I looked it up, and
the omniscient google gods have told me that it means
to have lost confidence or enthusiasm.
(and you can always
trust google, right?)
I catch myself often
using this word. I’m discouraged
about how wild and crazy my boys are. The level of intensity my children bring
to my day usually has me exhausted by about 9:00am, and I frequently feel like I’m living
life in “survival mode!”
I’m discouraged that I feel like my efforts
in time management and meal planning seem fruitless.
I’m discouraged about my housekeeping
abilities (or lack thereof).
They say the best cooks make big messes... right?
Now, I am the type to
pluck away daily at my duties with a pretty cheerful heart, regardless of how
many checks I actually mark on my checklist. (It’s hard to require cheerfulness
from your children if you are not living as an example to them!) But I do often
find myself fighting feelings of discouragement.
Now here’s the
problem: words have power. They have
the power to build up, the power to tear down, and the power to destroy. I
began to notice myself clinging to this word, discouraged, as an invitation to a miniature pity party I could
throw at any time, any day, whenever I wanted. I would feel that swirl of
emotions every mother experiences when she’s running on little sleep and is
outnumbered by little people underfoot, absolutely incapable of keeping up with
the energy level they bring with them.
Oh, I’m so discouraged.
Dramatically drape my
hand across my forehead and I am pitying myself with the best of them, no
balloons or cake required.
BUT WHY? This is
life. Good life. Motherhood is hard, and a continual learning process, but it is loaded with blessings. And sometimes blessings
completely wear you out. Sometimes, when your cup runneth over, it’s actually really heavy, and you have to use both
hands and all your back muscles to lift it!
So I did two things.
First, I officially struck the word discouraged
from my vocabulary. (Well, with the exception of this blog post, of course!) I
no longer allow myself to say it (or it’s thesaurus companions), or even think
it. I’m not discouraged. It’s foolish to lose confidence or enthusiasm in the
very thing God has given you to do, with the promise that He will help you
through every step of the way.
If you put your trust in the Lord, there is no reason to lose confidence.
His promises are steadfast, and He offers peace and comfort to those
who seek it.
Then, after adjusting
my vocabulary a little, I gave my perspective one of its regular overhauls.
My kids are crazy?
Wow!! I have KIDS!!!! How cool is that? What a blessing.
My house is messy?
Wow! I have a home so nice and big that it keeps me busy enough to let
the bathrooms upstairs go three weeks between cleanings just so I can keep up
with everything else!
I have three toilets
with toilet rings in them?
Wow! I have three toilets! And a little boy who’s gotten pretty good at
Sometimes a little
vocab adjustment is in order, and ever since striking that word from mine, I’ve
noticed I don’t feel discouraged as
maintenance is a must in my life, and I think a frequent vocabulary check needs
to be instituted as well.
Words really do hold
much more power over us than we think.
So, is the afternoon
almost at an end and I’m writing a blog post instead of preparing dinner for my