For the Day 1 challenge, I looked my oldest daughter in the eye and told her that I loved her while listing some of the reasons. She held my gaze the entire time. The teenagerish thing that had been going on in her attitude that morning dissolved, and she smiled a sweet, satisfied smile when I finished loving on her with my words. I probably average telling my children that I love them two or three times a day. I hug them multiple times throughout the day, and I know they know that I love them. I think it was worth repeating…with some specifics attached. I need to do that more often.
I am so thankful to be able to stay home with my kids. I know that not every momma wants to, and some women may be really glad they get to go away to work every day. I am also grateful that my hubby and I are on the same page with this. I have talked to a lot of women whose husbands do not support their desire to be a full-time parent, and I think it could create resentment and tension in a marriage. My husband and I also agree on living frugally in order to make this arrangement work, and we have a fairly similar idea of what that looks like. Another reason to be grateful.
There are a few things in my life for which I am not especially grateful right now. I have some tough relationships that chafe at my heart. There are some financial situations that I would like to have resolved. I’ve identified some character issues in my children that I’m trying to address. For Heaven’s sake, there are some decades-old character issues in me that I want someone to miraculously fix!
Regardless of my frustrations, there are many things in my life for which I can easily give thanks. And, whether I want to or not, and whether or not it seems to make sense, God asks me to give thanks in ALL circumstances (I Thessalonians 5:18). It isn’t that God needs my gratitude. He knows that I need to be grateful. I am a kinder, gentler, more-patient-and-forgiving person when I am giving thanks. I have walked with God long enough to know that He will waste nothing–no heartache, no addiction, no ugly moment–if we will let Him use it. These experiences create empathy, humility and compassion.
Today’s Challenge: Make a list of 25 things for which you are thankful. Include 5 things for which you have rarely, if ever, given thanks (like eyelashes…can you imagine how uncomfortable life would be without eyelashes???) and 2 things that are just plain hard (like a hurting relationship, a bad habit that you’re trying to break or even an illness that you’re fighting).
I am praying for you today!