Today I’ve been thinking about the importance of counting happy habits. What do I mean by “counting happy habits?” As a recovering perfectionist, I think having a critical eye comes naturally to me. I can walk in my kitchen and see every crumb on the floor and smudge on the fridge. I don’t even have to look; it’s like a sixth sense for me to see the dirt and flaws in a room. I don’t even have to look in the mirror to see all of my own flaws; they are more than evident to me. This sixth sense becomes a problem when I place routines over relationships.
Relationships and routines are married; each should influence the other in a positive manner.
When my routine is to examine the carpet stain and brush over the sorrowful eyes of a child who wants to help clean up the mess, then I lose.
When my routine is to see toothpaste in the bathroom sink again and overlook the sweet girl who is doing her best to brush her teeth all by herself, then I lose.
When my routine is to count the bad habits, whether my own or those I love, then I lose.
The running tally in my mind must focus on consistently acknowledging the positive attributes. I’ve found that counting the happy habits is a great way to channel these thoughts. This step comes before I even begin to give thanks. For example, one of my children has the habit of taking his socks off before he plays in the backyard. And those socks seem to wind up in odd places, like under the couch or ottoman. This habit is not pleasing to me and I don’t want this little habit to become a bigger one. But I also don’t want to focus on this “little” habit so much, that this routine defines our relationship. This is where the importance of counting happy habits enters. If I count the happy habits of my children and my husband, then praising them in the moment becomes much easier for me.
In society today, our focus seems to be on the negative habits to the point of stereotyping. In an effort not to issue labels, I believe counting the positive habits of those closest to us is the key. So I started keeping a mental ticker tape of my husband’s habits that I love. I do it for my children too. I say to myself “I love it when she…” or “He just did it- that thing I love so much.” Just as an example, here’s my current “ticker tape” of counting happy habits of my husband:
- I love it each Tuesday when he weekly remembers to take out the trash and I’ve totally forgotten it.
- I love that he prays with each of our children, every single night.
- I love that my husband always rinses his plates; he never leaves dirty dishes in the sink.
- I love that he thinks it is so funny to leave the speakers up full blast when he gets out because he knows it will scare me to death when I start the minivan.
- I love that my husband is reliable to follow through on his time commitments every day for family, ministry, and work.
Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed in the last two weeks that my sweet 3 year old has picked up a new habit. She says “Oh, I love …..” No matter what it is, she’s not afraid to tell you what she loves. Bacon. Apple juice. When Auntie Mary comes over. When Daddy comes home from work.
Encouraging words carry empowering weight. And that’s why we should use them.
I’m super excited to introduce you to a wonderfully encouraging tool for men, a new devotional, “Man Stuff: Devotional Thoughts on Faith, Family and Fatherhood.” This devotional by Josh Turner holds an incredible number of encouraging words that carry empowering weight. In the amount of time it takes to drink a cup of coffee, your son, brother, father, husband, uncle, grandfather or friend can read heartfelt words to inspire living out Biblical principles.
Josh Turner is a country music superstar, but he focuses on the shining stars of his wife and three children. I thought you would enjoy a preview of this awesome book:
[scribd id=236848047 key=key-XU0qRwVFyH9A2RmB64v0 mode=scroll]
You can find more great information or order it Man Stuff: Thoughts on Faith, Family, and Fatherhood“>right here. I know you’re interested in this book for someone you love, so follow the Rafflecopter and have a wonderful weekend!
but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25
Disclosure: Product provided by Publisher; all opinions are my own.Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.