How many of you have read the children’s book, Pollyanna? Or at least watch the Disney movie version of it? For those who have not, a brief summary: a young girl plays a game in which she finds something to be thankful for in ALL things. No matter how bad or difficult.
I guess because of the popularity of the book and character, the Merriam-Webster dictionary has defined “pollyanna” as: a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything. I am not sure if this is a common phrase, but I have heard it often: “Don’t be a Pollyanna.” A Pollyanna had become in my mind, a “goody-goody” who never saw things as they really were, but instead existed in this made up perfect world.
Well, I think God is teaching me that I could use a little more of Pollyanna in my life. I began this week trying to have a more positive attitude.
I read on Monday about God blessing His children and decided to focus on His blessings. Instead of just looking at the more obvious ones: awesome husband (I really do have one!!), two healthy, happy kids, friends and family, food on the table, etc, although all very true, I began to look for more subtle ones. These were ones in the middle of what could be considered disasters.
A quick example: I had to go to a last minute doctor appointment in Greensboro on Monday. Not really the way I wanted to begin my first week back at home. We went and on the way back home, I had to stop and return a Redbox movie (side note: don’t ever watch “Pan” if you have not already been subjected to that torture). Anyways, I stopped at Walgreen’s, and there was a spot right in front of the Redbox, score! I jumped out returned the movie and was about to put the car in gear. Just then I heard it, that awful sound of Bridget projecting her last meal all over herself, her car-seat and whatever else was within range. What is there to be thankful of here? Well, if she had done this just a few minutes later, I would have been on a major road with no place to pull off. Instead, I was able to hop out, do a quick change and clean up and back on the road we were.
This may sound strange and maybe a little forced. I will admit, I am still struggling here. Just yesterday, I was less than thankful about lots of things (well almost all things). I had a bad attitude, with a capital B. I was short with Seth, unfair to Ian and an all-around grump. And do you know what I noticed? My attitude made the day worse. If I focused on the negative, the day continued to spiral downward. When I get my eyes off the petty inconveniences and annoyances and see how God is actually blessing me in small ways through these times, our days just go better. Not perfect, not easy, not always smooth, but definitely better.
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.