Gratitude Challenge: The End That Inspires Great Beginnings

Our Gratitude Challenge was an intentional attempt to catch all the tiny drops of rain falling over our lives on a daily basis. We have been counting our blessings one by one and the end of our challenge perfectly aligned with the end of the school year. We have much to celebrate and be thankful for!

So we got together and created a gratitude display of the highlights of this year so far.

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This was a tangible and creative expression for us as a family. We reflected on our school year and family and found pictures, words and inspiring hymns and quotes. I had picked up some pine planks that someone was getting rid and the ideas sprung from that. I used gift wrapping to modge podge every second plank. And then glued on small clothing pegs to hold the gratitude reflections.

What we ended up with was a display that we can hang up and keep adding to throughout the year.

I am also using the gratitude board to inspire me for preparing for our family learning life in the upcoming school year. We will carry occasionally use the question prompts from our gratitude jar and use it throughout the year.

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For now our heart is full of gratitude and thanks for all that we are as a family and for the journey that we are on. I am going to put up my feet with some wonderful good reads over the summer, while ensuring that I am making time to rest, reconnect and revive for the new school year.

I am confident that gratitude will continue to inspire us to move wholeheartedly into all the new things ahead of us.

 

Gratitude Challenge: Days 17 and 18

Better late than never, here is what we got up to during days 17 and 18 of this challenge.

During Day 15 and 16 of this challenge, we started using songs as a springboard to reflection, discussion and worship in cultivating gratitude in our home. Any song that you and your family know and love and have a connection to can serve this purpose.

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In this season of our family life and for me personally, the words to the song “Faithful To The End” by Bethel Music  reminds me of where we have come from and the anchor in the truth that our lives are wrapped in the faithfulness of our Father in Heaven who loves us deeply and will never leave us.

[Verse 1]
We’re heaven-spun creations
His pride and adoration
Treasures woven by his love
His careful hands they hold us
Safe within His promise
Of calling and of destiny

[Chorus]
I will sing of all You’ve done
I’ll remember how far You carried me
From beginning until the end
You are faithful, faithful to the end

[Verse 2]
A Father’s heart that’s for me
A never ending story
Of love that’s always chasing me
His kindness overwhelming
And hope for me unending
He’s never given up on me

[Chorus]
I will sing of all You’ve done
I’ll remember how far You carried me
From beginning until the end
You are faithful, faithful to the end

[Outro]
There wasn’t a day
That You weren’t by my side
There wasn’t a day
That You let me fall
All of my life
Your love has been true
All of my life
I will worship You

We have played this song in our home and used for some discussions, prayer prompts and worship.

I am currently reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp in my personal reading.

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I have not finished the book yet, but it has certainly been an inspiring read so far, a reminder of  tremendous power in a deliberately seeing the gifts in every moment despite what life brings to us.

For the last part of this gratitude challenge, we are busy creating a family memory space that will serve as a lasting “memorial stone”. A place to continue capturing gifts of gratitude in our lives.  In the next post I will share some of these ideas and I hope it will inspire you to do the same in your home.

 

 

Gratitude Challenge Day 9 and 10

“ As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”    (Proverbs 23:7)

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The story of “ The Magic Mask” is a story in which a powerful ruler with a face full of bitterness, later transforms his frowning cruel countenance to one of understanding and love. He does this  with the help of a magic mask which only remains in place when thoughtfulness and gentleness come from within the ruler. He wears a mask to win the love of a beautiful lady, but later frees himself from the mask when he realises that it was his thoughts that shaped his new and true self. This was a beautiful story that sparked so much discussion in our home.

Gratitude changes the countenance of our hearts because gratitude always attracts Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

We are memorizing Philippians 4:18 together, so we engaged the kids in creating their own collages of depictions of whatever is True, Noble,right, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.  

We are all learning that gratitude goes hand in hand with creating the mindset that attracts more truth, beauty and goodness in our lives.

Evening Writing Prompts for Day 9 and 10 really opened up conversation and connection with each child.

  •  3 things I love about my best friend
  •  3 things I love about my school
  •  3 of my favourite games

“A grateful heart is a magnet for Miracles”
~ unknown

GRATITUDE CHALLENGE: DAY 1 – GETTING STARTED

THE DAY BEFORE THE START of this challenge, my husband and I got the children together and with much enthusiasm announce the CATCHING RAINDROPS OF GRATITUDE challenge that we will be embarking on throughout the month of May! We discussed why gratitude is an important and intentional foundation to build. Everyone was on board and we spent time making our gratitude journals.

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Kids Customized Simple Composition Books. This can also be decorated using magazine-cut pictures that kids personalize.

The idea is that everyday though out the month of May:

Each person will record in their journals in the morning and at night, and we will also engage in some family time activities to build a culture of gratitude in our home. The family-time activities will have a weekly theme. Read further to see this week’s theme.

Morning Entries of Gratitude

These entries will be free writing or drawing of anything that we are grateful. Its will remain an open-ended question: “What am I grateful for this morning?” It will set the tone for the rest of our day.

” I am grateful for for the sunlit home that I live in and the people I love that make it a warm and safe home….”

Bed-Time Entries of Gratitude

These entries will take the form of writing prompts or activity prompts, that will hopefully require a little bit more reflection and thought, and encourage building some skills.

“How did you feel about today? Draw a simple picture in your journal to show”

Elijah’s Night Time Entry

Family-Time Theme For the Week

The theme for our first week is : ” New Life” . I am incorporating the fact that we are in spring now to drive this home. For this week we will be doing nature and outdoor activities and hopefully enjoying them while tuning into the beauty all around us. We will be enjoying each other and the beautiful spring time should point us to many natural reflections and discussions over the dinner table about what we are grateful for.

Our Day 1 activity was to visit our neighborhood creek and we took pictures while there, thanking God for the beauty we are surrounded by.

This is the start of what I am calling our “catching raindrops gratitude challenge”. I look forward to sharing more of this journey of intentional gratitude with you. Why not join?

” I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder”. G.K Chesterton