I used to loathe the saying, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy". To me, it reeked of selfishness and spoke to the notion that everyone in the house needs to tiptoe around Mama so as not to make her unhappy. Because once Mama was unhappy, she would unleash her wrath upon the household. That just didn't portray the image of the Christian wife and mother that I thought we should strive to be.
But recently, I started looking at this old adage in different terms. Author, Donna Otto, says that we, as wives and mothers, are "thermostats" for our homes. And similar to the thermostats that control the temperature in our homes, we also control the climate in our homes. With a click of the thermostat, the climate can change from calm, peaceful, and comfortable to stressful, chaotic, and rushed. I notice that in times when I am stressed or worried about something, or when I am just in a bad mood, the mood of the entire house changes. And my family, literally feels like they have to walk on eggshells around me. I hate that it is that way. Cecil has called it to my attention several times. And each time, I can do nothing but agree with him and apologize.
I love the book Finding Your Purpose as a Mom. I have read it several times and it has really helped me through some difficult seasons. Donna Otto says:
"If you sing while you wash dishes or mope when you don't get your way, those actions will influence the atmosphere. If you are distant and depressed, the household will feel tense and cold. If you are warm and exhuberant, your household will respond accordingly."
"It starts with welcoming God's peace into your own heart and letting that peace touch every aspect of you daily life."
I am reading her book yet again, so expect some Otto wisdom from time to time.
ETA:After I posted this I happened to see that a blogger friend is giving away this book, along with one of Donna Otto's other great books. Stop by and say hello to Jen at Simple Pleasures for your chance to win.