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A Cheerful Disposition | Day 3

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Welcome to Day 3 of our series, From Chaos to Calm: 15 Weeks to a Happy Home. Today we’re talking about our attitudes. Ladies, you have so much power to transform the atmosphere in your home! 

A Cheerful Disposition @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Good morning ladies! How was your day yesterday? Do you feel encouraged yet?

From Chaos to Calm: 15 Weeks to a Happy Home @ AVirtuousWoman.org

From Chaos to Calm eBook

If you’ve been struggling with your home, your marriage, your children, or just life in general this might be the answer you have been waiting for! Inside the pages of this ebook you will spend 15 weeks working toward a goal for:

– peace in the heart
– peace in the home
– peace with our husbands
– peace with our children

From Chaos to Calm: Day Three

 A Cheerful Disposition

 Scripture Memory: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

I remember my mom waking me up each morning to get ready for school. She always came in my room and greeted me with a bright “Good Morning!” and a happy smile. How do you wake up each morning?

Women have the power to change the atmosphere in their homes. I am sure you have heard the saying, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” If you wake up each morning feeling ill, unpleasant, expecting the worst, dreading your chores, irritated with your husband, or tired of training your children, you set yourself up (as well as your husband and children) for a bad day.

Despite what may have taken place yesterday, you can choose to wake up today with a merry heart and a cheerful attitude.

If you and your husband had an argument before bed and you fretted all night, do not despair! Decide to wake your husband up with a sweet kiss, a gentle back rub, and a sincere apology for any misunderstandings the night before.

  If your children have been out of control and you feel stressed and at your wit’s end, do not despair! Choose today to focus on them, to find solutions to your discipline problems, and train them in the way they should go. Be pleasant. Speak with a soft voice. Breathe in and out to relax your muscles when you feel tense.

    Perhaps you feel you have no real reason to smile. Smile anyway! Rejoice in the Lord, for He is good! That should be enough of a reason to smile. Pray about your attitude if you find that you have a tendency to be sour. Ask God each morning to help you be a cheerful woman of God.

   A Christian has no business being depressed all of the time. Unfortunately many Christian women find themselves not happy. I feel that society has placed ideals in women’s minds that cause them to feel dissatisfied with their lives. This should not be so! If you find that you are sad and not sure why, ask God to lead you to peace in your heart. Sometimes our circumstances are not exactly the way we would like. However, it is okay. Learn to be okay with yourself, with your husband, and with your home.

  Ask God for wisdom in dealing with your everyday circumstances. And choose to be happy. Do not allow other people, uncontrollable events, or lack of material possessions influence your choice to be happy in the Lord. Have you ever seen a child who was terminally ill? Or a person who was unable to care themselves, who in all their pain and suffering still had joy in their hearts? You can be like that too.

Whether you wish the laundry would go away or the bathrooms would clean themselves or your children would stop bickering you can still be happy. It is a blessing to have clothing for your family. It is a blessing to have a home with indoor plumbing. It is a blessing to have children. Stop looking at them like they are a curse! Choose to be happy!

“A cheerful Christian leaves the world a brighter and better place each night because (s)he has reflected the cheerful and radiant beams of Christ’s righteousness. A smile is contagious and brightens the lives of all with the circle of one’s influence. But a sour disposition and a frown on the face can change the moral climate of a home or an office. A kind word can lift up the wounded spirit but an unkind word can leave the human spirit crushed.” – Morning Manna, Adlai A Esteb, 1962.

If there is chaos in your home, you, as wife and mother, are responsible. Despite the chaos your husband may bring into the home, you have the power through Christ to change the lives of your family. It is up to you to determine a better life for them. Yelling, crying, frustration, irritation, anger, resentment, bitterness, depression have no place in a Christian home. And while there will be days when you do succumb to the pressures of life, with Christ by your side you can have a happy home on most days. No one is perfect, but as we walk in faith and grow in faith, those days should be come fewer and further between.

     So, remember, wake up early each morning and have your devotion. Greet your family with a smile, a hug, and a kiss. Aches and pains and hurting hearts should be taken to Jesus during your Morning Manna time. Do not take them to your family. Let them see your joy in the Lord and they will begin to reflect that same cheerful spirit.

