Teaching Thankfulness (to myself first)

Where are we with this homeschool year?

 

One word comes to mind as we quickly come to a screeching halt: interrupted.

In the back of my mind, I knew that we had two children to pick up at the end of the school year—one graduating, which potentially meant more travel in helping her establish a new home.    I was also blessed with a wonderful business opportunity.   Yet, I just figured out that all of this means that we will be gone more days in May than we are home.

It then hit me what that means for our school.   On most weeks, we are only in town for two days, and we are too busy for school on the road—at least in terms of formal lessons.

So after a careful look at how we might work through our travel schedule, I finally decided to take our summer vacation in the months of May and June.  This decision, in essence, slices our last year of middle school into a couple of pieces.

I can safely say that we are not where I thought we would be.   Angst? Worry? Frustration?   All would come easily, but I am learning more with each day to be thankful.  After all, amidst the interruptions, we have so much to celebrate.

 

I shared a few pics from my bullet journal in a previous post (see here), but I chose not to share my gratitude log.   Maybe it wasn’t my idea of Pinterest-ready.  Consequently, when I wrote my earliest notes, they were heady, seeking eloquence over emotion.   That often happens when you write for others rather than
writing for yourself.   It took a minute for my heart to catch up to my head with this concept; now, however, it has become at least as meaningful as any other part of my journal.

The idea is simple, really—choose at least one thing to be thankful for each day.  Because thankfulness is, indeed, a choice.

 

Here is what I have learned about myself from this exercise, and I am thinking that you might see yourself in some of these lessons, too.

First, I spend far too much time focusing on what did not go well.  Additionally, ten minutes of what did not go well can totally overshadow the many blessings in my daily life.

Secondly, perhaps being blessed isn’t about the “big” things that go right.  Perhaps living a blessed and thankful life is about magnifying the small joys—the taste of a certain restaurant’s take-out that we don’t get often, the day that our reading spawns into an unexpected teachable and meaningful moment.

So as you come toward the end of the month, or the end of the season or the homeschooling year, maybe you didn’t end as you thought.  Maybe you fell short of the goal.   I challenge you to think about what went right, and something did go right.

 

 

Finally, consider this, dear friends.  I don’t normally read The Message, but I saw this version of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) the other day, and it felt so appropriate for where I was going when I wrote this post:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

 

This day, each day, choose thankfulness.  May God continue to bless you, even when it doesn’t feel like it (smile).

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