Lately our youngest son, Matthias, has been struggling with anxiety. He has tummy aches. He worries about homework. He prefers to stay home and is hesitant to try new things. It breaks my heart to see him worried. I wish life was carefree and easy—but that’s not real life, is it?
There’s been a lot of change this year. Matthias started fifth grade. I see him maturing and growing. He’s more aware of life’s imperfections and his own imperfections. He’s been such a confident child but I see that wavering a bit. He’s thinking more deeply about who he is and what makes him valuable.
We’ve also been traveling a lot with expanding production of our jewelry to the Dominican Republic. It means Steve, his dad, and I are tag-teaming with the boys and there have been times lately where one of us is gone while the other holds down the fort at home. Our routine has been, well, less routine. The other day, while Steve was out of the country, I asked Matthias what he wanted for dinner. I thought letting him choose would be special and fun. Instead he responded, “I just want a normal dinner. Nothing special.”
That spoke volumes to me about how much he needs routine.
In all of this craziness, our family has been focusing more on gratefulness. It’s easy to spend time and energy on what’s worrying us or making us unhappy. But I truly believe if we turn our hearts toward Christ and the abundant gifts he gives, we find a new kind of joy. A peace that passes understanding.
At dinnertime we go around the table and each share three things we are grateful for. Sometimes they are small, like being thankful for a good grade on a spelling test; sometimes they are big, like making a new friend. We want gratefulness to be woven into the everyday mundane. We want it to become more natural.
Life isn’t perfect. Around these parts it’s been particularly crazy lately. We’ve been working hard and the boys have had to be flexible. We’ve also been hit by a nasty cold and we’ve had car trouble. But I believe the beauty outweighs the pain.
Philippians 4:6 says,
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
In all of this, I’m finding my own heart being changed. I have so much to be grateful for. I am surrounded by a husband and two sweet boys that make each day sweeter. We have a cozy home, friends that love us, a business that provides for our family. I am truly blessed.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but a heart of gratefulness is something we can nurture any time of year! Share a couple things you’re grateful for in the comments. Let’s thank God together for the blessings He showers on us.