     Don’t forget to set your alarm tonight! Get up early tomorrow!

Listen to the Podcast:

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From Chaos to Calm: 15 Weeks to a Happy Home is a daily devotion – Monday through Friday for 15 Weeks by Melissa Ringstaff. The Audio Podcast gives you extra ideas to go along with the email series or e-book.

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  1. Today's devotion is EXACTLY what I need. There had been some misunderstanding going on in my home this evening and I found it to be hard to be composed, especially being a mother and wife is not easy at all! When I was unhappy, I realized EVERYBODY in the house became unhappy and depressed too. And when I came along your devotion today, I knew our sweet Lord Jesus is taking care of my sorrows and He is lifting me up. Thank you Melissa! It has been a true blessing :)
    1. Eleena, Thank you for sharing! It can be so easy to lose sight of what's really important when we're in the middle of a crisis - however small! That's why we all need Jesus so desperately! With HIM all things are possible - even a cheerful spirit in the midst of chaos.
    2. Hi Melissa. I am new to this ministry but I feel like it was the answer to my prayers. I have a lot of emotional breakdowns I call them. Where I feel nothing in my home is going right. One of my complaints to the Lord is that I have no women in my life that I can learn to grow in the Lord. There is no family I can see that I want my family to be like. I feel I need an example. This message today was very challenging. It sets the bar high. Taking my problems to Jesus alone would be the best decision I could make. It would stop the pain of repeating the offense and help me let it go so I can have an happy attitude. Thank you for your time in putting together this devotion.
      1. Hi Channon, I'm so glad you were blessed today. God's mercies are new every morning. Take it one day at a time and you will see change! Come back and visit with me again soon!
  2. Yes! We do set the tone for the day in our homes. Whether I get plenty of sleep or have had a long and rough night, it is still my responsibility to put on my best smile and make sure my family is happy. If my mood is down, I find that keeping a gratitude journal helps me to lift my mood. There is something about seeing what you have to be truly grateful for. Love this post!
  3. Today's devotion is too what I need. I find this sometimes the most difficult. I'm cheerful and wake up cheerful but the events of the day can really get me down. I also suffer from chronic migraines of varying degrees which get me down too. I'm praying very hard to be more cheerful and not to let frustration get the better of me. Thank you Melissa for this devotion.
  4. Quick comment ; ) As I know this "Chaos To Calm" series has been here for a while (I completed it a couple years ago and am returning to do it again ! ) ... I know any comments will actually be taken in consideration for the good of the heart of your efforts in sharing it ! I Love your heart in this and am so happy I found you and your words of encouragement when I did years ago ! As for todays (I know...its not February but it works for me now ; ) ) devotional you mentioned it being OUR responsibility if our home is an "unhappy one". I MUST say as I grew up in an abusive childhood and faced years of it as well as an adult..... This is NOT the case always. And MANY people who read that may be very repulsed by it which would interfere with receiving the heart you have in it. It IS our responsibility to be a "tool" in Gods sharing of love each day and to be an example to our family of His love in every situation....we ARE responsible for OUR part in the family. However to say we are Responsible for others happiness or total outcome of a families status is a lot of unnecessary responsibility... pressure... and just not true. As a happy wife and mother who has overcome much pain in life, I am so happy to have found out my role in sharing Gods love and He has used me as a tool in much happiness in my family : ) However, I will never be responsible for the happiness of my family : ) Only of myself as He is responsible for the happiness. I'm merely used as a tool when I'm obedient to His will :) Thank you again for sharing this with us ! I do this as a fun and fresh addition to my devotions especially when change has occurred and I'd like extra encouragement for the order of my home (we just moved so the work has started over ; ) Blessings to you, Liz J
