Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

What To Do When Your Attitude Stinks


What to do when your attitude stinks.

When I read about gladness and joy in the Bible, some days I gulp hard because that is so “not me.” I’ve read that life is 90% attitude. I’ve written and spoken on the importance of choosing joy, but all that went out the window for a few hours last Saturday.

We were going to the beach, but I was NOT a happy camper. That just goes to show how much I need Jesus since I’m blessed to live on Turkey’s lovely Aegean coast.

“We’re leaving at 9:30 a.m.?” I asked my husband.

“That’s way too early for Turks.” I was miffed at the departure time and at the destination for our church outing. How were we going to find Ekmeksiz Beach? The person who recommended it wouldn’t be coming.

When we got to church, no one was there. By 10:00, fellow leaders Alex and Liz showed up with their kids and two foreign single girls. Not another soul in sight.

We left at 10:45.

Two hours later we were still driving along a strip of unknown coast. We gave up on finding Ekmeksiz Beach. Everyone was hungry. By this time we’d go for anything.

We pulled up to a lonely beach. When we got out of the car, an expanse of dead grass and stickers stretched between us and the shore, which was full of rocks and dirt instead of sand. The place had one bright spot: a rustic patio with a grape vine covering overhead for shade. I sat down and tried not to think of all the beautiful beaches we could have gone to.

The men set up the barbecue, and an hour later we were laughing at the table. I enjoyed grilled chicken, vegetables, and delicious apricots. I felt the ocean breeze, and for the first time I noticed green trees ripe with purple berries surrounding the patio.

Maybe this was a beautiful place after all.

An hour later, we jumped into the water from a dock and laughed at how cold it was. Walking along the shore, I marveled. Hours before, I’d only seen dried grass, stickers, and dirt. Now I could see trees, water, and the surrounding coastline. All of that beauty had been there when I’d gotten out of the car, but I’d missed it.

How much beauty do I miss in life because of a rotten attitude?

Do you have days when you can’t see the flowers for the thorns?

How about trying these attitude lifters?

attitude I will give thanks to you

Look for Beauty

It’s all around us: in the faces of our children, in the taste of a summer peach, or in the satisfaction of a job well done.  God sends so much beauty our way, but we miss it for looking at the dirt. Our beautiful God’s hand is all over our lives. He guides and blesses in a thousand little ways.

Give Thanks

When you see God at work, whether it’s in the beauty of a flower or the smile of a friend, thank Him for it.

Praise His Name.

Nothing changes my stinking attitudes quicker than a conscious choice to offer God praise for His goodness and love to me. When I worship, I feel like I’m speaking God’s love language, and He draws me closer. I can see His beauty.

Even our worst days become a wee bit more joyful when we make an effort to look for beauty, give thanks, and praise our Awesome God.

Now it’s your turn.  Where do you see beauty in your life today?

I love linking with these communities: Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesdayKelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory, and Suzie Eller’s #LiveFree Thursday. Check them our for more encouragement.

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Photo Credit: Melika


Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

39 thoughts on “What To Do When Your Attitude Stinks

  1. After I read this post, and before I could begin writing my response, I had to let the searing pain that is my constant companion subside. (It’s like being shot in the back…and I have been…while having a heart attack, and cuts across the diaphragm like a chainsaw.)

    It’s a bit past midnight on a warm high desert night, and I noticed the cool breeze from the fan in the window, and I can hear…faintly, to be sure…crickets outside.

    A few weeks ago, I would have said there is beauty in overcoming pain. But I’m smarter now. Or something.

    You don’t overcome this; you just don’t, and if you’re going to find beauty, or even something so basic as a reason to go on, you’ve got to take the small delights, and appreciate them.

    You’ve got to do what you can in the face of something that wants to prevent you doing anything, and take each accomplishment as…not a victory, but something precious, a moment when you pulled life from ashes.

    There is beauty in the small places, the ordinary, the mundane. there is beauty in the leftovers, and there is beauty in the wreckage.

    Because the wreckage is just the starting point for small resurrections, and homely miracles.

    • I admire you for this, Andrew: “There is beauty in the small places, the ordinary, the mundane. there is beauty in the leftovers, and there is beauty in the wreckage.
      Because the wreckage is just the starting point for small resurrections, and homely miracles.”

      Praying for you again now.

  2. Betsy,
    Good morning! I have had chronic foot pain as my long-time companion and I admit that it has really affected my attitude. I find that my attitude goes to “Stinks” more quickly than it used to. I find that when my attitude is really stinking, that most likely I am not trusting God with something I need to let go of. With that being said, I am trying to leave my foot with the Lord and instead enjoy the beautiful yellow finch that just landed on my radiant hibiscus plant. Only our God could come up with that array of colors. If He can do that…He can certainly take care of me. Thanks for the encouraging words!

    • Beautiful yellow finch on a hibiscus! Lovely, Bev. May the Lord give you grace, physical healing, and encouragement for those “stinky attitude” days. I’ve dealt with chronic pain before, and it can really get you down. Grace for Bev, Lord!

  3. What a wonderful reminder – the beauty is right there around us, if we’ll only open our eyes to it. Why is it so easy to get frustrated and discouraged and miss it all?

  4. My attitude has been terrible this week. Just ugly. My goal today will be to look for the beauty that surrounds me. An intentional act of refocusing. Thank you!

