Big thanks to my lifelong best friend, MeLissa Massey Horseman, for making gratitude a family affair. I love you, MeLissa.
Dailen (9 ½) – I’m thankful for a house, my family, and myself. I feel that thankfulness means you are appreciative and have a good attitude about stuff people give you.
Lexa (8) – I’m thankful for a roof over my head to keep rain, snow, hail, thunder, lightning, and wind off my head. I’m thankful for my dad and mom who take care of me when I am sick, cold, or hot. I’m thankful for my brother and sister because they play with me. Thankful means you are thankful for something like your clothes or you are thankful for something your mom and dad gives you like maybe a bowl of ice cream. Well, thank you for listening to me. Love, Lexa
Lydia (3 ½) – Thankful for Momma, Daddy, music, milk, tea set, (I think we were looking at what was on the kitchen table when we answered, lol), swimming with Daddy, making creative art with Mommy, playing school with Sister, playing puppy with Brother, and that God is strong. Being thankful is loving all around us.
I asked my three kids to tell me a couple of things they are thankful for and what they think thankfulness means. I transcribed my older kids’ answers from what they wrote and interpreted the response of my youngest. I like that my oldest said to be appreciative. I like that my middle child is so specific and fun. I like that my littlest is in the present and happy for the simple things.
Sometimes it is so hard to be thankful. I am thankful every day because I know we are spoiled. Our needs are met, and we are healthy. However, I don’t know that I am truly grateful. I mean, at the end of that day when I am a frazzled mess, I don’t stop and think, I have a home, family, running water, and ice cream. I get short with the kids because they weren’t getting their bedtime stuff done. I get irritated with my husband because he half cleaned up the kitchen. I’m mad we didn’t read Bible stories before bed, again. I worry if my back will have issues tomorrow and when will my shoulder feel better and if I will write that piece for my best friend’s gratitude blog like I said I would.
As I lay pondering the day after everyone is asleep, I think, tomorrow. Tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow I will not be a stress ball by evening. Well, that may be a lofty goal but today, I will put more effort into slowing down and being thankful. I love fall. It is my favorite season. I love cool weather, pumpkin spice, peppermint, and cozy sweaters. As I was walking my kids to their bus stop this morning, the fall colored trees seemed especially stunning with the sun shining down on them. My kids are like trees with God’s love and mine shining down on them. They are constantly growing and changing like the beautiful autumn leaves and there are times I am not thankful for that process. Sometimes I am selfish and want them to stay little and innocent, and sometimes I am so stressed with life I don’t make time to watch the process. I can get tired of hearing people say, ‘enjoy the moment, they grow up fast,’ and ‘you’ll miss it all when their gone.’ In the midst of clutter and sassy attitude, I want everything to be organized and polite. However, I do need to be more thankful of the everyday memories.
This morning I took a picture of the gorgeous trees. I took time to document that my son wrote his name in cursive and be thankful that he is growing up. I am thankful I have a patient God. He may be frustrated that I don’t put the time and energy into Him that he most certainly deserves, but He still loves me. I am thankful for my husband who works hard at his job and strives to protect and defend me and our three children. I am thankful for my son who is so smart with school and still loves to cuddle with me. I am thankful for my older daughter who is a silly spark of individuality and a sensitive spirit. I am thankful for my younger daughter who is a fun little monkey and keeps me smiling with admiration and amazement. Being thankful is slowing down and truly appreciating life in big and small ways. It doesn’t have to be so hard. I may have a few, ‘Today is the Day’ days, but that’s okay because I am thankful I can try again.