By Sheri Yates
Thankfulness changed my life. In 2012, a wonderful friend and mentor of mine, Roxanne Parks, challenged a group of us to keep a cumulative list of everything for which we are thankful. I began my own list immediately with the names of my family members. Before long, I had written a hundred reasons I was thankful for my family. I have continued my list, which now has nearly four-thousand items. I turn to it daily.
Thankfulness enables an emergency attitude-adjustment you need when your husband buys you a treadmill for your birthday (oh yes he did!).
Like me, chances are you would feel insulted at the implication that you are not already perfectly fit and attractive. When you sense your anger beginning to erupt (is there really a beginning of an eruption that is gentle?), turn to God and ask Him to give you a heart of gratitude. Your view of the entire situation will change as you realize the seemingly tactless gift comes from a place of love: your husband cares about your health and longevity. Of course, he probably cares about your body in other ways too, but he means well. His intentions were pure. Before you know it, your sentiment has shifted from indignation to affection, and you have avoided a fight with your husband—all because you chose to pause and be thankful.
Mothers have particular need for the optimistic, patient, generous frame of mind that gratitude produces. Those little ones can test our limits.
This need is amplified in mothers who elect to undertake the demanding task of homeschooling. As you beat your head against the wall in your closet – on a daily basis – wondering WHY, oh WHY, did you take on this task, you might find yourself needing a perspective change!
I know how discouraging it can be when your children are running amok and refusing to focus on their schoolwork. One kid is crying because she cannot spell the word ‘sock’. Another manages only fifty-percent accuracy on a math exercise (and you couldn’t even grade the math without the answer key because you are pretty sure you couldn’t do the work if you tried). You find yourself doubting you have what it takes to homeschool your children. (The homework-helping mom knows these battles, too!)
In these low moments, do not succumb to a negative outlook—that is what the enemy wants! He wants you to feel defeated so you will abandon the purposes God has for your life. Instead of , search your heart and give God thanks for all of the reasons you treasure your child. You will begin to value each moment you have with him or her.
When we choose to thank God, it takes our minds off the opportunity to be offended or disheartened. We remember and realize the blessedness of our circumstances and see the people around us as the beautiful gifts they truly are.
Start a thankfulness journal today and watch your perspective change, too!