Through grateful eyes: a fresh perspective

As a parent, you have probably experienced close calls and feelings of helplessness with your children.

Your toddler disappears from the backyard.

The police call to say that your teens have been in a car accident.

Your daughter phones from across the ocean, sobbing about how a sadistic old woman—her host mother for her junior college year abroad—won’t let her leave the house until she cleans the toilet with a toothbrush.

These three examples are drawn directly from our own experience, and just writing about them makes my chest tighten up. I can say that one of my responses at the time was to wish we could turn back the clock so they never occurred.

Thankfully, each of these events had a happy ending, and they proved to be experiences through which we grew and learned. We were very grateful when we discovered our toddler around the corner of the house, when we learned our girls were not injured, and when our young adult went to live with new host family and grew tremendously through her junior year abroad.

 

I have no doubt you have your own list of events that makes your heart overflow with gratitude and your eyes fill with grateful tears, which brings me to a question:

 

When you are snapping at your family, where is that same rush of thankfulness?

 

Where are the smiles to help allay new school year jitters?

Where are the votes of confidence to lighten steps?

Where are the hugs to share your unconditional love?

Please do not feel I am picking on you here. My intent is to raise awareness.

 

When you view your family through grateful eyes, you gain a fresh perspective.

 

Your horizons widen, your mood softens, and you become open to seeing things you could have otherwise missed.

You might see a child picking on a sibling and realize they are just nervous about being good enough at school.

You might recognize the short temper as a way of dealing with a hurt from the day before.

You might discover a messy excursion into wall art is actually a desire to practice a new skill.

 

How can you gain this perspective?

 

1. Be curious rather than condemning.

2. Practice gratitude often so it becomes a habit.

3. Be grateful for where you are and for the better mom you desire to be

4. Learn your family member’s love languages so everyone can help keep the emotional buckets full.

5. Take time for prayer, especially as a reminder you are not in this alone and that you, too, are loved unconditionally.

6. Download my new FREE ebook: Practicing Gratitude and Discovering Joy: 30 Days to a Happier You. Just go to the box at the end of this post or in the upper right corner to subscribe for updates, and you’ll be taken to the link for my book. Easy peasey!

 

Life just runs more smoothly when you use gratitude as a filter to see yourselves and your family as God does, as the wonderful, and yes, as the broken, challenging, full of potential individuals you are.

Change your point of view to one of greater gratitude in all circumstances, and you will change not only your own life, and but that of everyone around you, for the better.

 

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

 

Question: Where do you have the most difficulty finding your way to gratitude? Have you found a trick to make it easier to be grateful? Step out of the shadows, ladies. We’d love to have you join the conversation. Remember-the more, the merrier! If you’d like to comment, click here.

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Just imagine. . .Responding with gratitude rather than grumbling, and enjoying more happiness and contentment. And rest assured I won't share your address!

 

Sharing at NOBH, Better Mom, Finding Heaven

Image credit: Nina Matthews Photography via Flickr CC

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Comments

  1. I am 100% right there with you that gratitude is a practice. I find that sometimes, the day moves quickly, and I get lost in the moment. However, we have 2 times in my house to slow down. The first is dinner. We almost always eat as a family – and we talk. The kids share stories from their day – and this is the time I get to love the heck out of them and feel that gratitude. The second time is bedtime. I lie down with my kids every night while they fall asleep . This is our time to share our love for each other – pure and simple. Whatever happened that day, whatever stress, whatever fights, are washed away as we hold each other and drift off to sleep. It’s sacred time.
    ilene recently posted…BoysMy Profile

  2. Awww. I love the image of you with your kids at bedtime. So sweetly relaxing and overflowing with love. We used to really enjoy reading to the girls at bedtime. We’d all snuggle together and read multiple books. It made for a great ending to the day, and lots of memories, too. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us!

  3. Hi Kim,

    I just read Phil. 4:6 so your post hits it right on the spot…that sounded like some tough situations with your girls, but it is encouraging to know how it worked out for you and them…my gratitude journal has helped a lot as a discipline…and asking my family what they are grateful for… blessings, Kim :)
    Dolly recently posted…Dream Series: What if your dream is part of a bigger story?My Profile

  4. Kim, wow, I just needed to hear this today. I love your loving encouragement here, urging me to respond to this life He gives with His heart. I can’t wait to read you e-book. So exciting. Thank you for this beautiful gift. Bless you.
    Jennifer recently posted…That’s right, girl, you’ve got it: reignMy Profile

    • Jennifer, I am so touched you found encouragement here. I hope you find my book useful as well. Thanks for joining the conversation, and blessings to you!

  5. Kim, I love this! Always extend grace- you never know what “program” is running in he background of someone who’s misbehaving!

    • That is so true, Melinda! It is a hard lesson I keep learning after I have made an assumption or jumped to a conclusion. So grateful especially in those circumstances when I am extended grace! Thanks for coming by. I always enjoy your perspective.

  6. Kim,
    You could change the word “parent” to “caregiver,” tweak a thing or two here and there, and this would be a perfect post for my caregiving blog.
    I am about to download your eBook. Thanks for being so generous!
    Connie Foster recently posted…TAKING SHELTER FROM THE STORMMy Profile

    • Connie, you have hit on such an important point here. There is so much information that can be transferred from one area of life to another. I find that especially true for business leadersip information being transferable to parenting. You see caregiving help in this parenting help.
      I’m touched that you are downloading my book and I hope you find it helpful. Congrats on your children’s book, my fellow Write to the Bank Grad!

  7. Kim,
    I find so much refreshment in this post today! This morning, I am grateful that I indeed took the time to *listen* without pre-judging one of our kids, and I learned so much. That child felt, visibly, heard, and what a difference it makes! I really am grateful for each precious soul in our family, and love your encouragement to live that gratitude out in real time. ~ Ann
    Dr. Ann recently posted…Coaching Corner: “My husband and I are at opposite ends of the spectrum.”My Profile

    • That can be so hard to take the time to listen and really hear our kids! I am so glad you shared your experience, Dr. Ann. My hope is other moms will be encouraged by your experience! Thanks so much for taking the time to share.

  8. I’ve been working a lot on this recently, Kim, and can wholeheartedly agree that gratitude changes our whole point of view for the better. I’m excited to be able to read more on this in your new e-book. Thanks so much for “giving it away.” Your generous heart is greatly appreciated and admired!

    • Oh, you are just so sweet, Beth! THanks for your words. I’m glad you are working on gratitude. It really does shift your perspective, doesn’t it?

  9. Okay, ouch. And thanks. Because I needed to hear that. I do try to practice gratitude. I really do. Yesterday found me cleaning up after my very sick dog and breathing out thanks to God as I went for hardwood floors and disinfectant wipes. But I’m not good enough at gratitude when it comes to the snapping mother who lives here with me. You have given me good food for thought. Always love my visits with you . . . Smiles!
    Amy recently posted…To a friend who’s hurtingMy Profile

    • Having a sick pet is no fun, Amy. My sympathies go out to you! I am very familiar with snapping mom since I have one I wrestle with too. So glad you took away an idea to chew upon, and thanks for your kind words!

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  1. […] and get to the heart of the matter as Fawn recommends.  Developing and practicing an attitude of gratitude helps soften these challenges as well, helping to keep your mind and heart open to […]

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