Have you ever tried to teach a child how to read? It is quite possibly one of the most difficult tasks upon the face of this earth. The English language is so screwed up!
Our oldest son is in first grade and we homeschool. He is doing an excellent job, but like I said, learning to read is hard work. A few days ago he was reading a book with his grandma. Every time he saw a word that was long or unfamiliar he would freak out and declare “I can’t read that word!”
I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.
How many times have you felt that way?
Before he tried to read more pages, we had a discussion (well, more likely a lecture!) about thinking positively. “If you say you can’t, then you won’t be able to. You have to approach it with confidence, believing that you can and then giving your best effort to make it happen.”
Two days later, God called my bluff. Not that I had said something untrue, but that I expected my child to believe and live in a way that I was not.
The last few weeks have been very stressful. We are packing to move (more on that story soon!) and life is chaotic. We are all sleep deprived and short tempered. Most evenings have ended with mommy yelling and one (or both) children crying and screaming right back. It has not been pretty.
As I talked to my husband about the situation he said “Well honey, I think your struggle is that you focus on the negative instead of the positive.” Although I knew he was right, I told him to shut up and go away! I wanted to blame my shortcomings on my kids’ behavior, not take responsibility for them!
But God, in his loving kindness took the well intentioned words of my husband and began speaking to my heart. And here’s what he said. “Quit saying that you can’t.” You see, I have been blaming my difficult evenings on my ADHD, my kids’ behavior and any number of other things. In essence I was saying “This is too hard. I can’t do it.” And God gently whispered “That’s because you don’t believe that you can.”
Ouch! I don’t like it when my own advice comes back to bite me in the butt!
I’m working to change my mindset. It is not an easy endeavor and I’m sure I will fail many times before I get it right. But God is faithful and will sustain me.
“Oh Lord, how many are my foes (or struggles)!
Many are rising up against me…
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill.”
I will be crying out to the Lord a lot as I learn to change “I can’t” into “I can”. And he will answer me. He will change me from the inside out until my attitude becomes a reflection of his. Pray for me, will you? I’m going to need all the help I can get!