Meaghan Jackson is my guest writer today.
The Power of Gratitude
I wake up feeling the day is already getting ahead of me before I even get out of bed. Tired from a rough night with the baby, my oldest son comes in early just to let me know he is up.
During breakfast the boys are determined to annoy each other. They are loud and I am not in a good mood. I look at the clock and realize we are running late. Honestly I can’t even remember what we were going to be late for (could have been an appointment or play-date). Doesn’t really matter now. I do know that I rushed us through breakfast, hurried to pack our bag for the day, then began herding the boys toward the door. This usually consists of reminders, begging, pleading, and screaming. Finally they are in the car and I realize I’m not ready myself.
Driving down our laneway I wish the day was over. I am weary and tired of being angry all the time. How can I continue on through the whole day like this? There must be something that can get us out of this funk we are in!
There is something.
There is someone.
I stop the car and begin to pray. Of course the boys are screaming for me to turn on the radio and get driving. It is a quick prayer but I know that God understands.
I turn off the radio and address my boys, “Boys we have gotten off to a rough start today. I really need your help to change things around.”
I’ll share with you a secret weapon I have used many times to turn around a bad day. It is called gratitude! So simple, yet so powerful.
At first my boys are waiting for a lecture, or more crazy shouting mommy. But instead I choose to find something good about our day.
“I am thankful we have somewhere to go this morning”
“I am thankful our van works and has gas in it”
“Hey mommy, remember the time the wheel fell off the van? I’m thankful it is back on!”
“I am thankful for our breakfast”
“It’s a nice day out today. Can I be thankful for that?”
We continue chatting while I drive to our destination. Everyone is feeling so much better, friendlier and thankful. Joy is a choice not a feeling. We need to be intentional about fighting off those negative feelings. Sure bad things happen all the time, but there has got to be something worth living for. Some scrap of joy to hold on to.
My boys and I have used this powerful trick many times. They have even had to remind me to be more thankful on occasion. Ann Voskamp’s devotional for her book One Thousand Gifts got me to start writing things down. On particularly rough days when we are feeling down we take a look back at things mommy is thankful for. I know my eldest son appreciates seeing in print how thankful I am for the little things he does.
I think this simple little song by Veggie Tales pretty much sums up the powerful principle of being thankful.
The Thankful Song by Veggie Tales
I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!
For our home on the ground,
For His love that’s all around,
That’s why I say thanks every day!
Because a thankful heart is a happy heart
I’m glad for what I have,
That’s an easy way to start!
For the love that He shares,
‘Cause He listens to my prayers,
That’s why I say thanks every day!
Meaghan Jackson is a Christian mom with wonderful young boys and a fabulous husband. She loves all crafts, baking, and blogging. They are a homeschooling family and look forward to sharing this journey with you at http://joyfulmudpuddles.blogspot.ca