As a child my mother would constantly remind us to MYOB (Mind Your Own Business). To be honest, it was often HER fault that I was, and continue to feel, in charge of everyone. As a young child, I had to watch over my siblings and our house pets. When we moved to the farm, I was in charge of animals- lots of them. We had huge responsibilities in the barn, at school, and at home. Then I married, had children of my own, tended to a classroom, gained in-laws, and grandchildren. Now, my aging parents and sick husband pull and tug at my heartstrings. It has always been my business to mind everyone else’s, and it has become my natural tendency to worry and to protect.
One of my coping mechanisms is to be a long-range planner. I look at the forest and then the trees. I am a big picture kind of gal, and some find that rather irritating- namely my husband. From the beginning, he would spontaneously decide to do something and go at things willy-nilly. Sometimes it worked out well, sometimes not so much.
Wisdom comes with age and many failures, and I am not lacking on those. However, I am trying to use my new-found knowledge to impart on the next generation without overstepping- a hard thing to do.
This summer, I have done two studies: Women Who Made A Difference, by Martha Tyler and How’s Your Attitude? by Juanita Purcell and it “shocks me” how the studies have aligned to much of what I needed to hear and to the summer services at church. So, I thought I’d share a few of my “Ah Ha’s”.
My mother, a very wise woman, always says that if I concentrate on doing the right thing, I don’t have to worry about doing the wrong thing. So, how do I know what is right?
My lessons have encouraged me to realize that I need to:
- cling to my faith and to be desperate for a relationship with the Almighty.
- sympathize with and comfort those that I love.
- have power under control and to absorb adversity and criticism without lashing back.
- seek God’s word so that I can have permanent joy that is not affected by life’s up’s and downs.
- show mercy to those that hurt us and forgive them even if they don’t ask.
- keep my mind pure and my heart uncontaminated.
- be quick to listen, and slow to speak or get angry.
You may recognize these as the beatitudes: a list of Godly attitudes that lead to true happiness and right behavior. I have a choice every day regarding the attitude that I am going to embrace for the day. In order to stay sane, I need to focus on what I can do and stop worrying about what I have no control over. I can’t always control my circumstances, but I can control how I respond to them.
I think I can make a difference, just like some of the women that I have read about this summer. It has become clear that my job is to demonstrate a spirit of humility so that my heart attitude is right. What I do and what I say matters every minute of every day becasuse people are watching me.
As I re-read the stories about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, as well as Daniel, I have been reminded that with God all things are possible. If I am truly putting my trust in Him, I can be fearless.
So today, I will MYOB and let God be God.