The day dawned hot and humid again. I groaned as I entered the bathroom that seemed steamy even before I turned on the water. I squashed a cockroach, mentally reminding myself to ask my husband about fumigating again, since the tropical rainy season was about to start.
I looked forward to my shower each morning as a way to wake up, take some time to pray, and to collect my thoughts for the day ahead.
I took a deep, relaxing breath, opened the shower door and stepped in, then just as quickly retreated in shock, heart racing. The water was frigid!
The coil in the instant hot water heater above the shower head was obviously broken, and would have to be replaced, a twenty minute job…
In that moment I had a choice.
I could complain about the lack of modern conveniences here in tropical Mexico. Complain that my husband had not remembered to check the coil on time. Complain about cockroaches and humid mornings.
Complain about not being able to get my anticipated refreshing shower until later in the day. I could stomp out of the shower, get dressed and go on grumpily through my morning …
Or, I could praise the Lord.
I could choose to be thankful that we have running water at all. Many of my missionary friends in other countries go weeks at a time without it.
I could choose to be thankful that my husband had been so busy with English classes and Bible studies, building bridges with locals and talking to them about Christ, that he hadn’t had time to change the coil or fumigate the house yet.
I realized that my choice would affect not only my mood, but the mood of the entire family as we started our day.
What about you?
Have you had a morning like this? Something went wrong or ruined your expectation for the day? How did you respond? How did your response to that situation affect your family?
"I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together." Psalm 34:1-3
"I will" implies a choice. When does this passage say I will praise the Lord? At all times.
When I chose to be thankful for running (though cold) water, and thankful for my husband and the opportunities God was giving us, I was able to share about those blessings with our children, reminding them that God cares for us in every detail of our lives.
Praise is contagious.
The inconvenience of the cold water became a blessing as the Lord helped me turn it into a teachable moment of praise and thanksgiving with my kids.
I challenge you today to view your inconveniences from the place of blessing. How can you turn the temptation to complain into an intention to praise and change the course of your day today?
*This post is an excerpt from In Spite of Myself: How Intentional Praise Can Transform Your Heart and Home by Katie Hornor, used by permission.
Katie Hornor writes at ParadisePraises.com. Purchase her new book In Spite of Myself and be encouraged by the lessons she's learned in choosing to praise, intentionally, as a wife, overseas missionary, homeschool parent and business owner. Click here or follow the #IChoosePraise hashtag on social media for information on the book, and to learn how to join Katie for a free 4-week Bible study on Praise.