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

 

The comparison trap!

It comes quietly without warning
Subtle voice, a tune like that of the piped piper; pulling like a magnet, making you uneasy as it relentlessly tries to get you to take just one look at what someone else has.
It’s the comparison trap, tugging you towards an empty dissatisfaction.

Lately I have felt God shine His light more closely into the corners of my heart. His desire is simple! It is to wrench me free from comparing myself to anyone, and to close my eyes and ears from the lies and whispers that render me feeling not good enough.

There is always plenty opportunity to compare yourself to others nowadays isn’t there? What you have, what you do, where you come from, the colour of your skin, everything  can so easily be measured, graded.  Worth and value so easily ascribed based on all the externals and nothing of eternal value really. From how quickly kids crawl, how slim clothes fall on your body, how tidy your house is, how romantic your husband is, gifts and talents, the list is endless.

For me though the comparison temptation has come in areas that I have been believing and trusting God for. Isn’t it funny for example that when you are single and believing for that husband, all you see are couples everywhere and you wonder why the long wait?  Or when you are trusting for that baby, all you see are mothers with babies everywhere. These corners of our hearts where much prayer, tears and hope has been tenderly nursed can so quickly be corrupted when we fail to “guard our hearts with all diligence” and succumb to comparing ourselves to others.

God desires me for Himself. To be completely satisfied with Him no matter what my desires are and what the external pressures of life are. When I compare myself, my life to another, it says that I do not believe that God loves me enough nor does he have His hand poised to bless me and care for all my needs. When I compare, I cultivate an unbelieving and thankless heart. When I compare, I lose sight of what God is doing in my life and I disregard His goodness and His timing in my life.

For each person the root of this “comparison madness” could be different. But for me God shines His light into the corners of my heart once again and He says to me “My beloved daughter, I love you. I don’t love others more than you. My love for you is without condition. You can Trust me with the desires of your heart.”

So the next time the comparison temptation comes along, guess what? It will be another great opportunity to celebrate what God is doing in the lives of others. To cheer them on, knowing that my Daddy loves me too. And He truly is more than enough.

The Hats I wear are not who I am!

It has been a an interesting journey from the dusty streets and humid sun-filled days of my playful childhood, to where i find myself now. A wife, mother of three living on “privileged” and “comfie” side of life. I often think of how strangely familiar and yet still surreal it is connecting the dots of my childhood, to the woman I am now. I am grateful that through all the challenges that life has brought, that God always knew me and He has been weaving the unending story of love and grace that is undeniable.  In this season of my life though, the question that seems to scream from every corner, with every decision and every hope and dream, is ” who are you? Clarinda? and what are the boundaries of your life?

I wear different hats on any given day: a wife, a mother, a friend, the list is endless, but what I so quickly forget at times is that I am not simply what I wear. I am learning with some urgency that if I forget who God says I am, then its very hard to enjoy wearing any of the hats I wear!

So with Gods help and my eyes set on Him, I pray that the hats I wear reflect an inner reality of one who knows she is loved. That I will wear my life with humility and without the need for approval. Oh! How I long for this to be true of me.