This morning, my oldest daughter got up on the wrong side of bed. Well, not literally, 'cause then she would have been climbing a wall. But she copped a constant attitude from the time I carried her out of her room (she was sharing a room with a still sleeping baby sister) all through the rest of the morning as she got ready for school.
No, she didn't want to wear jeans. She hates jeans.
Why did she have to wear a blue shirt? She wanted a pink shirt.
DON'T put on her socks! She's going to put them on AFTER breakfast!
She doesn't want to eat breakfast.
I will admit, I wasn't the perfect angel either. With each ear-grating whine and each nerve-pinching complaint, the tenseness factor of the morning reached a boiling point.
"You're going to eat breakfast, young lady." I poured her a bowl of Cheerios. "So get over here right now, straighten up your attitude and eat!" I banged the bowl down at her place.
She dragged herself over to the table and slunk into her chair.
"Go ahead and pray," I urged. At this point, the last thing either of us wanted to do was drop our stinky attitudes and ask our loving Creator God to bless our food and our day.
"You pray." My daughter tried to weasel out of it.
"No," I snapped. "I think you need to ask Jesus to help you have a better attitude today, so you're going to pray."
My daughter finally gave in. "Dear God," she whispered, still with a tinge of defiance, "please help me... and Mommy... to have a better attitude."
From the mouth of babes...
So those words have stuck with me through the rest of the morning. When my son couldn't figure out a puzzle and threw the whole thing on the floor in frustration, I remembered my daughter's prayer for me.
When my toddler got hold of her leftover oatmeal bowl that she hadn't finished and contented herself with spreading it across my cushioned recliner before she was caught, I remembered my daughter's prayer for me.
When my son and daughter got into a knock-down drag-out fight over a silly toy that ended with screaming and tears, I remembered my daughter's prayer for me.
When I stared at the pile of dirty dishes on the sink that just never seems to get done and felt like throwing my own temper tantrum in protest, I remembered my daughter's prayer for me.
Today, I will not take charge of my own attitude. I will give my attitude to God and let Him manage it. I think He'd probably do a better job with it anyway.