I quite honestly can say that I don’t always know the answer to this. Sometimes I forget to make time to find out. Tonight I got that reminder when I read a Proverbs 31 Devotions blog (http://www.proverbs31.org/devotions/turning-bad-days-good-days-2012-11/) that had some great tips on how to teach the kids to look for blessings and how I can learn more about each of them. I love the idea of ending the day on a positive note each night and learning more about my boys. It might even bring in the lesson that we are all view things differently and why it is important to respect that each other for it.
Here are a few ideas to try…
~Make a Good Night Blessings Journal~
When it’s time to tuck your kids in at night, ask them to tell you one good thing about their day and write it in their journals. This ends their day on a positive note and gets them in the habit of praising the Lord too.
~Create a Blessings Chain~
Cut up strips of construction paper, write down your blessings and praises on the strips and staple them together to form a chain. Place your Blessings Chain somewhere in your home you’ll see it often. It’s a great conversation piece, and provides the opportunity to share God’s goodness with company.
~Design a Blessings Box~
I keep a Blessing Box in the middle of my kitchen table. Inside are strips of colored paper and a pen. Throughout the year, my son and I write down things we’re grateful for and place them inside the box. Together, we read the strips in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.
For the past month many of you have been sharing what you are thankful for each day. I really have enjoyed seeing how each person is unique in their own way. For some, thankfulness is simple, for other much more complex. There is so many ways to be thankful. Thankful for family, friends, community, simple daily tasks, things going the way we had hoped, not being angry or frustrated. I think all of those are perfect reasons to be thankful. I am fortunate to be allowed to see and read each of your posts.
I have found over the past 3 years a change in how I view thankful.
After Clara died I wanted to remind everyone to not take for granted their kids, spouse, family, and friends. My innocence was lost, I know a child can die. I know the pain. It upset me when others complained about how their kids behaved or the stress they caused. I used to be angry and jealous because I would give anything for those sleepless nights, crying and whinny kids, and all the unpleasant things that happen in our day to day child raising years. Why can’t people just be thankful for what they have? I failed to realize that they are thankful, even though the idea shared didn’t appear that way.
Today I realize we are all human.
We need to be able to “vent”. Does that mean we aren’t thankful??? Absolutely not! Should I be upset with someone who “vents”?? Nope. I am thankful that is the worst they have to endure today. It can always be worse. I am thankful they might still have a bit of innocence in them. I am thankful that today they still have a story to share. I am thankful their kids are still with them. I am thankful they are here with us today. I might complain about my 3 hours of sleep, but maybe saying that helps me let the small stuff roll off my back so I can deal with something more stressful. You might complain about how badly you hate your job but that you are at least thankful to be working. Do I think that is wrong…nope, we are not going to love everything about our day but you are taking the time to find something positive in something that seems less than positive. You are “turning that frown upside down” as my boys would say it. I don’t know what is going on in each of your lives and I honestly have no way, nor is it my job, to decide what is complaining too much or what is not thankful enough.
Same goes for thankfulness sharing.
I don’t want to judge based on what I would be thankful for verses what you are thankful for. I might giggle at your thought but that is because I am happy that you take the time to share something with the rest of us. I am thankful I get to read something you have shared. There is no guarantee I will get to read your post tomorrow so I am thankful to get to learn more about you today. I think many of us forget that each of our lives is so different. No two people experience the same things throughout life. No two people will share the same thankfulness ideas. I won’t share the same thankful ideas that a 20 year old will (my dating and partying days are long behind me) and I wouldn’t expect to share the same as someone the same age or even older. I am unique and so are you. That is what makes what you share so interesting to read.
So what should you be thankful for?
I don’t know, only you do. Only you know how thankful you really are. Only you know why it is so important to share. I am just thankful to read about you another day 🙂
Today I am thankful for not burning down the house.
Somehow when I made supper the last night a “simmer” burner got left on. No one noticed it until I went to make lunch and I moved a pan to reveal a little blue flame. oops! I am very thankful nothing accidentally was placed on the stove.
I am also thankful I got to treat the boys for setting and exceeding their October school goals.
We are trying to teach Damon and Mason the importance of setting goals. Last month we sat down with them and together we came up with some goals to challenge them. I am pleased to report that both boy successfully met and exceeded them. This month we have set another few goals and this time they are a bit more challenging. They really enjoyed sharing ice cream with us and we are thankful to be able to share it with them.
It’s November and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
After spending 31 days sharing my grief, I can’t think of a better way to spend November but by sharing 30 things I am thankful for.
Society teaches us to focus on all the negative and sadly I am often guilty as well.
I remember after Clara passed away the one thing that got me through each day was to focus on something good that happened that day. Small things like something my boys said or that more loads of laundry were done than were left undone. I sometimes forget to do that now.
So I want you to all know, yes I am thankful for my God. Thankful for my friends and family. Thankful to have my kids and husband each day. That said, this month I want to focus on what happened on each particular day and why I am thankful for it. Sometimes my “thankfulness” may sound silly to you, but to me there is some reason I feel blessed. I will try to explain why it each was such a good thing 🙂
Now to play catch-up from twitter and facebook…
Day #1: 30 Days of
#Thankfulness: Nov 1 ~Encouraging MRI results for Lincoln, his quick wake-up from sedation, & our safe trip to/from Sioux Falls.
I will just leave a link to his caringbridge. I think that will explain why. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lincolnortman/journal (Read Results are Early)
Day #2: 30 Days of #Thankfulness: Nov 2 ~I am thankful for a little place called Shopko Optical where they will replace kids glasses, free of charge, for one year. They will even pull the only matching frame off their shelf and send you home with a them on the spot, even when it is twice in a single week! That is amazing customer service and leaves me one thankful mom.
Let’s just say Lincoln broke his glasses on Tuesday night and they sent us home with a brand new pair right off their shelf. Today he broke them again and when I called they offered to do the same. When I asked if there was anything I could do to help offset the cost, they said not to worry. This puts the total new pairs to 2, new glasses sides to 2, new nosepads to 6 all since July 2012!!! I am so thankful not to have to spend $70+ each time they break.