Sunday, March 2, 2008

Attitude Adjustment

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.

8 comments:

Tiffany said...

I know it has to be hard for you that you have not been able to get pregnant again, yet. But remember, your arms are not empty! You have Wendy.

carrie said...

Jeni,

I cry tears as I read your blog today. Mainly because I understand. I have cried so many tears waiting for a baby. I was given one and then it was taken away. As I prepare for a Dr. appointment this week, I am scared. I do not want that hurt again. Please know that you and James are in my prayers! If you need to talk, do not hesitate to call. I went through a lot of pain and sadness before coming to grips with things! I love you and your family and miss being in group with you guys!!!

sarah said...

Jeni,
I cried too when I read your post. Waiting is so painful (especially when it is for a child) and I hate to hear someone else is going through this too. Here is something I have posted to my bathroom mirror. I didnt write it but its something I've been praying for:
Waiting on God isnt about the suspension of meaning and purpose. It is part of meaning and purpose that God has brought into my life. Waiting is an essential part of the plan. For a child of God, waiting isn't about what you'll get at the end. Waiting is about fundamentally what you'll become as you wait. He is altering your thoughts and desires. All of this sharpens me to become a more redemptive tool in his hands.
Thanks for sharing. I am praying for you and James. I miss seeing you at church since we sit on the other side now:) We'll have to have you guys over for lunch sometime soon
Sarah

EB said...

Jeni,
I too was feeling pain for you when I read your blog. I know the pain and frustration of trying and not being able to get pregnant. It took Earle and I 16 months to get pregnant with Ben. After 12 months of trying, we did succeed, only to have a miscarriage after 8 weeks. I know God has a plan for you. I will keep you in my prayers, if this is something you would like me to post as a prayer request on Coffee Break, please let me know. I am sure many others would be willing to pray on your behalf.
Carrie Owen Brown

CrownLaidDown said...

I've been there, Jeni.

Did you know I was barren for 7 years? Then this past year when I had an MRI, they said I had a birth defect in my pituitary and that it's a miracle I had a child--or four! And could feed them, too!

Wow! God is so big! He's gonna come with power and bring you the desire of your heart--I'm praying that and believing it.

Much love,
holly

Jill said...

Thank you for your words. It is good to know we are not alone in our struggles or attitudes when we feel we are. I pray that as you continue to try to conceive (and you will, in God's time) that you would enjoy your one on one time with your little girl.

Susan said...

I, too struggled with infertility. I feel your hurt and struggle in my heart and I continue to lify you up to Him, sweet friend. Your attitude can't be too bad...You heard Him when He spoke to you.
Sending you hugs today.

Marianne said...

Only God knows the reason for our struggles. It's hard to wait to be pregnant; spend time with your daughter one-one-one just because you can.

Believe me, once you're outnumbered, it gets nutto!! :)

Thanks for stopping by Writer-Mommy! I'll have to post there about whatever I end up doing with my other blog, My Simple Kitchen.

Oh - love your blog design!

Oh -Oh -- see that Tiffany from Snapshots reads here, too!

Oh- Oh- Oh --- I so wanted to be vet myself!!

Smiles and blessings!

Smiles and blessings!