Time to Take Out the Trash! (guest post)

This girl! I just love her honest perspective and practical attitude. 
I met Jenifer at a writers conference last May, and I immediately wanted her
to share here on Intentional Parenting. It took almost a year but here she
is! I'm sure you'll be blessed by her words...and maybe you'll think about
your own stinky trash can a little differently in the future. You can read
more about Jenifer at the bottom.

A few months ago I walked into the house and the smell hit me. It was overwhelming. The trash HAD to go!

I had been in the house all day and I didn’t smell it, but when I left and came back it was overwhelming. I didn’t realize how bad it had become.

I also saw this with our daughter’s attitude. Over time, due to a lack of sleep and dealing with an aggravating little sister, her attitude became a little sour. Around our house we say, “Sour attitudes don’t get sweet treats” (Translation: You aren’t going to get any special opportunities with your attitude this way.) But then her attitude got worse. It went from sour to down right stinky.

Just like drastic action had to be taken with the trash, drastic action had to be taken with her attitude.

Have you ever had a stinky attitude? I know I have.

Things don’t go my way… I get fed up with whatever circumstances are handed to me at the present… I become overwhelmed with my to-do list… and my attitude goes south faster than a sippy cup of milk left in the mini-van on a summer day.

It can also be a gradual shift. Maybe a comment was made in a conversation on the phone or posted on Facebook. It lingered with me and gradually got under my skin and into my brain, which happened that particular day. Something said on the morning news grows to the point of suffocating in your mind.

Whether we experience a sudden or gradual downturn in our attitude, as Christians, we aren’t supposed to affect our environment with our stench, but with the aroma of Christ.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?  -2 Corinthians 2:14-16 NASB

The sweet aroma of Christ should linger after us, not the stench of our attitude. We are reminded of our humanity in the last sentence, though: “And who is adequate for these things?” I’m not. My attitude isn’t always what it should be. And of course, there are times I have realized that our girls aren’t the ones having a rough day or a bad attitude, it’s actually me and I’m taking it out on them.

When we…

  1. agree with God that our attitude isn’t a reflection of Him and that it needs to change, we can…
  2. ask Him to forgive us and…
  3. allow Him to begin to change our attitude through prayer, Christian music, Scripture, or time away. (Maybe chocolate, too?)

This is repentance (not the chocolate, though). This is the drastic action we need to get rid of the “smell” so we can once again bear the sweet aroma of Christ.

Now, for the rest of the story…

Keenly aware of the need to take out the trash. I also needed to sort laundry. (Yes, I was behind in housework…) I actually started there. As I sorted, I realized the offensive odor was not coming from the trash, but from some dish towels that had soured in a laundry basket. (Ugh!) Washing them made all the difference (just like when I realized the attitude problem was not the girls’ but mine). When the correct source of the problem is identified, then it can be dealt with appropriately.

Do you have some trash to take out or some soured laundry to address?

Sometimes the stink comes from our own trashy attitudes. A household stench leads to an #IntentionalParenting lesson learned in this guest post from Jenifer Kitchens. #TakeOutTheTrash via @Carole_Sparks (click to tweet)

Isn’t this a great connection? Please use the comments below to let Jenifer (and me) know what you thought. We’d love to hear from you!

Do you have a household/parenting chore with a spiritual correlation? I’d love to share it here on the blog. Leave a note in the comments or e-mail me.

IP - Jenifer Kitchens
Jenifer Kitchens

Jenifer Kitchens is a full time wife and homeschooling mother, and a passionate writer and teacher. She desires that every project glorifies her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  A graduate of Union University, Jenifer now lives in Columbia, Tennessee with her husband Jacob and her two daughters (and son who is on the way). Follow Jenifer at www.dirtydishwaterholyhands.wordpress.com.

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