Raising children to keep a positive attitude while enjoying the outdoors. An ordinary day marred with inconvenience, explodes with extraordinary joy when a mom chooses to see the beautiful world her son sees.

Raising children to keep a positive attitude while enjoying the outdoors. An ordinary day marred with inconvenience, explodes with extraordinary joy when a mom chooses to see the beautiful world her son sees.

It was an ordinary day,

doing ordinary work,

UNTIL

It stopped wringing the clothes.

The washer.

What a nuisance.

Guess I’ll be wringing clothes out by hand until we get a new one.

Oh bummer. Another step, and more time.

I wasn’t counting on this.

How in—con—ven—ient.

And annoying.

Shortly we’ll have a new one, but it won’t be today.

The dirty laundry’s multiplying like rabbits.

Grrr . . .

I usually enjoy hanging clothes on the clothesline. But, not now. I’m feeling swamped with these drippy clothes.

“Robert come help me hang the clothes,” I summoned, through the whipping wind to my 14-year-old son.

Whosh whew whosh whooooshhhh

The windy day added to my irritation as I tried to fight against it while pinning the soggy clothes to the clothesline.

I just wanted to get this messy job done. And get it done quickly.

This. Wind. Is. Slowing. Me. Down.

“Oh, listen mom,” Robert laughed, “It sounds like we’re at the ocean. Hear the blowing leaves? They sound like the crashing waves.”

“Yah,” I unenthusiastically responded to his comment while we both continued to hang the water-logged pile.

green ocean clothesline

“I think the long grass on the hillside, blowing in the wind, looks like ocean waves,” he happily quipped.

I began remembering our delightful recent trip to the sandy windy beach. He was starting to attract my attention. After all, I’d love to be back there instead of arguing with the wind over who’s the boss of the saggy clothesline.

Then it hit me. Remember to express the positive.

I just wanted to be grumpy. After all I was inconvenienced with a broken washing machine.

My son was, unintentionally, making it easy for me to express the positive. To jump into the imaginary sea, or at least put my big toe in.  He was helping me find the extraordinary ocean-like features of our grassy-green back yard.

ME, I was fixed on complaining. I was fixed on ME.

Okay Joy, I reminded myself, express the positive. Join in with Robert on his positive, and imaginary, thoughts. At least smile with him.

Squabbling with myself, I thought — why should I? ––  I’m almost done. Just check this mess off the list and move on.

Seconds later, while setting my sights on the next project, but before leaving the clothesline, I realized again why it is important for me to express the positive, and delight with my son in his lovely green ocean.

  1. I’ll be happier.
  2. My son will be happier.
  3. I’ll be making a relationship deposit with my son instead of a relationship withdrawal.
  4. My son will be more inclined to help me with future jobs and, while doing so, he’ll have a positive attitude himself.
  5. Habitually expressing the positive will draw my son towards me rather than repelling him away from me.

So I did it. I took the leap. Enjoying all the sensory benefits of our imaginary green ocean right in our own back yard. The sound of the waves in the blowing tree leaves, and the sight of gentle ocean waves in the long rippling hillside grass. An ordinary day with an extraordinary flair.

Whosh whew whosh whooooshhhh

As we walked away, laughing in the wind, the drenched clothes playfully misted us with ocean sprays making our visit complete.

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”