The Power of a Positive Attitude

Today the Lord impressed upon me again how powerful my attitude is.

Yeah, we all know that happy people are more fun to be around than complainative ones, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that we can CHOOSE to be one of those happy people ourselves! Joy isn’t in our genes; it’s in our minds and hearts.

I worked in an assisted living facility this summer and saw a wide range of attitudes in workers, from lazy to hard-working, from nasty and sour to joyful and sweet. Now you must understand: nursing home work is hard, dirty, and stressful, and it’s so easy to slip into complaining when you’ve just about had all the stress you can take for the day. But there were some aides that chose to look on the bright side of things, and (surprise, surprise!) those were the people I most enjoyed working with!

To be totally honest with you, I am probably one of the least qualified people to be telling you how to act.  As a child, I once made it my quite unkind goal to make everyone in my family mad (or at least unhappy) on this certain Sunday, right after we got home from church. I was in a nasty mood and wanted everyone else to feel the same way I did. To my shame, my scheme worked and within a few minutes of walking in the door, everybody was upset about something or other. In retrospect, they were probably all upset with me for having such a sour attitude that day!

Other Sundays, though, I remember trying to help every family member be happy. This took a little more work than making them mad, probably since we were born with sin natures, and it took some serious self-denial, but choosing joy anyway resulted in a much more restful afternoon and the enjoyment of each other’s presence! These are the days I love to reminisce on. 🙂

Pessimistic personalities are no excuse for not choosing joy, either. I am, by nature, almost (key word there) a full-blown pessimist, but have had to realize over the years that personality traits such as pessimism or optimism are not meant to DEFINE me! Both pessimists and optimists have to work to keep themselves from going off the deep end, and yes, even pessimists can count their blessings!!

Counting your blessings, even the little ones, really does lighten up your day and world! Earlier this year, someone told me about a personal project she was doing called One Thousand Things. She and a friend each got a journal and began to write down everything they were thankful for, numbering each thing and aiming for 1,000 of them. I was inspired, so I bought a cute mini-journal and started my own gratitude book!

One Thousand Things

It’s helped me refocus and count my (VERY many) blessings, and I think I’m going to start carrying it around with me so that I write in it more often. I’m not nearly close to one thousand things yet since I’ve slacked off some in the past couple months, but I’m going to get there!!!

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You know, I’ve noticed that when I make a conscious decision to focus on the bright side of things, and whisper thank you to the Lord every time something happy happens, I suddenly become a lot more joyful! While doing this at work today, I even began to wonder why the Lord decided to bless me so much today! In reality, He blesses me EVERY day, but I miss out on seeing those blessings if I’m wallowing in complaints or self-pity.

What are some things you have been blessed by today or this week? The blessings on my list included hearing a bunch of my favorite songs on the radio at work, being able to have a really neat conversation with a co-worker that I don’t usually get to talk to much, cloudy weather (it makes taking pictures of cars easier because I don’t have to worry about the sun reflecting off of and casting shadows on cars), hot coffee on a cold windy day…. 🙂

This feels like a post more on the random side, not quite as “put together” as I would like, but I hope it makes sense. 🙂 I hereby challenge you to find a way to proactively choose to have a joyful attitude and praise the Lord for the little things, even when it feels like you’re in the midst of a storm. He inhabits the praises of His people, remember?

“A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

Out of the Mouth of Babes…

…some of the funniest things will come!  We have a house full of littles, so we are always laughing at the things that roll off their tongues.  Here are some of the recent ones!

“Mommy, are you babysitting?” -Wade (5 years old)


As many of you know, Wade has almost the whole collection of Thomas trains and some of the tracks, courtesy of Grandma, and loves them to death.  He and the twins can rattle off the name of any train in a split second.  Once Wade was expecting to receive yet another train in the mail from Grandma, and went around the house singing Polly Wolly Doodle All The Day, but with a little twist on the words: “I come from Louisiana for to see the trains from Grandma, singing Polly Wolly Doodle all the way!”


One April evening Susannah came up to me with a water gun and we had the following discussion:

Susannah: “Hannah, I’m going to KILL YOU!  BOOM!  YOU’RE DEAD!” (she literally shouted this in as firm of a voice as she could muster)

Me: “But I don’t really like being dead…”

Susannah: “Well, you HAVE to.”

