Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Grateful Home

My 9 year old normally says, as we clean our house and listen to music, "a clean home is a happy home". However, what I've been learning this week is that a grateful home is a happy home.

We have been trying to recognize grumbling, complaining, and negative attitudes this week and boy have we recognized them. What I found is that early in the week it was a little difficult to catch myself being negative or complaining. But now, by the end of the week, it's so very easy to recognize the thoughts before they ever leave my head and cross over my lips. It can be difficult to take those thoughts captive and change them into something positive. But, like most things, the more I practice, the easier it becomes. I'm taking this time to teach my son how to do the same thing. Let's change that negative statement into a positive one. Not always easy, but it is possible.

God calls us to be the life of Jesus to those around us, to be the visible expression of His son to the world. And we can't do that if we can't even recognize our own negative words or thoughts. If you stop and think about each and everything you say, you may be surprised how many of them are actually negative and you don't even realize it.

I'm enjoying this journey with my family. And last night, as we sat at dinner and continued our new tradition of naming something we're thankful for, I looked at my family and couldn't help but notice the happiness and harmony that resides within our home. I can't help but think that this certainly must have something to do with some exciting gratitude tantrums throughout the week.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gratitude Journey

Today was a difficult day. You wouldn't think that having an attitude of gratitude or a completely positive outlook would be that difficult. But today, being positive was a hard thing to accomplish.

I did end up helping Christopher with a gratitude tantrum and even passed it on to a friend. But every now and then I would catch myself saying a negative statement. I would catch it and repent and then not only would I stop it but I would change my statement to something positive. It's not just enough to take the thought captive but I have to replace it with something.

I'm normally a pretty positive person but, this week, it's just incredibly difficult. Pray for me as I continue my journey and let me know if I can pray for you.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gratitude Tantrums

Today started out with Christopher waking up on the wrong side of the bed. Now, I know it's hard to think of Christopher in a bad mood, and normally you would be right. He is completely a morning person just like I am but for some reason, this morning was just not his morning. He was grumpy. He was sulking. So I looked at him and was about to discuss his mood and the need for a change when I remembered Pastor Chris's message from yesterday and I thought a gratitude tantrum was in order. So I explained to him what we were going to do. I would name something I was thankful for and then he would name something and then it would be my turn again, and so on. He wasn't really excited about the idea but he did it anyway. The first thing he said, he was thankful for his dad. He said it grudgingly, but he was participating and that's the first step. When it came to his turn again, he said he was thanful for his home. We continued from there and with every turn he took, his countenance improved, his body language improved and before you know it he was going on and on about all the things he was thankful for and excited to be doing it. He was laughing and giggling and having a great time with our gratitude tantrum.

What could have been a rotten day or at least a difficult one, turned out to be great. He got all of his schoolwork finished and had a fantastic attitude about it and he has been in a great mood all day.

We had a talk later in the day about how the day went and how the day could have gone and how much better it was with an attitude of gratitude. Then we added something to our prayer at dinner. We went around the table and told of one thing we are grateful for. That may be a new tradition in our house.

Today, I'm thankful for my church and my pastor who cares enough about us to challenge us.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

Today, our pastor was talking about the ten lepers and the importance of having an attitude of gratitude. As I sat there listening, I couldn't help but think that this is truly a lost art in society today. With the downturn in the economy and the increase of unemployment, busy schedules, and the general stress of life, it is far too easy to focus on what is wrong in life. But if you stop to think about what is good in life, it can truly transform you.

Think about it for a moment. We all have something in our life that we can be grateful for. I mean, if God decided to give us what we deserve He would send all of us straight to hell. Pastor made a fantastic point today that really hit me. Anything beyond what I truly deserve, is nothing less than a precious and gracious gift directly from the hand of God. I sat with my kids today and had a meal. Granted, it was leftovers, but I had them and I had time with the kids which was a blessing. I went to Dime A Day to feed the homeless and was able to give out 4 bins of clothing, socks, 350 lunches. It was amazing. And one of the women came up to me and another woman who was with me and sang for us a song of gratitude. This woman, who seemed to have less than nothing, chose to stop for a moment and sing a song of gratitude. I was there to be a blessing and it turned out that I received the blessing instead. But if this woman can find something to be grateful for, can't you.

So I invite you on a journey with me. My journey of terminating negativity and replacing it with gratitude. I will blog about my journey of having an attitude of gratitude and the example I am trying to be with my kids. I pray that at the end of this journey, we will all have more grateful hearts and can look back and see God's transformation in us. Won't you come along with me?

A grateful heart is a happy heart!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Tribute for my Mother for Mother’s Day

My mother passed away one cold day in November.

I loved her deeply, now she's simply gone.

Her life was not as glorious as some,
Devoted to her children and their children,
She lived her life to give to others Jesus' life.

There are those who shape many lives with love,

Whose pleasures, rich and full, are found in giving;
Without her all the gold's gone from the day;
She will be missed far more than we can say

My mommy lived her life for the love of her friends and family

Neither asking nor wanting anything in return
Others joy was her joy,

When we were cut, she too would bleed,

She lives on in the sparkle in our eyes:
Laughing, quiet, gentle, loving, wise.

Her love was so strong, so much a part of me.

God knew from the start how special she was

Made in His own image and gave her the biggest heart.


My mother was a teacher, taxi driver and the maid,

Counselor, cook and of course my friend always at my aid.

My mother was a special person
God knew His work was complete
When He created someone that could do SOOO much on her own two feet.
She was a Christian, on Him she did depend

Through illness, loss and longsuffering, she trusted Him to no end.
She displayed the fruit of the Spirit and a helping hand she was willing to lend.
Mothers are special people
God tells me so each day
For if it weren't for my mother and Him I wouldn't be one today.