this is a page for

Category: Life

Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is always a season that makes me really check my heart attitude. I tell my kids that being grateful is a choice and doesn’t depend on our circumstances. But it takes practice. Lots and lots of practice. As people, we are can easily go down the “grass is greener over yonder and life stinks and I would rather work somewhere else and I hate doing all this laundry and dishes! look at all the dishes!…la la la la la” road of complaining. I once heard someone say that complaining is like throwing up on people. I would say that’s true.

So I have learned over the years that being grateful starts with ME making a choice to practice gratefulness and then taking action. Did you know that your thoughts are powerful and can be controlled? Being intentional about replacing the negative thoughts about the mountains of laundry and the amount of time spent in the kitchen cooking for my family, with grateful thoughts of the people that I get to serve and the fact that I’m not alone and have food. “Put your focus not on what you HAVE to do but what you GET to do” (I can’t remember who said that wise statement). This includes changing 10 poopie diapers in one day and breaking up kid fights over and over again.

Keeping a gratitude journal is a really great way of being intentional about the gifts in life. I have a page in my planner that’s dedicated to gratefulness. Constantly voicing how blessed we are to my children in place of complaints has to happen as these little people watch mom and dad. The book “1000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp is absolutely amazing and a must read for all that wish to learn how to live a life of gratitude and how to be intentional.

What are some ways that you are intentional about choosing gratefulness? With Thanksgiving in two days, let’s think about ways we can choose JOY and GRATEFULNESS over stress & worry & envy. Not only on Thanksgiving – but every day of the year!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends!

Instilling Helpfulness in Kids

It’s my job as a mom to teach my kids how to be productive, diligent, and have hearts that aim to serve others before themselves. They need to be prepared and ready for the world when the time comes and my husband and I aim to equip them one day at a time, one lesson at a time, and one hug and pat on the back a time. I will say that it’s a huge process that does not happen overnight! I am the first to admit that I have lost my patience in my heart more times than one when facing a 5-year-old with a bad attitude or a lazy 10-year-old that leaves her junk scattered all over the place. Teaching my children how to change their heart attitude has been a personal growing experience for myself, as God gently shows me the issues in my own heart that need pruning.

Over the last 11 years of being a mom, I have learned that patient encouragement goes a long way. Explaining the heart behind WHY we all help in our family and why we take care of our space to be good stewards of what we’ve been given is important. Here are some tips that have helped me manage my busy home and ways the kids help in our home:

  1. Do chores together! I used to wait until nap time or nighttime to clean the house. No more. We all do our chores TOGETHER.
  2. Teach age appropriate chores and have the child do them repeatedly. When my kids complain about doing a specific chore, I tell them that they will do their task until 1. They learn to master it and 2. They learn to master it with a happy heart.
  3. Have a chore system in your home. There are so many to implement and I have tried several. For my family, a simple chore chart works best. I wrote about how I go about my system here: Start Em While they are Young Part 1 and Start Em While they are Young Part 2
  4. Work before Play. We work hard and then play hard.
  5. Praise Praise Praise!

A very wise woman that successfully raised nine children once told me her story of how she flopped herself down on the couch one day, exhausted after mothering her then four children. She said that she needed to change something in her home. She was led to this book . 

I don’t want my children to grow up with an entitled attitude or a heart that is ruled by instant gratification and pleasure. Starting with honestly examining our own hearts, and then helping our children to be servants of others will bring more fulfillment and positive change in our world.