With thanksgiving upon us tomorrow, this thankfulness series will come to a close. It was a nice challenge this month, to express gratitude daily. I had previously seen friends do this on Facebook and I thought, “Oh, that’s nice.” I could even relate with many of the things listed, but I nodded in agreement and moved on… never giving it much more thought than that.
What this thankfulness series has taught me is that while we know we are blessed with our freedom, while we are happy our children have warm coats and warm homes and that we can feed them without worrying where our next meal will come from… our gratitude is typically done in a passive manner.
Actually pausing to write or discuss with my boys why I am thankful for that item has helped me internalize and deepen my gratitude.
Likewise, doing the Thankfulness Trees daily as a family also helped the boys express gratitude. When we first started, the boys were thankful for their toys… especially diggers, the sandbox to play with their diggers in, the toy garbage truck, and Connor’s new Batcave. Brad and I had to remind them a few times that the things we should be most thankful for aren’t necessarily things. “It’s okay to be thankful for your toys because you have a lot of nice toys and I know you love to play with them. But let’s also think about people or things such as our house or our food or Daddy’s job.”
After hearing some of the things Brad and I were thankful for, they soon began listing items that were more profound. Some of the items they listed:
- Their room
- Their bed
- Food (so they don’t have to go hungry)
Today, Dylan (completely on his own) said he was thankful for “Health”. When I asked why he said, “So we can be strong and so we don’t have to be hungry.”
This is what I want my boys to learn… authentic gratitude and true appreciation for others. For myself, I wanted to really express my heart and let these thankfulness items resonate rather than just momentarily acknowledging them. And as for you… I hope you were able to relate to several of the items covered in this thankfulness series and have taken time to truly reflect on your own gratitude. Likewise, I hope this series has stirred a desire to serve others and live more intentionally.
BTW… our Thankfulness Tree is beautiful! (See the picture above.) And, here are some close ups for you to read some of the daily items our family has been thankful for.