This morning, I awoke to the sound of my husband’s shoes hitting the hardwood floors. Clippity Clop. Clippity Clop. I opened my eyes, stretched my arms and slowly made my way out of bed and into the start of a brand new day. The calendar was full, but that would have to change. Our son had thrown up the night before – throwing a slight hiccup into the day’s plans. Nothing that couldn’t be remedied with a few texts and phone calls.

As I made my way to the kitchen, my husband walked over, kissed me on the head and ushered me to my piping hot cup of freshly poured coffee sitting on the kitchen island. I looked down and then back up at him. I couldn’t help but smile. My coffee looked just as I like it – a milky, toasted brown color indicating the perfect ratio of rich, flavored cream to bold coffee. If making coffee without uttering a word is a way of measuring how well you know a person, then my husband knows me leaps and bounds better than anyone on the planet. He never gets a cup wrong.

I reached down, grabbed the handle and brought the warm cup of perfection to my lips. As I took my first sip I relished in the feeling that today was going to be a good day.

My thoughts were quickly interrupted by our oldest daughter yelling down the stairs from above that she wasn’t feeling well. Her stomach hurt and she didn’t think she could eat her breakfast. Any parent who has ever had a child old enough to say they aren’t hungry in the morning while simultaneously complaining of a stomachache knows this is fair warning that things may turn at any time (namely, said person’s stomach – emptying all contents hopefully into the toilet and not onto the floor.)

Looks like I would have two of my children home with me. It will be just like when they were little. Today is going to be even better than I had anticipated.

OR………

This morning I awoke to the sound of my husband’s shoes hitting the hardwood floor. Clippity Clop. Clippity Clop. Ugh. Why does he have to wear those shoes every morning? And in our room? Can’t he see I’m trying to sleep? What if I went around clippity clopping every time he was trying to sleep? Maybe I will try that next Saturday morning and see how well he likes it. I wish I didn’t have to get up already. It’s so cold out there and so warm under here. Maybe I’m coming down with something? Ugh. That won’t work. I’m not sick at all. Unless sick of waking up so early counts as being sick – then I’m in really bad shape. Speaking of sick, thanks to a sick kid – my whole day is completely thrown out of whack. Not only do I not feel like getting up – I definitely don’t feel like dealing with this first thing in the morning.

As I made my way into the kitchen, I was once again reminded of how much more motivated my husband is than me in the morning. Always up bright and early and the first one to the coffee pot. Is he rubbing it in my face? The cup is there every morning, waiting for me, reminding me that I don’t have what it takes to wake up as early as I want to.

I reached down, grabbed the handle and took my first sip of many. It takes a lot of coffee to get through these overbooked days.

My thoughts were quickly interrupted by our oldest daughter yelling down the stairs from above that she wasn’t feeling well. You’ve got to be bleeping kidding me. Another one? Isn’t one sick kid enough? If she gets sick, she better make it to the toilet.

Looks like I would have two of my children home with me today. How am I supposed to get anything done? Maybe they aren’t really that sick and I can send them to school anyway? Who would know? Probably not a great idea. Guess today is just going to be one of those days.

One scenario. Two reactions.

It’s amazing how much our internal dialogue has the ability to affect not only our mood, but also how we relate to the world around us. It colors how we see things, how we treat our loved ones and how we cope with difficult situations when they arise.

When we are negative, we can’t help but to spread that negativity – whether we intend to, or not. And on the flip side, when we are joyful and are looking for the good, we can’t help but to spread that positivity – whether we intend to or not.

I began this post a couple of days ago when I had the idea to take my morning and look at it through two different lenses. As I was writing the first one, I felt light and joyful. And I as I was writing the second one, I could feel my mood change. When I read back through each of the scenarios, I was amazed at the difference I felt even when reading the words.

What, and how, we think affects us. It affects our relationships. It affects our days. Ultimately, it affects our lives.

Am I implying that we walk around like Pollyanna every day? No. We need to be honest about how we are feeling, and some situations really do just plain stink – no way around it. We all have our good days, and our bad days.

What I am implying is this: in the day-to-day grind, our internal dialogue does matter. If we wake up and immediately begin complaining – I believe there is a much better chance we may experience a bad day. And if we wake up and immediately search for the good, the joy, the positive, the blessing, the thing to be grateful for – I believe there is a much better chance we may experience a great day.

Our thoughts color our world.  They motivate and inspire us, or they stifle our dreams. They encourage us, or they tear us down. They build up those around us, or they search for flaws and shortcomings. They give gratitude, or they wish for more. They find the joy in the moment, or the thing to complain about.

I pray that my thoughts are more often those of joy and positivity than not. I pray that throughout my life, regardless of my circumstances, I will leave those I encounter feeling loved and encouraged. I pray that I will not take the sound of my husband’s shoes in the morning, or the warm cup of coffee, or the fact that my children are at home with me for granted. I pray that when I wake up, I remember to give thanks to God for the gift of a brand new day. I pray that I will wake and search for the wonder, the adventure and the possibility that comes with the gift of  that new day – the gift of a fresh start.  I pray that even on days that aren’t as good as others, I still remember to be grateful – because there is so much to be grateful for. On the good days, and the bad. So much. We just need to realize it.

“Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.”
Thornton Wilder, Our Town

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