    1. Hi Liz, I totally agree with you that sometimes, as in the case of verbal, mental, emotional, or any other kind of abuse, that the wife or mom may be unable to control the joy found in her home. I have talked about this in the past. Abuse is NEVER OKAY. I encourage any woman who is in an abusive situation to seek help. However, in a "normal" home, in a "normal" marriage, the wife does have the power to change the atmosphere of her home simply by being cheerful and a good witness of Christ's undying love. By laying down her life for her husband and "killing" him with kindness if he tends to be on the grumpy side can change his attitude. And, the Bible tells us that the wife has the power to win her husband to Christ simply by her pleasant converation! (1 Peter 3) By waking up with a cheerful attitude mom influences her children to do the same. Does that mean the husband is not responsible for his own bad behavior? Of course not! Life isn't perfect and this isn't a "fix all" solution, but for the average woman in the average situation it will greatly improve the atmosphere of her home. I do appreciate your comments and I do understand where you are coming from and I so appreciate you chiming in with your thoughts. You are right! It is never my intent to put unnecessary burden on any woman in a difficult situation. God bless you!
  5. Hello Melissa I'm really enjoying your from chaos to calm. My husband who is a pastor struggles with severe depression from a head injury and he has gotten to where everything I do is wrong. I can ask him a simple question or ask how he's doing and he says I'm coming against him. If I tell him something that God has told me for him he thinks I'm coming against him but someone else will say the same thing word for word and he accepts it and when it asked why he doesn't accept anything from me his reply was he doesn't believe anything from me. If tried to understand his condition and be supportive but after years of being told I'm not a good wife and I don't satisfy him I feel beat down and it's hard to be happy and smile when I know somewhere in my day I will be told I'm doing or have done something wrong. The final straw was yesterday when we had from grocery shopping and I remembered we needed some things and to run back to the store. I was accused of meeting someone at the store to cheat. Then he practically calls me and our children the devil saying someone had been texting him telling him to keep an eye around his house and his grandmother told him the the devil is using someone close to him to bring him down. Sorry I had to get that out I don't have anyone to talk to but I said all that to say this. Day 3 has really blessed me because I was giving up but I know I have to keep smiling and keep praying for my husband God is going to heal him and my broken heart too. Thank you
    1. Tamia, I'm so sorry to hear you are struggling so much in your marriage. It breaks my heart for you. I have an article here on Anger and Emotional Abuse in Marriage: http://avirtuouswoman.org/2013/03/06/help-for-anger-emotional-abuse-marriage/ I believe you'll find some helpful resources there. If you have any questions or other thoughts, please let me know. God bless you!
  6. Thank you SOOO MUCH for all these inspirational words! I truly am so motivated to try harder in life and be the women I should be!! God bless you!! Keep posting amazing devotions and ideas!
  7. Hey Melissa, This mornings reading was just what I needed to hear! Thanks for the inspiration to start my day off on the right foot in my home. On a side note, I'm currently reading Elizabeth George's A Woman's Walk with God. I absolutely love her writing and she is so encouraging. I will have to check out her other book that you mentioned in this blog when I finish up the one that I'm currently reading. Thanks for the suggestion! Blessings, Meagan
  8. Hi! Just wanted to say that your website has been a real blessing, and this article is especially spot-on! Attitude in the morning makes such a difference and it is encouraging to see that others have also been there and realised the importance of guarding your heart in the morning. I have a 5 month old baby and so waking up before her doesn't usually happen, but when she wakes me up at 6 in the morning and I come downstairs and have some time with God while she is happy to be in her baby walker, it's been the best way to start a day. Yay!
  9. I have been feeling down lately and struggling a little. I prayed that God would lead me in the direction I needed to go to just help me through this valley. I stumbled upon a link to your website on Pintrest! It has been an answer to my prayers. Thank you for following God's plan for your life and thank you for sharing.
  10. I am enjoying your devotional. I was just wondering if you had any suggestions for a podcast devotional for girls. My girls are 8 & 10. Thanks!
  11. As a young woman who is recently engaged, I find this devotional to be a great motivation and guide. Right now, my fiance and I are planning to commit our lives to one another before our friends, family and God, and things get hectic. We both work full time (or overtime), and making time for Christ and our Heavenly Father is difficult. Thank you for your creation; what an inspiration. I am very excited to join the spiritual world of wives! This devotional has only increased my joy!
