Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Does It Equal?

On one of my normal wake up calls around 2:00 p.m. (Keshawn still loves his night time bottle), I began to think back on how horribly negative the day had been.  It didn’t start out that way, of course.  I didn’t wake up and think “How can I make this day horrible?”  And I’m sure that the children didn’t either, though, I have no evidence for that assumption.  I am quite sure that the IRS, who is still not giving us our tax refund, ARE trying to make my day horrible, but that’s another story.  And since I am working on improving my thought patterns and reactions from critical and negative, well, an eye twitching little laugh may have escaped from my lips into the darkness of the night.  Hopefully Steve just thought I was having a bad dream.  
Some thing so simple came to my mind in the quietness;
Negative Plus Negative DOES NOT equal Positive
When I get stressed, frustrated, overwhelmed or any of those other “bads”, I certainly start doing the math ... their negative gets a negative from me, which equals more negative, and we all know the downward spiral that this gets into.  Negative plus negative just keeps adding up to more negative, for all of us.  
Of course, what I want, and what we all want, is a peaceful, respectful and happy atmosphere.  
And I was reminder of an exercise I use to practice;
Two Positives for Each One Negative

What does that look like?  If I thought of or said something critical or negative, I would make myself go to a private place (outside, or the bathroom) and write out two positives for that one negative.  Let’s say I think something frustrating about a mess a child just made...I would go to the bath room and write out two positives, like “I am so glad that the LORD gave me this child.  I am thankful that she is healthy and fun to be with.”  Then I would get back in the game.  Also something that really helped me; if I felt stressed or overwhelmed, I would go outside, regardless of the weather, breath deeply, and thank the LORD for two things, like the beauty of the trees, and the fresh smell of the air.  This exercise really did strengthen me and gave me a “tool” to use to fight negative or critical thoughts.  

And I really want this.... look like this!

So, I am picking back up this “tool” and will be exercising those thinking muscles.  If you would like to try it, I can tell you it is best if you start out writing down your positives.  
And, I’m EVEN going to go so far as to start out with two positives for our tax frustrations....
1.  I am glad that we live in a time and a country where there are laws to protect our freedom.
2.  I am thankful for the people that are helping us to correct the mistakes that the IRS has made.  
Please, share what helps you....and may we continue to “encourage one another daily” (Heb. 3:13) for HIS GLORY.  


  1. Ah, the IRS. We had to return money to them from 2009 because apparently one branch believes our child is legally ours, and the other doesn't. I just love the checks and balances of our gov. agencies. I need to have 2 positives, right?

  2. Very scriptural! I was thinking yesterday of the importance of "giving thanks in all
    things." And truly there is something to be thankful for in all things for the Lord is using everything to sanctify us and conform us into His likeness. As my husband says, sometimes it is an uncomfortable grace, but it is all grace.

  3. Love this. We just started gratitude journals in our home. Everyone must write down three things they are thankful for each day. Of course we write down what the little ones say. It has been such a blessing. We are all working on attitudes of gratitude.

  4. Thank you. I'm going to start using this "tool".

  5. Shonni,

    THANKS for sharing this post! I will start it today. Through our adoption waits, I always get hung up on such a terrifically strong longing and dreaming about our soon to be child that I tend to live in the dream world. Then I feel guilty because I am surrounding by children under my feet who need me here, and now. SO. I do allow myself one dream date each day - usually first thing in the morning. Then I pull myself together and get on with the day. Each time my mind wanders over to dreamland (OFTEN) I self correct and say a three-fold prayer. I pray for my child and her caretakers, I pray for all the world's orphans and then I pray that a family will take the plunge and start an adoption instead of just thinking about it. That is what gets me through my day. Hopefully there are not too many days this go round that I will have the chance to turn my mind away from dreams, though. Our Article 5 is due to be picked up next week and then the TA wait begins! Glory be!


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