Me: “Why?”

Susannah: “‘Cause you’re old.”

Me: “Oh yeah?  What tells you when a person old?”

Susannah: “My gun.”

Me: “Oh dear…”

haha – what has this place come to?


So we got into a mealtime discussion a couple of days later when just Dad and I were home with all the littles, and somehow we started on this thing about when I will get married.  Haha…those discussions are some of the funniest EVER!  Kate (7 years old) told us that “one thing sad about when Hannah moves out is that I won’t be able to get on her shoulders anymore.”  I assured her that she could still do that when she came over to visit!

Then Wade spoke up with his two cents:  “When she moves out and doesn’t have any kids, just a husband, she would have to clean her floor up herself…like sweeping or clean up the clothes on the floor…Hannah, you’re not big enough to get married.”  Somehow children always get to thinking that the only purpose they have in life is to do all their mother’s work…sooooo not true, though I do remember having that mindset myself!  🙂

Laughing on the inside, I asked him, “How big do you have to be to get married?”  He must have changed his mind mid-thought, because he told me, “Well, I know some people who are mommies and daddies when they’re 17!”  (I actually can’t think of any…but oh well.  At least I have his permission if I needed it. 😉 )


I overheard a conversation between Wade and one of the twins just the other day.  Wade was answering his sister’s question of what game he and Susannah were playing, saying “We’re taking turns accidentally falling off.”


What funny things have you heard children say recently?  I’m looking forward to hearing them! 🙂

Happy Easter // celebrating Jesus’ resurrection McIntosh style

Happy Resurrection Day to you all!  I hope you all had a wonderful day today as you celebrated the rising of our Savior!  We certainly enjoyed our family day today.  We went to a sunrise service at 7:00 this morning with some of our church family, and enjoyed a delicious breakfast afterwards with some awesome discussions and fellowship!  Though we unfortunately didn’t actually see the sun rise, we did enjoy the beautiful sky and the not-too-cold weather during our service.

During our regular service later this morning, the children performed a play of the Easter story.  They did a great job!  It was so fun to see the little ones like Susannah up there as well, walking around in the crowd scenes like they were supposed to!  We did get a video (albeit an iPhone video), so if y’all want to see, it, let me know, and I’ll post it.  🙂

Now, McIntosh tradition is to hunt for Easter baskets sometime on Easter Sunday, so Mom and Dad’s room was off-limits last night.  (I may or may not have trespassed to get Ella’s pajamas…) 🙂  Back in the old days, when I was little, we would always do the basket hunt as soon as we woke up or right after church, but somehow everything gets pushed later and later as kids get older!  Charles hid the baskets this year, and though several people found their baskets during the day, the search officially began immediately following supper.

But before I get into pictures of that, I want to encourage you to watch this short video about the cross from a medical perspective.  It’s very powerful, and I am awed at the depth of Jesus’ love, willing enough to go through all that just for wretches like me!

Here are my favorite shots.  Even Ella got a basket!  She was thrilled to see that she got animal crackers…

IMG_4978Mom usually uses food items that she got on sale to fill our baskets, whether it be crackers, m&m’s, Easter bunnies from last year’s discounts, or diet pop and fruit cups from the discount grocery store!  It’s tons of fun.  🙂IMG_4989IMG_4999So Charles always has an extremely hard time finding his own basket, since Dad takes pleasure in hiding his basket really good every year.  🙂  Charles loves the challenge, though, and he was determined to find it.  He brought up this bag (below) and was beginning to proclaim his victory when he realized that the bag was actually full of some of our lost tools!  😀  Oops… but maybe he should spend more time searching the house.  Who knows what we might find!  😉  (He did end up finding his basket in Grace’s van, for those of you concerned about his psychological and emotional well-being!)

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I was a little bit lazy this year at basket-hunting, but I did end up finding it (after a certain sister gave me several unauthorized clues)!  🙂

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What did you do to celebrate Easter?  Did you gain any new perspectives this year?  I certainly did!  It was definitely a blessing to hear and read things about Jesus’ resurrection that I’d never thought about before!

P.S. Verse-image credit (1 Peter 1:3) does not belong to me.