A little while ago I have a conversation with my local momma. She is my friend's mom but she treat me like her own. The truth is she treat everyone at church as her own ... although I know she love me the most...okay maybe not. :D I usually visit her every week otherwise she would call me and ask if I am okay and when will I come by. How thankful I am to have her in my life. God must have known how much I need such a godly, loving, joyful, and caring mentor like her.
One day we were just chatting as usual and we were talking about marriages; how so many couples chose to live separately or even if they live together they keep hurting each other or basically are divorced emotionally. Then she made one comment that I don't want to forget, " Oh if only they know how blessed they are. It's so much better to forgive and love than to be bitter and angry. I lost my husband to heart attack when he was in his early 60s. I miss him dearly and can only wish if I could have just one more day to spend with him. "
Perspective, the right one that is. Ann Voskamp wrote: "If we don't take it all as gift, we end up taking it all for granted."
I took her lesson to heart and tried to apply in different aspects in my life:
- when the weather is too hot or too cold, and I am tempted to complain, I remind myself that many people in different part of the world would be happy to trade place with me, where there is little pollution and the weather is nice most of the time
- when I started to grumble about how messy our place is with two kids, I remind myself that many people live in much smaller, crowded, and humble place.
- when my kids miss behaved and disobeyed I remind myself to think with "the end in mind." I still remember a story Stephen Covey shared in his book. A man just got home from work greeted by his 3 years old son who enthusiastically said, "Daddy... daddy... I am a hardworking man!" The man then asked his wife what he meant. She told him that earlier that day the boy spilled his milk all over the floor right after she told him to drink carefully. Before she react, she remembered the lesson about "begin with the end in mind" so instead of yelling at him she thought of how can she used it as a teachable moment. She then asked her son to help her clean the spill and at the end praised him by saying, "You are such a hardworking man."
Again and again I learned that this is so very true:
My perspective determines my attitude, which eventually determines how I live.
"Be careful how you think; you life is shaped by your thought" Proverbs 4:23 GNT