“I’m not crazy, M’Lynn, I’ve just been in a very bad mood for 40 years!” (http://www.quotes.net/movies/10974)

I have a short, odd list of favorite grumpy characters.  Ouiser Boudreaux from Steel Magnolias is at the top of that list.  🙂

She truly does have a prickly personality, set on by a decades long bad mood.

Working motherhood is a dance between fatigue and fiery tenacity and faithfulness and fighting to be nice when you are really, really tired.

I truly believe that the guts of a good employee are made up of 60-70% competence (have to know what you’re doing) and 30-40% pleasantry, being sincerely nice really does pay dividends.

Playing nice is significantly harder when you are sleep deprived, and seeing that we’ve had two kids in five years, it is possible that I could have been in a bad mood for the past half decade.  Yet, working outside the home has given me a structured outlet to be around and amongst and in direct contact with others and it has been great.  There is literally no sense in crying over spilled milk when the office line rings and somebody needs help.  I’m a people person, human contact with other adults, even other stressed out ones having a problem, provide an exciting outlet to me.  You know that funny tactic that people say about smiling when you answer the phone?  It works.  I even forgot I wasn’t on the phone and put on a smile this past Monday morning to meet some random joe that dropped in and he thanked me for the smile.  I found his compliment slightly cheezy but then realized it is possible I was one of his  few smiles to start off the work week.

Being grumpy is the easy way out.   Refreshing yourself with cheerfulness and pleasantry in turn refreshes others.  Whether your contact with others throughout the day is broad or limited to a select few,  make that contact count.  I don’t think Jesus was a pushover, but I am really sure he wasn’t self centered or a jerk.  He was likely that carpenter  that made a point to look people in the eye, greet them with whole-heartedness, and maybe even smile unexpectedly. I think He aimed to make the most of every opportunity, because He knew his time was limited, and He wanted to reflect God in every way, even when He was tired.  He gives us a mighty calling.

Father in Heaven,

Thank you for your example of kindness and that Jesus shows us how we should live in very practical ways like being nice to people.  Please help us to trust that we are working exactly where you want us to be, however our city looks like, and that you specialize in having your light shine.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” Ephesians 5:16