With all of my hopes and dreams of summer goals, there's one in particular that I am working on for myself. Really, it's for my whole family's benefit, but it's something that needs to happen in me. I recently read a blog (and darn if I can't remember where) that was encouraging for moms, wives and really could be applicable to any person on this planet. The question they asked was funny to me at first:
Are you a thermometer or a thermostat in your home?
I didn't understand the concept until they explained what each of these tools does. (And again, I'm kicking myself that I can't find the blog post - if anyone knows what I'm talking about, please share it because I'm sure their words were much more eloquent than mine will be!)
A thermometer reads a temperature and a thermostat controls the temperature.
As a wife, mom, human being, I have a choice each day that will affect those around me. I can just read the temperature of the situations I'm in and not be very helpful or I can do whatever I can to help set the temperature.
Right now, I see this with my kids. There are days that I wake up, ready to face the day, excited for what's in store, I've got a plan A in my hand and plan B in my back pocket if the first plan fails. I am prepared for whatever comes my way. I choose to not let tantrums, arguing and toy stealing affect my attitude. I am efficient in the housework and diligent in using my time to play and love on the kids.
There are also days where I wake up and can barely get my sleepy eyes opened enough to walk down the stairs. I am grumpy and I let this trickle down to the kids and even Jake. I'm not naturally a morning person to begin with, but these days are just plain laden with frustration. Kids are fighting, then I'm fighting and the whole house is unhappy. Once this kind of a day begins, it's hard to get it back on track.
This kind of a day would be one where I am a thermometer. I am just reading what's happening in the house and have no power in getting our out-of-control "fever" back to normal because I'm not even in a good place myself.
The first day I mentioned would be one where I'm a thermostat. I'm setting the tone in our house and doing a huge part to control areas I can to make it a more pleasant environment for all of us (through my own self-control). I find it hard to always be a thermostat because some days, I really don't look forward to what's in store. I focus on the mounds of laundry and dishes, the rut of each day and don't look for the opportunities to make the day before me a great one.
So, this is my summer goal...to have more days of being a thermostat than a thermometer. To wake each day with a better perspective (and if I don't wake with it, to get it turned around in my time with God in the morning!). To have a plan to love my kids well, encourage my kids well and keep myself centered on what's most important rather than leading with how I'm feeling at any particular moment.
I'm not sure if this is the most trackable goal but I suppose it's going to be obvious when we get "in the groove". Through much prayer, I'm working as hard as I can in this area...and not just in my own little home but in all of my relationships! Teens can do it in their schools, with their parents...parents can do it with their kids, in their jobs...spouses can do it with each other...what a blessing we would be if we learned this little (and very difficult) principle!
If anyone has any good ideas in setting a positive temperature, let me know! I always need all the help I can get. :)