Gratitude Challenge Day 7 and 8

We are keeping up with entries in our gratitude journals day and night, while engaging in some family time activities that keep us focused on practicing gratitude. This challenge is not meant to be rigid. I am basically taking it day by day, weaving our natural family rhythms, happenings in the world around us, events that we find relevant and interesting, as well as our unique family interests, in order to create some teachable moments. I don’t want this to be laborious and I am open to my kids giving me ideas along the way as well.

I am grateful that no one is hurt from the volcano in Hawaii

For instance during our Morning Symposium time on Day 7, one of my kids asked about the volcanic eruption in Hawaii and we discussed how we might look at this from a place of gratitude. Every moment when we wake, and when we rise, we can be aware and in tune with teachable, gratitude moments that we have right in front of us.

Apart from having great conversations about events happening around us, another family activity that we did today (Day 8),  involved showing gratitude to the people who have impacted us, have served us and who are part of the communities we live in. With today being the National Teacher Appreciation Day, we seized the opportunity to express thanks to people who have supported our growth and learning this year. Although I am the primary teacher for my homeschooled younger two ( almost 10yr and almost 7yrs), my oldest son is still at school. He took flowers to school today to show appreciation to his amazing teachers and Kendra and Elijah, did some water-color stencil art, making cards to say thanks to some awesome people in our homeschool co-op.

 

During the course of this week, we will continue to pay close attention to the people outside of the walls of our family, who make our world a better place. This will differ from family to family, but the idea is to use the natural rhythms, events and people we encounter this week as the focus of your gratitude. Perhaps a child’s dentist appointment or doctor’s appointment presents the opportunity for us and our kids to see ourselves not as isolated and separate, but rather to celebrate the fact that we have community around us, and the people that make up this community whether we know them personally or not, are worth celebrating and being grateful for.

Bed-Time Entries of Gratitude

Day 7 Writing Prompt: “ I am grateful for my mom because . . . .”

Day 8 Writing Prompt: “ Today, 1 thing I learnt was . . . .”

 

” Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.”  Alan Cohen

Gratitude Challenge: Day 5 and Day 6

I absolutely loved weekends! No weekend is the same in our house. Sometimes we just hang around the house doing so much and so little at the same time, while time passes between dinners, books, parks, ice cream, movies and sushi, in no particular order . Many times I get a bee in my bonnet about something, either creative diy project, a cleaning frenzy to hit the restart button for the week, or a place I desperately want to check out in our beautiful city. This weekend, I had the idea to turn our gratitude challenge into something practical.

 

We decluttered our wardrobes!  We are grateful that we have clothes to wear and we are grateful for God’s provision, but the truth is we absolutely do not need so much of it. Fellow blogger, Coach Angie shared her Capsule Wardrobe that she created for her kids and I loved the practicality and simplicity of it, so we plunged ourselves into that and spent part of the weekend getting our wardrobes lighter!

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We are excited that we can now donate the clothes to our Salvation Army.

I think that Gratitude really fuels contentment, which in turn helps us travel light, as we journey through life.

“ A grateful person is rich in contentment.” David Bednar

 

 

Gratitude Challenge: Day 4

Gratitude is a catalyst to change.  It’s like shining light onto the minute details of our  lives. The ones that go unnoticed so many times as the rushing chaos of busy living leads to deafening noises in a discontented heart. Gratitude brings to a hush, the impatience of that greedy heart. It stills the graving for more and more, and turns the smelly swamp into  fresh flowing streams.

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Morning Entries of Gratitude

Overtime?
Clarinda’s Entry – Day 4

 

FAMILY TIME – NEW LIFE

We have had my in-laws visiting from South Africa and they will sadly be leaving in a couple of days. We are grateful for the time they have spent here. It has been a new and wonderful experience for them and taking the time to squeeze the most out of simple times together.

 

 

Bed-Time Entries of Gratitude

Writing Prompt:  ” I love my dad because ……..”

Kids wrote in their journals before bed…..

” I love my dad because he loves me and he always cares for me…” AJ.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” — Thornton Wilder

 

 

Gratitude Challenge: Day 3

On any given day at my house, I have so many routine and mundane tasks to take care of as a mom. Laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, decluttering, the list goes on. Sometimes managing an entire house can feel like a never ending story. Today, I made a conscious effort to pause and be thankful for the home I have been blessed to steward. I smiled when I folded clothes and allowed contentment to fill up my heart. I prayed for each person whose clothing I folded. All the unseen menial tasks of motherhood are gifts of doing daily life with some special human beings.

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Even while cleaning up after a day of school, Is an opportunity to be grateful for being a stay-at-home mom.

Morning Entries of Gratitude

It’s tempting to use these journal entries as a language arts lesson but I am refraining checking spelling or grammar. Kids may ask for spelling on some words, especially our youngest, who is 6, but I am leaving them to simply put their thoughts on paper. This is to be a free space for kids to share their thoughts. They have given me permission to share samples of some of their entries.

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Aj’s Morning Entry: Not surprising since he loves his food!😃

 

FAMILY TIME – NEW LIFE

” Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  James 1:17

Today, we travelled down memory lane with theme “New Life”, during our family time activity. I pulled out albums of my husband and I. Memories of our childhood and university days prior to meeting each other, all the way to our wedding day. I loved all the giggling and comments this elicited.

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We are grateful for the simple beginnings of our life as a family, the way God brought my husband and I together and his absolute faithfulness to us. We were able to communicate this gratitude for our children to hear and to take to heart.

Bed-Time Entries of Gratitude 

Writing Prompt:  ” Three things I love about my family”

Kids wrote in their journals before bed…..

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“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them”.  John F. Kennedy 

 

 

Gratitude Challenge: Day 2

It’s Day Two and I am convinced that this idea of Catching Raindrops of gratitude is truly inspired. I am grateful for the way it is focusing my mind and my heart on all the blessings around me and the way in which my kids are reflecting and feeding on the table God has prepared before them everyday.

Morning Entries of Gratitude

Journals are ready on our dining table for kids to write in before school starts.

Pretty Corners

During our Homeschool Morning Time ( affectionately known as ” Morning Symposium”),  for our character study time, we read the story about Doubt and Trust and discussed how trusting in the goodness of God, keeps us grateful even when things don’t always go as planned. We are following The Steps Program, which is the character building series we use for our homeschool. Our focus for this week , “Positive Outlook”, fits perfectly with our gratitude challenge. fullsizeoutput_44dd

FAMILY TIME – NEW LIFE

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth….Genesis 1

Continuing with the theme “New Life”, on this second day of the challenge, we had a very special family time affirming the kids. The grandparents, who are currently visiting us, also joined in the time of affirmation. After super, we remained around the dining table, and recalled the day each of them was born. We highlighted what made the time so special. We also took turns telling each child what we loved and enjoyed about them, their uniqueness and our firm faith in a good plans God has for their lives. I was particularly moved by the affirmations from my husband over the kids as well as the grandparents. I loved the smiles on the kids faces. When all the affirming words of gratitude were said and done, we asked them to turn to each other and tell what they love about each sibling. It was absolutely beautiful and an inspired moment.

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I am so grateful, for each of my children and I choose to entrust them into the hands of my Heavenly Father and believe that their future is bright.

Bed-Time Entries of Gratitude 

Writing Prompt:  ” Today I smiled when . . . . .”

Each of us completed this sentence to end off our day.

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Evening Time Entry – Elijah

 

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”  Melody Beattie