The Thanksgiving season brings us a pause once a year to take inventory of the things we are thankful for. And while it is great that we celebrate a holiday specifically focusing on thankfulness, I think it is important to make being thankful a part of our everyday lives. Reflecting on the blessings God has given us changes our hearts and helps us to enjoy things in life we often take for granted.
It can be difficult to remain thankful when life becomes stressful or you are walking through a difficult situation. I quite often get overwhelmed and wrapped up in daily tasks. Sometimes it seems like my to-do list is never ending. When this happens, I tend to lose focus on things that truly matter. In these moments, I have found it helpful to remind myself of all I have to be grateful for amidst the chaos.
Choosing thankfulness on a daily basis, despite my circumstances, has transformed my attitude and greatly improved my life.
The following are some areas in my life where I have made a conscious decision to be grateful.
Living in a Small House
If you have been following along on our blog, you might remember that my husband and I sold our house a few months ago and are now renting from my parents in order to achieve our dream of homesteading. You can read about our journey in this post. Our current house is VERY small. All three kids share a bedroom. We trip over and bump into each other in the kitchen. Even after getting rid of a large number of our possessions, it still feels like it is bursting at the seams. It is difficult to keep organized and clean due to the space constraints. There are many moments that I find myself feeling bitterness and frustration about our close quarters.
Although our living situation is not completely ideal, there have been many blessings that have come along with it. The main one is that it has put us in a great financial situation to begin homesteading. Our monthly costs are much lower than when we owned a home, which allows us to save money to put toward purchasing land and a home of our own in the future. I am so thankful for this opportunity! Another blessing is that we are right next door to my parents as well as my brother and his wife. I love that we are able to spend so much time with them!
This is my first year homeschooling my children. They are in preschool and kindergarten so it doesn’t require a huge time commitment most days. Nevertheless, it was a daunting task to begin incorporating school into our already jam-packed daily routines. It was quite stressful to juggle teaching two children at different learning levels while keeping track of my very active toddler.
Whenever I start to feel stressed out about homeschooling, I remind myself of how grateful I am to be able to teach my children and how much I would miss them if they were gone at school all day. Viewing homeschooling as an honor and privilege has changed my outlook. It has been amazing to see their little minds grow and learn. Things like hearing Theo sound out words and watching Lola create beautiful art projects brings me so much joy as their mother and teacher.
Having Minimal Alone Time
I have always been someone who needs quiet time spent alone to recharge. I like to drink coffee and read my bible in the morning before everyone wakes up. I would go for a run or work out everyday if I could. I like to unwind with a book or a good TV show in the evenings. As a wife and mother of three young children, these things don’t happen nearly as often as I would like. In the past I would become frustrated and overwhelmed if I didn’t have enough time to myself. Over the years I have realized that this was not a healthy attitude. I do believe in the importance of having alone time as a parent but I have learned not to become upset when it doesn’t happen the way I had planned. Instead, I choose to be thankful for all the wonderful moments I am able to spend with my family. I have noticed that I have a lot more patience and grace for my family when I make the decision to have a thankful attitude.
Life is not perfect and it never will be. Our attitudes change how we view life’s imperfections and the way we react to them.
What areas of your life have you chosen to have a thankful attitude?