Counting Gratitude

 

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“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

-Marcus Tullius Cicero

 

I don’t know if you have seen the “First World Problem” memes. They’re hilarious…in a “well, that puts things into perspective” kind of way.

Some are rather basic, “I’m hungry, but I already brushed my teeth”.

Others are daily frustrations, like “My barista didn’t even bother to make a design in the foam,”

or the even more insufferable: “The pizza box doesn’t fit in the fridge.”

Now, we all know the world is not going to fall apart because we didn’t get to eat more after we brushed our teeth. When we stop to think about the bigger picture, the size of the pizza box is not even in the frame.

When it comes to thankfulness, I know I fall short on a daily basis.

As a homeschool teacher for 5 kids, full time kitchen-chef, event planner and organizer, and paltry laundress…my days begin before the sun and end well after the stars.  My schedule is full to the point of overflowing, and I know I am not the only one in this camp.

We’re busy people, and at the end of the day I am wondering if I can stay awake another half hour, not whether I appreciated the people around me.

When I do stop to think about it, I find my happy places.

My daughter’s mighty hugs this morning, my son’s ingenuity this afternoon, the smirk on my husband’s face when I tell him my crazy (brilliant) ideas of cheap vacationing in Iceland… the abundant food in our kitchen, the couch we sit on while watching a movie together, the working heater in our home to keep us warm, and a home to shelter us all.

November is a perfect time to reflect on what we have, and to appreciate the loving people around us.

 

  1. Thanksgiving Gratitude Printable Calendars

http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/thanksgiving-gratitude-calendars.html

This is pretty straightforward, for those of us who need things to be uncomplicated in order for them to make sense. These are printable calendars to guide us through thanksgivings each day of November. Step-by-step, this is a very easy way to find gratitude at the beginning of the holiday season.

 

  1. Give Thanks All Month Long

http://gratitudechallenge.com/downloads/gratitude-calendar.pdf

I liked this one because it is not only straightforward, but there are action points along the way. Some days there are ideas to “Write about something you feel grateful for in your life today,” while others are, “Take a few minutes to call someone you haven’t talked to in a while.” Small actions can mean the world to someone in your life.

 

  1. Thankfulness Chart for Children

http://ministry-to-children.com/thankfulness-chart-project-for-children/

The best way to help a person develop a habit of gratitude is to teach them when they are young. Working together with children to build a Thankfulness chart is not only crucial for them to understand what thankfulness looks like, but they will see how important it is for you to be thankful as well.

 

  1. Gratitude 365 App

http://gratitude365app.com/

Some people are not as old-school as I am, and would rather not actually print out a calendar or write thankfulness notes in a notebook all month. Some of you need something electronic, and for that there is an answer. So, I am grateful that there is an app for the techie people in my life!

 

  1. Thanksgiving Advent Calendar DIY

http://happyhomefairy.com/thanksgiving-advent-calendar/

I am actually going to do this one with my kids. I am an old-school teacher at heart, and if it involves construction paper, project board, tacky glue and safety scissors…I’m all in.

This is a good project for kinesthetic learners, especially, to get their hands on the words they are thankful for. And at the end of the month, you will have a finished project you worked on together!

That is quality time with your child you can’t buy at Michael’s 🙂

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