Saturday, January 16, 2016

How Grateful looks from here- Bloghop!

It's a Blog Hop!!  Scroll down to see other great posts  about Raising Grateful Kids!!

The morning started gloomy and if I am honest--- whiny. It wasn't the dog, it wasn't a kid with any demands; no it was that unsatisfied pathetic sound of my own voice pounding against the walls of my head. I had barley been conscious a full minute and I had complaints dominating my thoughts.  There wasn't anything in the day ahead that I was dreading; in fact the day held a celebration . So why did I start in on everything negative? The thoughts ran quickly  from " Man my neck hurts." to "I should have read more to my  kids when they were little, I've ruined them." ( drama much?)

As I lay there waiting for a surge of serotonin to miraculously save me, I finally came back to reality and remembered very simply to be grateful. This is something that we have been working on in our house.  3 kids, 2 dogs and one busy life have distracted us a bit from stopping to observe our blessings and be grateful. We have just come  off a big push getting our 2nd daughter off to college.  We have been a little tired. We have one precious child left at home and we want to finish strong giving her the same discipline and values we have practiced over the years. We cannot afford to get lazy.

I have been reading Raising Grateful Kids and was extremely convicted by the fact it brings up that if we want grateful kids rather than entitled ones, we ourselves have to show gratitude.   I can't adopt the attitude that I am a certain stage in life and I deserve such and such . I can't expect my child to continue to have a grateful attitude when I am not displaying one.  I have so many blessings that I take for granted every day: freedom, access to Scripture, health,  children, marriage, living parents, running water, friends, the ability to read and many more. 

Many years ago we would talk about the best and worst of our day at the dinner table, we made Thursday into Thankful Thursday and would thank someone in our lives that we loved with a note, card or cookies. These small acts that my children did when younger were reminders to be thankful.  Somewhere along the way we let these little acts slide off our radar.

We have kept up with some habits. I am a stickler for hand written thank you notes. No text or email.  This is a wonderful habit instilled in me by my parents, and I am glad I passed it on to my children.  But more is needed, and the best place to start is with myself and my attitude.  So as I lay there like Eyeore from Winnie the Pooh I had a decision to make: let the language of Whinese continue its rant or take inventory.

 I choose to the inventory. 

I opened my eyes and was grateful for sight. I listened  and heard the dogs barking in the yard. I can hear-  check.  I have warm covers on me , I have a ceiling above me . As I place my feet on the floor, I am aware of a working body and a carpeted floor. I have warmth, shelter and health.  I check my phone on my bedside table. There is text message from my daughter.  I can read, I have access to communication, electricity and  and a message from a beautiful child who loves me.  That is 10  things I can be grateful for before I even take my first step of the day.
We plan on bringing back  best of day and Thankful Thursdays but if I am to be consistent on these small acts I have to first consistently have  my thoughts be grateful.

Then my thoughts will become my words of gratitude
My words will become acts of gratitude
My acts of gratitude will become my habits of gratitude
And my habits of gratitude will become my legacy of gratitude.
And that is something worth getting out of bed for everyday.

Inspiring an Attitude of Gratitude - by Alison Rasisng Grateful Kids - by amanda Why You Can't Buy Gratitude At The Dollar Store - by Andrea Missing - Gratefulness in our home - by Ange Choosing Gratitude - by Angela Gratefullness - by chaley 5 Steps to Gratitude-Fille Family - by Christa Practicing Grateful Parenting - by Dana Sing a Song - by Hannah Cultivating gratitude in our family - by Jamie Gratefulness In Our Home - by Jana Gratefulness In Our Home - by Jana Let It Begin With Me - by Jen Choosing Gratefulness - by Jennifer Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World - The Book - by jeri Eradicating Entitlement - What are you rooted in? - by Jessica Gratefulness in our home - by Kate The Problem With Entitlement is that it begins with us - by Katelyn 7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful - by Kathryn Raising Grateful Kids - by Keri How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude - by Kishona Grateful - by Kristy Entitlement: The Ugly Truth of a Beautiful Lie - by Leigha The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Raise Grateful Kids - by Lindsey Dear Son: How Do I Teach You To Be Grateful Without Guilt? - by Marie Osborne Gratitude, A Practical Definition - by Mia Cultivating Gratitude in Our Home - by Nancy Learning Gratitude through Chronic Illness - by Rachel Being Grateful - by Rebecca I've Found Something I Can't Live Without - by Sarah The Power of Naming our Gifts - by Sarah Outfitted - by Sarah Jo Growing Gratitude in our Family - by Sondra Teaching Gratefulness - by Stephanie How Grateful Looks From Here - by Alison Fighting Entitlement in Children and All of us - by Leah Entitlement Problem - by Karrie Grateful Today - by Krystal

Monday, January 4, 2016

Time Matters

Chapter 2 of Raising Grateful Kids is a real  throat punch for me. 

 As Kirsten Welch describes life in the 21st century  I was highly convicted of some aspects of our lifestyle that we had let slip a bit. She states that " It’s as if our culture has amped up life and made things more complicated, not because we have to but because we can. " Those words " because we can" really got my mind going.  Things have become so easy for us in daily life. We don't struggle for our food,water or shelter. We don't  repair anything anymore; we call someone or buy new. We can be reached at any time in multiple ways .

 Now I'm not saying that I want to go back to the 1900's but I so long for simplicity and self control in my choices for simplicity. I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to the quick and easy. I have  said yes to to many things knowing I can quickly do a lot. I have more done but I have lowered the quality for myself and others.  

On the simplicity standpoint I really wish our culture and manufacturing heard this cry. I don't want a computer on my washing machine or 500 features . A gyrating machine does not need electrical unit on it that after so many shakes it will fail me and I can't wash a thing. I just need some water, an extra rinse and some longevity and I am good to go. (Sorry a bout the side bar rant..... I am not bitter about being out of warranty, I promise.)
We need a happy medium, where what we have is enough and indulgence isn't the  norm , it's the exception and the worked for, effort put forth thing that we really wanted ,and will take care of to keep.

 We now have, as RGK states, "  time and money to focus and care deeply about things that really don’t matter." This is incredibly true. ​ We fill our time and our children s time to the brim with  activities, These are not necessarily  bad but when they  are all  about "them" , how do we expect to magically have children one day that will be jazzed to serve others?  Our time is also  taken up by  social media and we look at our screens more than we look others in the eye. (more on this in upcoming chapters)

 Now a little distraction isn't wrong,  but if we really knew how much time we spent on worthless things we would be shocked.  As a mama of 3 girls, two in college and one in high school my advice to those with littles would be not to rush or worry about sports or a to spend your time ,energy and money on what matters and last, spending  as much of it as possible together as  family for as long as you can.
The chicks when they were little