Sunny Side Up

by Shelley Noonan

Some children are naturally “sunny,” like Sunny John in Beautiful Girlhood and some children must work a little harder to be sunny. They have to purposefully learn to keep their sunny side up rather than buried beneath layers of grumpiness and complaints.

If you are the mother of a less-than-sunny little girl, you might wonder what went wrong. You might even wonder what you did to create this unsunny child.

While it might be possible you need to check your own disposition, you must not forget that a cheerful face is a direct result of a cheerful heart and a truly cheerful heart can only be found in the saving grace of Christ Jesus. And even then, we must cultivate the fruits of the Spirit in our lives lest our natural sinful selves try to take root once again. So, while we might have one child who seems to find the silver lining in every rain cloud and one child who seems to be the rain cloud, we must not give up hope and we must not give up training and discipling both children. {Galatians 5:16-26}

Here are some practical tips for cultivating cheerfulness in your daughters:

*Catch them being cheerful! It is so easy to catch a child being grouchy, but how much more impressive to their spirits is catching them being cheery? Tell them you enjoy their smiles and good nature. Don’t tack on any hint of reprimand for the times when they are not cheery. Revel in their sunny disposition right this very moment.

*Smile at them…a lot! Smiles are contagious. Give them out generously!

*Listen closely. Is your daughter finding it difficult to be cheerful because she feels misunderstood or unsure of herself or weary and irritated? Truly listen to her concerns and help her sort out the emotions that are holding her back from a joyful heart. You might be surprised at what you learn!

*Teach thankfulness. It is very difficult to be a sullen person when you are a thankful person. Have you daughter start a Thankfulness Journal and teach her the heart-art of gratitude.

*Pray for her. Hold her up in prayer to the only One Who can truly change hearts.

Mothers, do not despair! You are making strides in the right direction by spending this precious time going through this study with your daughter. She is learning what it means to be truly beautiful and someday a lovely young woman will emerge…sunny side up.

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Amy of http://RaisingArrows.net is the homeschooling mother of 6 living children and one precious little girl named Emily being held in the Lord’s arms. Her days are filled with giggly girls, rambunctious boys and sticky baby kisses. At night, she writes about it all. Amy is the author of Psalms for the Grieving Heart,a 30 day devotional ebook for those who grieve. It is her deepest desire that out of the overflow of her heart, her mouth should speak…and her fingers type.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Shelley Noonan November 3, 2011 at 11:42 am

Hello Michelle,
Mindful thankfulness… I like that phrase. Thank you for stopping by and reading this post by Amy!

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Melissa Culver November 3, 2011 at 11:41 am

Lovely. Well said. Perfect. Thank you.

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Michelle @ Changed By The Maker November 3, 2011 at 9:26 am

Thank you, Amy. I don’t have any daughters (2 sons), but I’ve struggled myself with a less than sunny disposition — always the glass half empty! I believe the Lord has made some strides, however, and an attitude of being mindfully thankful has truly helped. Thankfully, at this late stage, I can at least SEE when I need an injection of thankfulness. I used to just believe this is how God made me — that was an error on my part. I have one son whose disposition is similar to mine, but he is only 6, so there is time, and these ideas are helpful. Very nice post. I enjoyed it.

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