Muscle. Memory. These two words are constantly coming out of my mouth, not only in our daily athletic performance, but schoolwork and general approach to life. I’m trying to raise my children with the idea that everything they do in life should always be approached as if it were game day, because doing something half way will only help you be half as good at it.

This is of particular irritation of my oldest. She is a pessimist by nature and has an uncanny ability to find something wrong with ANYTHING and EVERYTHING (I blame watching hours of Chopped when she was little). She also gets in her own way. A lot. This negative attitude toward work, life, even simple tasks like going to the bathroom is practiced daily.

The other day she was writing a sentence and put ‘Uh’ at the end of just about every word. It looked like this:

I wantuh to get someuh lunchuh!

Now read that in a whiney voice.

Yes. She was sounding out her words, but the voice in her head is so used to whining that it came out in her spelling.

Muscle. Memory.

Being positive can be practiced and formed into a habit just as negativity can. The words we tell ourselves have a great power over our thoughts and our thoughts have great power over our actions. In marriage counseling, (Yes, I’ve been there. Twice.) you do this exercise where you look at your spouse and find something positive. You can list 10,000 negative things at the drop of a hat, but finding one positive is tricky because that negative voice is always there. That’s the muscle memory.

It can sabotage you or it can make you great.

I want my kids to be great. I want to be great. I struggle everyday with keeping my thoughts positive and it starts to crumble around lunchtime. Earlier if I haven’t had any coffee.

My friend shared Ephesians 4:29 with me this week, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” It was another little whisper from God. Muscle. Memory.

We are what we practice, so let’s practice being great. Let’s practice being kind. Let’s practice being positive. Tell those negative voices to take a hike so we can get out of our own way and find joy. And if you are wondering, it works. The words we say have power and are remembered. Just today, in the car, my daughter chastised me for thinking about too many things at once (mom syndrome). She told me just think about one thing at a time, it’s great muscle memory and you won’t forget a thing.

My little pain in the elephant.

Casey Hitchcock

Casey Hitchcock is a homeschool mom of three, military wife, lover of pancakes and lifting heavy. In 2013 she created to support all births and help encourage mothers to listen to their own voice and find confidence in themselves. You can often find her behind her camera lens or locked in her bathroom trying to find a shred of sanity.