Are You Contagious?

9:08 AMHeather

Back in my glory days of high school (which may be an overstatement), I rocked it on the drill team. I was proud to strut on the football field every Friday night as part of the LHS Flames, high kicking and all to cheer on the Battlin' Badgers. The year I joined the drill team, the team more than doubled in size, we got new uniforms, and we had some new tricks up our sleeve. One of our favorite ways to use up an eight count or two was to do the infamous contagion. It seemed no matter the move, when we allowed it to ripple down the drill team line, it was a crowd pleaser. I think our most impressive contagion was the time our arms were hooked on each other's shoulders, and beginning at one end of the line, the girl jumped up and then landed in splits. As the move rippled down the line, the crowd went wild.

I've been challenged throughout my mothering with the fact that being a mom is being a contagion. My attitude and mood set the tone of my home. I recently read an interview with Kyra Sedgewick while sitting at the doctor's office, and she commented how the mother is the emotional center of the home. This echoes the point the preacher made during our wedding that the wife is the heart of the home. I've seen it a million times--when I am grumpy or not at my best, the children follow suit. When I am upbeat and positive and gentle, the children will follow my lead.

Somehow, I feel like the Israelites who kept ignoring God's commands. I KNOW I am called to set a positive, peaceful, gentle and patient tone in my home. Yet, I get in my own way. Over and over. I feel like Paul in Romans 7:15: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. I know I have got to get my game on, and keep my game on. And, I've come to realize that getting my game on means that I need to do several things. I need to get good rest and sleep each night. I need to be in the Word daily. I need to pray continually--responding to stressors with prayer. And, I need to keep enough margins in our family's schedule that we aren't adding unnecessary stress.

INTENTIONAL challenge: My oldest was home sick on Monday, and we are on day two of snow days. The middle child is now running fever, so tomorrow looks like another day of hunkering down and staying in. With all these unusual limitations, I am once again challenged to be contagious--in a good way. What particular steps do you need to take for yourself to help you be on your game? What pitfalls do you need to avoid? What will you do today to start a contagion--and not of the jumping-into-splits variety?

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