How to Change Your Attitude Away from Military Bitterness

When God gives you a gift you can either take it or be bitter about it. How I changed my attitude toward military bitterness.

In May, my husband found out that he was moving to a new job. Luckily, we didn’t have to move. For some reason when he came home and told me about the new job I was very unsettled. I had a little bit of anger and frustration. The start of my military bitterness.  I was unsure why it bothered me he was moving to a new job. At the time, I thought it would have little to no effect on my life, but boy I was wrong. Maybe my inner gut knew what was coming.

In military life there are good days and bad ones. And when the bad ones come to close together it can lead to military bitterness. Here is how I overcame my creep towards military bitterness.

He started his new job and began working crazy hours. Instead of being home between 5:30 and 6, with an occasional long day somewhere in the mix. The new norm was 6:30 to 7:30. And at first I was bitter. Really bitter. I had found a bright spot that I could start dinner whenever because I knew he would always be late, but this new advantage wore off within a few weeks when the long hours took their toll. The military has a way of making it so that even if you have nothing on your plate at 3, by 5 there is this one thing that has to be done. So, even on days he was less busy and thought he might make it home “on time” he would be late.

I began to have a case of military bitterness.

Finally, and I really do mean finally. Because it took me a few months to figure this out. I started to realize I could now do activities in the afternoon. Before the time between nap time and dinner prep wasn’t long enough for social interaction or playdates at the park. But then one day I texted a friend and asked if she wanted to hang out. She said yes and we had a great afternoon and time flew by. It was so successful we decided to do it again the following week and now for the foreseeable future.

I have been praying God to find a way that I can spend more time with my friends. I know that the countdown clock on our time in LA is quickly coming to close and soon it will be time to pack up our things and say good bye. And now I have that gift. As with most things when God answers your prayers it isn’t always like you plan. I mean, I would have preferred a longer assignment in LA, but that isn’t the answer I received.

The Gift of Time

Now I see God has given me what I was asking for. More time with friends. And more importantly, more time for my kids to spend with their friends.

A friend of mine moved away a year ago. And she had the gift of hospitality. She was the person who invited everyone over for playdates. When she left there was a void. We were all waiting for someone to pull us all back together and I know God was nudging me to step up.

But I had felt content and I was so busy. Those were the excuses I had clung to.  How could I open my house?

And now in the matter of weeks, I’m learning that putting my head in the sand and pretending I’m fine attitude has caused me to miss so much. So much time with friends. And God is breaking down my excuses and leaving me with only one option. Opening my closed doors and letting people into my mess and small space, which after finally opening my doors I found out it really isn’t that small or that messy.

Opening my doors

And yesterday after opening my doors, I realized how much of a gift I have been given. I won’t lie, it was a little stressful. I had to let go of the mess being made and watch the joy on the kids’ faces instead. And as our time wound down and it was time to go the dishes got put away and the toys found their boxes. And as tired as I was I also felt so full.  

I was always stressed about getting home and making dinner I just didn’t go out or let people in. Now, I have freedom to meet up with friends and spend some quality time together and be a blessing. Witching hour is not for the faint of heart.

I guess I could be holding on to my military bitterness instead of seeing the beautiful gift right in front of me, but somehow, I know I’ve made the better choice. 

I can’t wait to see what happens.

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7 comments on “How to Change Your Attitude Away from Military Bitterness

  1. I can so relate! “Now I see God has given me what I was asking for. More time with friends. And more importantly, more time for my kids to spend with their friends.” and I can see this being an amazing gift!

  2. God’s so smart, isn’t He? He gives us so much grace when we have not yet gotten a better picture of what He is doing! So glad you got rid of the bitterness and are now seeing things as a gift!

  3. More like see past the bitterness. I could have stayed stuck, but I think this is the better choice. It still is hard though it is getting better. The more time I spend with friends the better it is.

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