Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lessons in Gratitude

"The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings." 
~Robert Louis Stevenson

I have been challenged lately to learn and grow in the practice of gratitude.  It's a good time to start in this dead cold, dreary middle of winter when very little rays of warm healing sunshine touch my skin.  But it's still possible.

This morning we were in the car driving to art lessons; the sun was shining but it was cold and very windy.  The kind of biting wind that takes your breath away.  We were all commenting on how nice it was that some of the snow had melted and we could see the earth again even though it was mostly brown and muddy.  Ahh....earth, sweet earth, we long to dig in you again.

Naomi announced from the back seat, "I wish it was.......".  I knew she was going to say "spring" but I interrupted and said, "I wish it was a day just like today".  "Oh look!  I got my wish, lucky me!"  Silly, I know but the kids laughed and took it up.

"I wish I had a Daddy. Oh yay, I got my wish!"
"I wish I had shoes.  Hooray, I got my wish!"
"I wish we had a big van.  I got my wish too!"

Giggles ensued as they continued the rest of the way there naming the silly to the serious, the big to the little.

Really it was just a sneaky way to teach them to be aware of God's goodness that surrounds us all the time.   When we can be thankful for the little everyday things than we truly learn contentedness and how to be thankful in all circumstances.

Thankful for.........

 ...for the first lost tooth.......
 ....for the sun and wind in her hair....
(unlike myself this girl loves the wind)
...and for ultimate relaxation.

I love to read this poem to the children.
Father We Thank Thee
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

For flowers that bloom about our feet,
Father, we thank Thee.
For tender grass so fresh, so sweet,
Father, we thank Thee.
For the song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky,
Father, we thank Thee.
For pleasant shade of branches high,
Father, we thank Thee.
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For this new morning with its light,
Father, we thank Thee.
For rest and shelter of the night,
Father, we thank Thee
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee. 
May you as well be able to find joy in the little things today.


  1. Sweet post. Sweet game. Sweet faces. Sweethearts!

  2. I love reading your blogs. I am thankful for a warm house. I hear the wind flapping the outlet above the stove that lets out smoke or whatever. The wind blows up from the woods and when it is windy- I'm happy to be inside!

  3. What a great post! And a wonderful lesson to learn. As always I loved all the pictures. You can tell Grace that her Aunt Amy loves the wind too ;)

  4. O how we need to be reminded of the things we need to be thankful for. I am convicted many times of how much we take for granted-like we deserve them.
    Thank you for the reminders.

  5. This is good...

    I haven't heard that poem in such a long time. Great memories.

    To answer your question from your blog comment. I doubt it's the same Becky L. This one is a couple of years younger then I am. I'm old!... and I honestly have no idea where they went to school. I recognized her by the pictures she had posted of her siblings...there are very few of just Becky.
    See! There is (might be?) more then one Becky L. in this world.

  6. Grandma,
    It's the simple things isn't it? The flapping of the outlet above the stove etc.. :)
    Aunt Esther used to write letters to me when I was in college and in Bangladesh and she used to always write about the simple things of her days. I loved getting her letters because of that.

    Christian figured that it was most likely a different Becky. Besides, we saw her at a wedding 5-6 years ago and the description on the blog doesn't exactly match. Funny though. Yes there are two!

  7. Umm, weird ...I wrote a comment the other day and it never showed up! Well I said, I love this blog post, That's such a great reminder and as always I love all your pictures... you can tell Grace that her Aunt Amy loves the wind too :)

  8. Thanks for this post! Same exact thing happened to me today on the way to the store. Isaiah says "I wish it was summer" and stealing your idea, I turned it into talking about things we were thankful for :)

  9. That's neat Ginger. Thanks for sharing. :) It's easy to slip into the "I wish...." thinking and I really need to work to stay focused.

  10. I think you are such a great Mother. I hope your children will appreciate all you teach them. Most of all, how to be thankful for the little blessings in life.


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