’s good gifts every day, whether that’s a snuggle from a grandchild or a good cup of coffee. I thank Him for Steve, the kids and my grandkids. I thank Him for friends. I thank Him for my house, for the supermarket, for my clothes etc. You get the picture. Thanking Him is a discipline, because, like you, I don’t always feel thankful. But, cultivating thankfulness helps curb complaining and keeps me focused on the positive side of life.
Friend, this week, there will be things to complain about, gripe about and worry about. Choose praise instead. Let’s help each other pass down positivity.