Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Family List

I missed the beginning of National Blog Post Month. To be honest, I really never even thought about it until I saw the first seven posts of my friend Denise's NaBloPoMo entries. Last year I wrote a blog post for every single day in November, and I'm kicking myself because I didn't hop on the bandwagon this year. It wasn't easy to come up with something for every single day of the month. It wasn't easy to find the time. But I did it, and I was so proud of myself for finishing that I vowed I would do it again this year. And I missed the beginning of it.

But who says I can't hop on that bandwagon now? Who says I can't start my own bandwagon? So here goes: I'm starting NaBloPoMo, but with a twist.

I've been thinking a lot about gratitude lately. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the wonderful book I've been reading on the subject, One Thousand Gifts, and shared that I'm beginning my own list of the many gifts in my life. The Sunday School curriculum that I'm teaching this month is all about gratitude, so that is also turning my thoughts to daily thankfulness. This month America celebrates Thanksgiving, and even though the Canadian holiday has passed, I feel surrounded by the idea of giving thanks, and recognizing the many simple everyday gifts I may otherwise take for granted. My friend Robin has begun a collection of "Thankful Thoughts" on her blog, and it has inspired me to turn NaBloPoMo into a bit of a collection of my own.

Today I'm thankful for two amazing children, who are humoring their mother on her quest to recognize the gifts in our lives. It seems that daily I am realizing more and more that gratitude is the key to so many things in life: the key to joy, faith, humility, confidence, generosity, and so many more virtues that are being revealed to me as I embark on this journey of thankfulness. Taking my focus off the mundane and the stress in my life, and placing that focus on a search for every little thing that I can be thankful for, puts all things in a new and more positive light. And if gratitude is the key to making the world a brighter and more joyful place, I need to share that key with my children! So yesterday I went out and bought a brand new notebook (one with a flower on the cover, to Connor's dismay), and told the kids this morning that every day they will be expected to write down at least three things for which they are thankful.  Of course I got the expected "But what if we can't think of three?" from Connor. I explained that this is exactly why we're doing it! Because there are always at least three things we can thank God for, but if we don't take the time to think of them and write them down, we will miss them! Janelle's eyes lit up — I knew this project would be right up her alley. She grabbed the notebook and wrote down her three things in no time, and asked if she could write down more after school if she wanted to. Just before he headed out the door, Connor jotted down his three. I'll have to remind him that he should try to come up with new gifts every day. I forgot to offer Chris the opportunity to join us, but I have a feeling Janelle will be proudly sharing the list with Daddy tonight at supper time. I am so thankful for her exuberance.

So from now until December 7 I will be sharing my gifts, my own thankful thoughts, right here. I am so excited about this new twist on the challenge! Anyone want to jump on my bandwagon and come along for the ride?

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