I just got home from a family spring break vacation. We spent two weeks in Galveston, Texas and enjoyed daily beach walks, sightseeing, and oh, so much ice cream! (It’s my favourite treat; I used to eat ice cream every single day.) We’ve found that vacations have a special kind of family bonding. Because my husband Wade and I are both self-employed, sometimes it feels like one of us is always working (usually me. Teaching online can be 24/7 if I let it!) and so taking time to get away is a great way to regroup and relax in a way we don’t at home.

I have noticed that there is also a kind of stress that can accompany new experiences. Fear of things going wrong, the discomfort of being out of the comfort zone, the cost of everything and the countdown of days left before we return to normal life can make a person feel like even a vacation is a source of anxiety. Thinking about this during our trip reminded me why I believe so firmly in choosing a positive approach in every circumstance. As a mom, I’ve learned that my children’s response to my instruction can vary dramatically based on the wording I use:

Option 1: “Your room is a mess! Why can’t you be responsible for your own stuff? You’re not doing anything else until your room is clean.”
Option 2: “You know, when you clean your room, it’s much more comfortable, and easier to find your things. Why don’t we work on that right now?”

I have the same heart as my children do, and it’s one that responds best to positive thought and instruction. I give very little real estate to negativity and work hard to frame my conversation in positive directions whether I’m talking about my art, dealing with people and or in my own internal self-talk.

Positive people are attractive; people you enjoy being with. There’s a Bible verse that talks about lasting beauty; the inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. (1 Peter 3:4) I don’t think it takes a certain kind of personality to be gentle, or the kind of quiet described here, which I think of as being like quiet waters. It’s a peace that ages well and fits beautifully on anyone.