Every night the kids and I take a minute before bed to thank God for the day and talk about the best parts of it. Just as I need the discipline of counting my blessings, so do they.
Their choices are predictable. They remember treats, playing with friends, whatever was good and exciting. They have yet to give thanks for a mother who tries to be a consistent disciplinarian, for the moments in the day when they didn't get to do what they wanted but rather had to do what was needful. They haven't expressed thanks yet for the times of correction and tears.
And yet, I find myself mentioning these things when it's my turn. I am growing a genuine gratitude for the more unpleasant parts of the day. I'm glad for these moments because they are learning hard lessons in a safe place. They are learning that not doing something right away when it needs to be done leads to unpleasant results later. They are learning self control. they are learning discipline. They can't see it, but I can. Which leads me to wonder how many opportunities for gratitude that I am missing in my own hardships. How many precious gifts am I given in those times that I fail to recognize because they come in the packaged in suffering or difficulty?
I'll see what I find in the weeks to come.
This weeks gifts.
The first is you, all of you who have been so kind, and given what you can to help take care of these kids. And then there have been the emails from those of you with great ideas to help, and plans for helping in the future. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. I have to admit I have gotten a bit teary this week when I checked my email. You are all such a blessing. I don't have thousands and thousands of readers like some blogs do, which makes it even more amazing what can happen when this smaller core of people who care can contribute so much.
(The total right now is more than $400, which is one months groceries, or 4 months rent, or a lot of mosquito nets. And there are more things in the works for the future.)
The others a bit more mundane, but nonetheless worth stopping to give thanks for.
Flowers in November.
The crazy awkward silhouette of palm trees. They look like so goofy sticking up straight to the sky on their own, but put enough of them together and they are quite beautiful.
The absurd face of a pelican.
The shirtless torso of a certain man I love. (No you don't get to see a picture, what kind of blog do you think this is? )
This gap toothed grin.
Gentle waves lapping at the beach.
The love of family.
That my children are friends.
The many friends who help me figure out to to do computer stuff so that I can make our website work properly. It's getting better thanks to their input.
The gratitude community is here.