Maybe my mother is the only one on the planet to use this particular slang. I remember when I was young and acting bratty (hard to believe, I know, but it did happen once or twice) my mom would get a certain look on her face and ask me, "Do you need an attitude adjustment?" I knew what that meant - a spanking. And so I would immediately change whatever it was I was doing to make her upset. Or I'd at least leave take my wildness to my room or the backyard, where I wasn't in danger of spanking.
The phrase "attitude adjustment" has a little bit of a different meaning to me now. It's what I have to do to myself on certain days to get back on track and stay there.
This morning was one of those mornings. I woke up with female things going on, associated pain, a headache, nothing to wear, and too much to do to get ready for church. Then, as is the course of events in most everyone's life, Satan took my weakness and tried to exploit it, reminding me of some past sins, disappointments, and failures. (It's so strange when it comes out of the blue like that - you're just going on with your daily life, and BAM! There's your ugly former life, thrown right in your face, with no warning.)
To top it all off, I checked my e-mail and found out my best friend is pregnant. Now, this is terrific news - I mean, absolutely, positively, miracle-of-God kind of news. See, my friend, who is doing some behind-the-scenes missionary work in China, has a brain tumor. It's not growing, but it interferes with her natural body rhythms. She was told she would never ever get pregnant, then the next year had a baby. That baby is 6 1/2 now, and they've so wanted to add another baby to their family, to have a new little one to love, and give their daughter a sibling.
And me, with my attitude problem? I had a hard time being happy when I first learned the news. You see, we've been trying for another baby for a while. Not a long while, only about 6 months. It's taken me by surprise that it didn't happen right away, because we got pregnant with Wendy just about when we decided to try. In the 6 months we've been trying, it seems like there's been a population explosion all around us - just about all of our friends & relatives of childbearing age are either pregnant or have a newborn. And all of Wendy's outgrown clothes wait in boxes, and my body is empty...
Anyway, I share that not to plead for sympathy, but to tell you where my bad attitude was leading. How could I not be happy for my friend, who had yearned for another baby for so long, with no hope in sight? I spent some time in prayer on the way to church, and in Bible class.
I could feel God soften my heart. He also opened my ears, so that I could listen to the other women in the class talking about how hard it is to wait on the Lord, how difficult it is to cope when we feel our prayers aren't being answered, and how we all struggle every day to make a decision to give our burdens to Him.
The main message I got from class today? I am not alone. I may feel like I'm the only one with struggles, but I'm not. I may feel alone in my despair, but I am not. We all, as humans, as Christians, as women, go through many of the same battles.
And with God's help, we make it through.
He gives us patience when we feel we have none.
He gives us endurance when we just can't do it anymore.
He gives us empathy when we are selfish.
He gives us hope of eternal life with Him through Jesus.
And what more can I really want than that?
That's a pretty effective attitude adjustment.