  12. Hey there I stumbled (or should I say) God led me to this devotional on pinterest Sunday night. I definitely needed day 3 to lift up my spirits. Thank you for all you do. I'm bookmarking your website and recommending it to my friends. Thank you! God bless!
  13. Thank you so much for the work you put into this devotion! I have been feeling like I'm in an endless spiral of chaos! My mornings have started filling me with joy! My struggle is finding joy when it feels like nothing is going right... And I had started by reading Proverbs 31 in my bible and felt how could I ever achieve anything remotely close... I know I have just found and started this but thank you... My home is becoming a happy one slowly and hopefully permanently!
  14. I loved reading this - had to share my ah-ha moment. I don't come into counter with anyone most days... or so I think... I am the one my infant and toddler spend all day everyday with. I am the first person my older children see before they head off on their adventures. I could wake up in time to send my husband off with a smile. I have the power to show joy and kindness to my family so that they can spread that to those they meet. Thank you for opening my eyes.
  15. Thank you for your ministry and this Calm to Chaos devotional. It comes at the same time as a commitment to rise earlier - am actually doing a Making Better Mornings series beginning the same time! Today's devotional is especially stirring for me. The last many years have been especially difficult with my husband. We will hit 20 years in a week or two. I do wake my children cheerfully! Every day. I greet my husband cheerfully. I don't always do things right or in his eyes, the way he would do them and I hear about it, a lot. There was a circumstance many years ago when I should have made him leave - he is so arrogant and powerful I figured he would find a way to make me leave instead and I was afraid to try and won't leave my children. I figure divorcing him would only leave him more time unsupervised with our kids. My youngest will be a freshman in high school this fall so I look to evaluate the situation in these next years. She has battled depression this last year. The other circumstance was my middle child and he battled it also, more severely and at the hands of my husband. My husband now turns on me even more. I feel mentally beaten, berated and low. He calls me a lazy a.., taunts me and within 5 minutes of arriving home each day, finds something to complain about, assuming kids have done nothing all day, especially my daughter which isn't true. He drinks, many times at work before coming home and now that the kids are older he tries to hide it. I can always tell though. The highs and lows are evident. He is an extremely hard worker and good provider. I yield to him, submit to him but I feel after so many years he takes advantage of that stance. I just dropped him at the airport this morning and it's ok for him to upgrade a seat but if I did that without getting permission, I would be wasting our money and he would be mad. Just an example. Funny thing is, he is very tall and wants to work the whole time so I don't even begrudge him that. But it is just the principle for the example. I will be cheerful and more mindful of it. I don't want to rip my family apart but if there is no work to change on his part, I will not live the rest of my life walking on egg shells. I am 53 years old and still have some life to live once my youngest is off to college. My bad for stuffing feelings and avoiding conflict. I am also reading Jesus Calling where I am remembering more often to thank God for tribulations, as it brings God to mind more often in the day. This is beginning to make a difference for me. I'm sorry for babbling. I will be more mindful next time.
    1. My heart goes out to you!! I want to encourage you to read: Boundaries in Marriage - http://amzn.to/1L8r4qz Also, please read this article I wrote on Emotional Abuse: http://avirtuouswoman.org/help-for-anger-emotional-abuse-marriage/ - There are several resources listed at the end that you can read as well. And here's an article I wrote about Biblical Grounds for Divorce: http://avirtuouswoman.org/biblical-grounds-for-divorce/ I'll be praying for you! Let me know how to challenge goes and how you're doing. God bless you!
  16. Thanks for blessings even in disguise. Just having a family is a huge blessing! Thanks for the word and motivation for today and tomorrow if tomorrow awaits. I will be continuing to reach my goals and challenges as I go each day. I'm not a morning person and not a first thing in the morning eater. ....coffeee only lol. However, this neglects my husband and daughter and I have experienced the right side of this and it is better feels better etc I'm just not in routine or habit so as I pray for everyone with your struggles please pray for mine. God is no respector of persons. Amen
