I don’t know if there is a single thing on earth that can be as joyful or as heartbreaking as parenting. The highs are fantastical… the lows are unbearable. And sometimes, the moments between these fleeting emotions and circumstances can only be a few moments.
I have literally been in mid thought– “Wow. Enjoy this moment. This day. Things are going pretty well! Be grateful…”
And within moments I’ve been humbled, terrified, heartbroken or angered by a phone call — a circumstance– a decision…
And when those moments come — the ones that take the wind out of my sails or the strength out of my bones…
When the fog and haze of difficulty rears it’s head, I try to remember this verse:
Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation!” Psalm 68:19
Honestly, any one of us is only a heartbeat, a breath away, a decision away from a life altering moment. Each and every day, no matter how challenging or difficult they may be in our marriage, our parenting, our careers, or ANY area of our lives is also filled with benefits, blessings, and something we can look at and be grateful for.
Yesterday, we had a bit of a rough start. By 10am, I had some pretty frustrated kids around my table. I wholeheartedly admit that a good portion of that was my fault. I was trying…so hard…but I was having a tough time. I ripped up a sheet of paper and passed out pens.
I asked everyone at the table to write down 10 things they were thankful for.
Lots of the lists included things like:
After these their last few answers all kinda varied a bit, but once I gathered them and read them aloud, I reminded the children (and myself) that there are millions if not billions of kids around the globe that can’t even claim the first two things on that list. Let alone the top 4.
I’ll admit it’s a tough concept to sell when our children grow up with everybody having everything– the fact that millions of children go to bed hungry is a foreign concept, and difficult to believe.
As for me, I think I am going to keep this little exercise in gratitude up around here each morning. I know it made a difference in my heart today and my hope is that as my children mature, gratitude will become their first thought, not an afterthought or forgotten altogether.