Be a Thermostat, Not a Thermometer
We experienced a little rise in temperature last week here in the Midwest– maybe the hottest and muggiest weather of the summer. I couldn’t help but notice how much easier it became to react in irritability when I was feeling the full effects of the heat and humidity. (Like when you get in the car and need oven mitts just to touch the steering wheel. Or you begin to smell your body odor only an hour after applying deodorant.) Anyway, when mom is grouchy, the entire home is not well. If you can imagine.
It was a good reminder that we live in a fallen world: it’s inevitable that inconveniences will come. It’s inevitable that the temperatures of life will rise and fall. We’ll have seasons of bliss, seasons of hope, seasons of disappointment, seasons of grief. Sometimes moments of these could occur all within the same day. (Hello, lovely midwest!) A thermometer’s job is to directly react to the temperatures of the day. A thermostat’s job is to regulate a moderate temperature within a contained space, despite any outside condition. Our calling is to reflect the spirit of the steady thermostat, not the ever-changing thermometer.
Even when we’re hot and sticky – and smelly.
Even when the kids are whining, again.
Even when we open up another unexpected bill.
Even when dinner comes around at 6 without *oops!* a plan.
Even when the internet is as slow as a snail.
Even when the weeds keep popping up.
Even when we didn’t get our morning time.
Even when we blow the grocery budget, again.
Even when we get behind a slow driver.
Even when a deadline is looming.
Even when you take three kids along to go grocery shopping.
Even when we see someone else winning, on Instagram.
Even when we have a disagreement with our spouse.
Even when we receive honest criticism.
Even when we read a contradicting political opinion.
You get the picture?
I’ll be the first to admit, reacting in grace does not come naturally for me. I have to really focus on harnessing the power of the Holy Spirit when life does not go my way. There are others who are naturally good at this – like my husband, who doesn’t get worked up about anything. (God knew we needed each other) But that is not me, and maybe that is not you. I spent some time thinking of tangible ways I can work towards being a thermostat in our home, rather than a thermometer:
- Go to bed early, and rise an hour earlier than the rest of the household.
- Spend 15-30 minutes of the morning in devotions or meditation.
- Walk around and pick up.
- Take appropriate supplements.
- Block off intentional time to just be present.
- Plan ahead for meals.
- Take clarity breaks.
- Wait to react.
- Take a deep breath.
- Analyze from all perspectives.
- Make light of frustrating situations.
- Memorize scripture.
- Count my blessings.
- See others with the love that Christ has for me.
Let’s aspire to remaining steady and level-headed within our homes – maintaining a controlled temperature despite the most extreme outside conditions. A thermostat, not a thermometer. To bless our families and to be used most effectively in our holy calling.
“Moms are the thermostat of the home.” – unknown
P.S. our 2024 planner is a great tool to help your days go smooth and keep your stress levels low!
Wishing you peace and success,