I let date night slip into another vent session, and my sweet husband held my hand and listened the whole time.
It feels good to be negative sometimes. It zaps my energy to always look for the sunny side of things, but yet I don’t like how negativity steals moments from me either.
The topics of my vent sessions may actually be deemed normal conversation by most people: Stuff I worry about, words I shouldn’t have said and feelings that have a hold on me, and why I can’t seem to remember to trim the kids’ fingernails.
A steady stream of temporary worries hi-jacked my focus and climbed from my thoughts to my words, and before I knew it, I was already thanking Chris for taking me out, missing another moment.
Negativity is proving to be contagious too.
We enjoyed a family walk one night, and Kaden was not excited about an upcoming basketball camp he was scheduled to attend: “I am not going. I already know how to shoot.”
“Kaden, your first response to any question lately has been negative. I would like for you to take a deep breath and choose to respond with something positive instead.”
“Mom, I am positive that I am not going to basketball camp.”
A passage in James came to mind quickly and reminded me to look deeper to the source of our negativity instead of the outflow of our words.
With the tongue, we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
I realized the words I say when I am not abiding in Jesus Christ do not represent the life I have in Him. They do not cultivate the joy I long for, and they do not lead me down the path God desires for me.
My negativity and sassy frustration revealed that I am not trusting God with the details or my feelings, which moved me into a panicky control mode.
I’ve been there before, and this time I refused to lump a dose of guilt on top of my negative attitude.
If a salt spring cannot produce fresh water, then I am going to the source who can freshen me up. I brought my worries to Jesus, and my words began to bear His fruit.
Our joy is not limited to our ability to maintain positive thoughts and focus on the sunny side of life. When we bring our cares and concerns to Jesus and allow Him to be our source, then it becomes impossible for us to represent any other source.
He becomes our strength and He makes our joy full.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing…
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
I pray I will continue to draw my kids close to Jesus Christ instead of taming their tongues. I pray Kaden enjoys the basketball camp he will be attending this summer, and I thank God for a husband who has already scheduled another date night.