  5. A few weeks ago, my father and I were driving out of the town we live in. We saw to deer and slowed down. The mama deer and her baby stood on the side of the road as we passed by. My dad could have reached out the window and touched them. It was such a beautiful thing to see. Yes Gods beautiful creation is all around us. Thank you my friend.

  6. I had a bad attitude about having to drive our boys to Dallas to attended their citizenship ceremony, but I was so humbled when I got there, it was amazing. God is so good to show the beauty even when we aren’t looking for it and don’t always deserve to see it! Thank you for your words! #raralinkup

  7. I love how you found beauty right in the middle of a rotten attitude. I know God worked hard on you that day to teach you that He is right there with you if you would take the time to find Him. I have been in the same place as you many times and it seems to show up when there is a family function because some family members are known to be notoriously late and this seems to dampen my mood. Thank you for showing us how to find beauty in the midst of a seemingly ugly moment. Blessings to you this week!

    • You hit the nail on the head, Mary! God was probably working hard on me. He has to work overtime on me, that’s for sure, but He loves me too much to leave me the way I am.

  8. Love your question about how much beauty do I miss because I have a rotten attitude? It’s a question I have to ask myself more than I would like to admit. Thanks for reminding me that having a bad attitude won’t change the circumstances…but changing my attitude may change what I find in the circumstances. Happy Tuesday! xoxo

  9. Thanks for talking about attitude, Betsy! In high school I used to sport an ‘I LOVE MY ATTITUDE PROBLEM’ t-shirt. Gee, I thought I was so cool.

    We may not wear the t-shirts these days, but deep inside we often treasure that prideful, self-sufficient bent. God help us to deeply desire HIS attitude, HIS heart, HIS perspective.

    Thanks for this eye-opener today, friend! Blessings on ya’ as you move through the day …

    • That is so funny about that t-shirt, Linda! Your are right! We may not wear the t-shirt, but our words, thoughts, and actions go deeper than any piece of clothing

  10. Okay, Betsy, you’ve really got me thinking. My today looks like piles of paperwork spread out across a messy floor in my “Blessing Room.” Not exactly how I would like to begin my day. But as I read through your post, I started looking at what that paperwork represented–income, ability to pay our bills, a mind that allows me to handle it myself without having to pay someone else to do it. Even just being able to spread it out and leave it overnight to finish this project today is an incredible blessing. The right attitude–the right focus–makes all the difference. For the beauty is always there if we look for it…for God is right here with us. Thanks, Betsy. You’ve made my day start with a joyful spirit.

    • You’re welcome, Sabra. May the Lord help you with all that paperwork in your blessing room today. I hope things go even better than you expect. Joy to you, sister.

  11. I can so relate, Betsy: so often a negative attitude prevents me from seeing and enjoying what’s right there in front of me. Today it’s raining (AGAIN) and I was trying to get my son to school quickly so he wouldn’t be totally soaked before getting there. But he had to stop and look at everything. And as we walked I saw how lush and beautiful everything looked: flowering rose bushes, peonies, and thick green grass. There is so much beauty there to be seen and enjoyed.

  12. Oh Betsy- Thank you. I’ve been there so many times… missing out on the blessings because of a rotten attitude. Thanks for this story that reminds me that beauty and joy are always within my reach if only I let go of my pride and stubborn expectations. You gripped my with your story from the beginning and moved me with your words. Thanks for sharing your heart here.

  13. Wow, I really needed this one. Every morning I write three entries in my gratitude journal, but there are days when I just stand there and can’t think of a thing to be thankful for — just like you I’m focused on the stickers and the dirt, when the whole OCEAN of God’s grace stretches out before me. As usual, I am blessed by your words.

  14. Oh, the giving thanks.

    Every time I find myself feeling that sinking attitude that so desperately needs adjustment, I try to find a blessing. Just one. And it makes such a difference every time.

  15. Betsy, how much do I love the simplicity and the strength of this post… glad to know I’ve not been the only one to allow my unruly insides to blind me to the evidence of His greatness on the outside. And He’s so gracious, He waits until we realize we need to see with His eyes, no matter the circumstance!
    Always enjoy visiting your blog, friend! Glad I stopped in at the #TellHisStory linkup today 😀

  16. How much beauty do I miss because of my rotten attitude? Hmmm…a lot! Whoops. Sorry, God. Sorry, family. You compel my heart to think more about seeing what God has verses seeing what I don’t. Thank you sweet Betsy. You are always a joy to read. Cheering you on from the #RaRalinkup with Purposeful Faith.

  17. I give thanks with “ALL” of my heart. Yes, ma’am. That’s a message I’ll soak in today. ❤ I appreciate you.

  18. “All of the beauty had been there…” Betsy, those words sing. They stopped me in my tracks. What am I missing simply because I’m choosing not to look? That’s a thought to ponder much today. Thank you, dear friend. Loved your ocean trip, btw. Took me back to our years along the ocean. So thankful you were able to enjoy it’s beauty and the rich company of others. Praise God.

  19. Isn’t it wonderful when we can find the beauty in all the broken and crazy pieces of our life. I love your story and that you have redemption at the end of that crazy ride. Life is alot like that trip you took, so many bumps and late starts and missed destinations, but what a beautiful thing when we can still see His glory. 🙂

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