"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Emerson

Friday, August 14, 2009


I've got a bad attitude lately. And not just one of minor annoyance, but a stomp my feet, throw my hands down, and temper tantrum like my two year old, kind.

You see, me and a certain government branch have not been getting along lately. While I won't tell you to whom I am referring that begins with U, ends with C and has a SM in the middle, I will tell you we have been fighting.

My husband once described me as the "moto" one in our relationship. I wore the tee shirts. I spoke the lingo. I loved the atmosphere of camis and boots. But, then a little something called "the fleet" happened and I found myself losing my moto faster than a CH-53.

But, God has been working on me and my attitude. While in part He feels compassion towards my situation, He also in part has been encouraging me to accept the life we have chosen. While I thought my hubby would be home by dinner time every night when not on a deployment, I have found myself with cold plates of food and no husband to report of until the wee hours of the night. Only to be followed by an early start and another late end.

Sometimes life doesn't turn out the way we thought it would. Sometimes things just don't seem fair and we want to have drop on the floor, writhe and scream, like the toddlers we care for each and every day. Sometimes government officials write schedules that infuriate the spouses of those in the armed service. Sometimes a job can seem to take away so much from a family that we begin to forget the reasons why we took this route in the first place. It happens.

And while we are to cast our cares upon our God, because He cares for us, we are also to take a little attitude check. As Christians, circumstance does not dictate our chosen outlook on life, Christ does. You ready to take a look at attitude?

1.) It is to be Christ-like:
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." Philippians 2:5-7 NIV
Christ was God. Yet, He was willing to humble himself to a lower position to complete the task He was given. We in the same ways need to humble ourselves, whether it being to the United States Marine Corps, accepting gratefully the opportunity to serve others as both a Marine and a Marine family, or something else in this life. If we believe that God is the God in control, we have to believe that every situation and everything that happens is for a reason.
2.) We have to get a new one:
"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV
Those of us in Christ aren't to have the same attitudes as we did before we knew Him. You see my flesh is constantly telling me, "ME, ME, ME!" "If I am not happy, then nothing else matters." But, my husband's job is an important one. It is one of great sacrifice on his and I am learning now, my part. Part of becoming more Christ-like in attitude is accepting that it isn't all about me as my flesh would like me to believe. Sometimes, people choose paths that have a greater significance than just themselves. Sacrifice is involved. But, even through that experience, we can come to understand more about the God we serve and His own sacrifice.
3.) We have to have a standard for it:
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." Hebrews 4:12-13 NIV
Part of my struggle has been justification of my attitude. I have been in a total child-like state answering God's pangs of conviction with, "Well, the Marine Corps started it..." and "It's not my fault!" But, then I get into God's word and I see verses like "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe." Philippians 2:14-15 NIV
It is then I am reminded that God didn't say, "Do everything except being a military wife without complaining..." Nope, while I would like it to have been a typo, His word is pretty clear: everything is to be done without complaining.
Attitude can be a make-or-break us thing. Bad ones can keep us from having a life filled with blessing because we are so focused on the hardship, difficulties, or imperfections. Good ones can get us through situations, relationships, and even careers in a way we never imagined possible. This is not a done deal for me. I am still working on it and will probably continue to be working on it for the remainder of my husband's contract. But, I have started to accept those things I just can't change and have begun to try to change the one thing I can: my attitude.
Here's to a new outlook...
Until next time,

1 comment:

Lindsay (aka Linz) said...

Great post, Catherine. That is a good reminder for me, too. Praying that the attitude adjustment is less painful than you first thought it to be... :)