A guest post by my girlfriend Denise, click on the picture to get to her blog.
On Thanksgiving Day, 2007, I started a ‘thankful journal’ for our family. When dinner was done, we would read a family devotional (i.e. Gotta Have God for Boys or something like that) and then we would go around the table and list three things we were thankful for that day.
We followed this faithfully until harvest season this past year and got out of the habit and we JUST started it up again. Flipping thru the book, it’s so fun to see what we have to be thankful for, and how our boys have changed. For example……..
DS4 (son #4) said he was thankful for Daddy, Elmo (my mom), Papa (my Dad), tractors, my Tigers (a cat) What you have to understand is that when he says he is thankful for Daddy, my husband gives a huge silent cheer, when our son says ‘Elmo’, my husband says ‘she’s mean’(all the boys say “noooo! Oma is nice!”), when he says Papa, my husband says that is ‘okay’, when he says Tigers my husband says ‘Tiger is a stinkin’ varmint’.
It will go like this thru the whole ‘thankful for’ list. DS3 said Daddy (silent cheers again), plant potatoes, so I can be a good farmer DS2 says Daddy (can you see the pattern, notice no Moma!), my bird (he had rescued a baby bird fallen from the nest), all eating dinner together DS1 says Daddy, we had field day today, fun playing with Isaac Daddy says my boys, my asparagus patch and Moma (hooray for a ‘Moma’ vote!) Moma says spent the whole entire day with my boys today, my super cool new camera, & we have clean sheets today.
They are little snapshots of our life, they also help us know when we started getting the asparagus in, when we planted potatoes, when we harvested the pumpkins and so forth!
I also keep little extra notes on some days, for instance, he heard Moma’s tummy growl and looked at me and said “you have frogs in your tummy”.
When they saw all the lilac branches being trimmed off, one of the boys gave me a hug and said “it’s okay, Moma, we’ll get you a new one”.
On DS3’s first day of school, we asked him if he made friends at school that day. “No” he shot back, as if we were totally clueless, “we made FROGS! Not friends, FROGS!”
As I said, we fell out of the habit. When we are back to it, I imagine it’ll be like it was before. The boys watch for my last fork full of food and literally race to see who can get the ‘books’ (Bible, Devotional, journal) to Moma first. The devotion helps sparks some good conversation, and see into our boys lives at school and what they struggle with. And the thankful journal keeps our spirits high; on a down day it helps to find three things that went well. And flipping thru it, it helps remind us of God’s goodness to us.
Try it, start collecting your families lifetime of thankfulness to treasure.