smilinginrainAt church last night, the pastor spoke about having a positive attitude regardless of our circumstances. It was SO good and I enjoyed all of it! It’s so important to have a good attitude.

I took the Strengthsfinder test years back and my #1 strength is Positivity. It doesn’t mean that I never have a negative attitude because trust me, I totally do at times (just ask my husband) but for the most part, my cup is usually half full rather than half empty. I usually find the silver lining in situations and use that to my advantage when encouraging girls that feel like they have no hope but sometimes that positivity is better used on others than my own circumstances. I know God is teaching me on how to be more positive with my family and my husband. I am learning how to encourage my family as much or even more than all the girls that I am around through Embrace Grace. God is working on me in this area.

With all of us being able to express our feelings and emotions at a moment’s notice by using social media, it’s easy to see patterns in people and reactions to every day life. You see the people that you know that are going through hard times, yet they seem to stay positive. And then you see the people that have so much to be thankful for and could have it so much worse, but yet seem to have consistently negative facebook or twitter updates. Are you more drawn to the positive or negative people? Which person do you think you want to hang out with more often? If you don’t have many friends, maybe reflect on your heart and see if it has anything to do with a negative attitude.

A few years ago, there was a girl in Embrace Grace that I would pick up and bring back home after class. She had an awesome impact on me. She always best attitude despite her hard life. She never had much financially at all and she was an only child raised only by her dad. Her mom left when she was just a few weeks old and never came back. She was a pregnant teenager and living with her boyfriend that was even a year younger than her. I would pick her up every week and their apartment was so tiny and in a not-so-great area but clean and they were very good at paying rent and keeping up with bills. It always seemed like it had major repair that had to be done and the managers were not easy to work with, but she never complained. She would walk to work every day, even when it was raining and never complained. If they needed groceries, he would skateboard to the store to get a few things and she was totally ok with it. They didn’t have a vehicle but they didn’t let that stop them from making a life for themselves. She was coming to church for the first time and loved it.

One night I was driving her home after class and it happened to also be Valentine’s Day. I was talking to this sweet girl in my car and she was texting her boyfriend. She was smiling from ear to ear. I asked her what she was so excited about and she said, “My boyfriend is celebrating Valentines with me when I get there. He is texting me now telling me about it.” I said, “What plans does he have?” (I was wondering what he could possibly do since they have no car. What did he do in that short period of time we were gone?) She said, “Oh he skateboarded to the grocery store and got us some hot dog stuff and he cooked them and he got me a couple of daisies.” I looked at her as she was telling me this and she had the biggest smile on her face. I just kept thinking, she really means it. She is EXCITED about hot dogs. I was blown away. I mean, if my husband was texting me saying, honey hurry home I made hot dogs as a surprise for Valentines Day, I’m not sure that I would have anything good to say about that at all. Yet, she was thrilled.  I drove her back and forth an entire semester and she never complained once about her circumstances. She made the best with what she had.

The pastor quoted this verse in The Message version of the Bible and I LOVE it!

Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted. Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty, I’m singing joyful praise to God. I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I’m king of the mountain! {Habakkuk 3:17-19}

We can’t control what people do around us or do to us, but we can control how we react! A bad attitude hinders our potential to do extraordinary things but a good attitude can look past anything that looks like a hindrance and find a way through it by pointing to God.

It even affects our health!

A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. {Proverbs 17:22}

We will always have hard times in our life. But will you praise Him and have a good attitude  regardless of your circumstances? Will you find the good and the silver lining no matter what? Praise God in the storm!

Written by Amy Ford

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