  17. Melissa, thank you for the message of your podcast for Day 3 "A Cheerful Disposition". It gave me peace as I am dealing with tremendous stress at work, so much so that I was beginning to experience physical symptoms. I am truly blessed with an amazingly happy and loving home. My amazingly kind and loving husband heard about my horrible day at work yesterday and changed all our plans on the spur of the moment to take me to our favorite restaurant and then out walking at our favorite lake. And my godly parents provided me with practice advice and godly counsel on how to deal with the situation at work. Now, this morning while working, I listened to your podcast and it was the cherry on top, sort to speak. I am feeling at peace now and no matter how stressful work will get, I will choose to have a cheerful disposition and continue to trust in the Lord. Thank you for allowing the Lord to you use and your experiences to share encouragement with others.
  18. On day 2 &3 I woke up at 5 am. My 7 month old usually wakes around 6-6:30 so I was trying to wake before him. I was so tired yesterday throughout the entire day I regretted waking so early. I'm also battling some sort of cold with the rest of my family that started yesterday. I feel like I'm defeating the purpose of waking early because I'm tired, cranky, irrtiable. Any advice, tips? I woke up at my normal time of 6 today with the kids and I feel way more patient and cheerful.
    1. Magan, this is such a great question! I began the first video {I think} with a word about whether or not you should try to wake up earlier. God understands the season you are in. You can still have your devotion time - just do it with your little ones at your feet. You might even include them in your worship time. I'll try to address this question on the next video. God is good and His grace abounds!
  19. Truly inspirational! I believe in God's timing he has led me to this place, to be apart of this journey and I continue to blessed daily. May God continue to bless you and yours as he enlarges you territory.
  20. I woke my children up by singing "Good morning, good morning, good morning. It's time to rise and shine. Good morning, good morning, good morning. I hope you're feeling fine. Get up, get up, get out of bed. Get up, get up, you sleepy head. Doodly-do." (From the album "Bullfrogs and Butterflies) They would moan, throw the pillow over their heads, yell "Mom, go away," which only made me sing louder. A couple of years ago, when visiting my son's home. I went in to wake my granddaughter, I started singing that same song. She smiled and said, "My daddy sings that to me." Not only was this a fun way to start the day with a smile, it also became a tradition.
    1. I love this, Susan! I sing a different {but similar} song to my girls when I wake them up. I think that's so sweet that you son now sings the song to his daughter - what a sweet, sweet legacy!
  21. day 3 its all about choices. choose your perspective on how you look at situations. I needed the refresher to take whatever it is bothering me to the Lord in prayer (set it aside) but choose to have a cheerful disposition with my family,
  22. What a powerful reminder for me this morning. I have been feeling overwhelmed as a mom these days and sometimes I wake up feeling a burden of what the day will bring and not feeling cheerful at all. My kids and husband deserve my best even when I don't feel like smiling, but I know I can do it with the Lord's help. THank you for this devotion series. I know the Lord meant for me to be a part of this, it seems like each day was written just to speak to me! Thank you, Melissa!
    1. That blesses my heart to hear you say that. I'm so glad you've been blessed! God is good - He knows just what we need. Goodness knows I needed today's post {Be an Encouragement} because yesterday was stressful! :)
  23. Melissa, I found your blog only a short time ago but it has already blessed my life in more ways then you could possibly know. I am a stay at home , homeschool mom of our 3 little children and so many days I don't have any adult interaction. I hunger for a sister in Christ to walk beside. I have added your messages as part of my morning quiet time ( early morning quiet time which you encouraged and YES , it is such a blessing to rise early) . I read my Bible, then listen to your podcasts and pray and afterwards truely feel like I have just visited with a friend. So thank you for putting this together!
  24. You should be careful telling someone they have no business being depressed all the time. Based on my reading, i don’t think you were referring to clinical depression, but a clinically depressed woman might still read that statement and feel like she is doing something wrong even though depression is an illness over which some people have little control. Mental health problems are becoming more accepted and talked about. But there’s still stigma. Don’t add to it, unintentionally or not.
    1. Hi Ashley, I agree that true depression isn't something people can control. However, lots of people have a "woe is me" attitude that really is a heart issue and not a mental health issue. Thanks for the reminder though!

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