Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Whole Family Thanksgiving


“A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.” 




It was a day during Lent.  My little ones watched me take down the crayon box and select a sheet of paper.  "What is Mommy doing?  Mama, are you making a picture?"  They crowded around the table, Mommy taking the time to color something they just had to see.  After a few moments, I held it up - a single white sheet of paper,  simple words.

"It needs a flower, Mom."  Dinah urged, and I relented - flowers are a grace, so I drew one right alongside.   She was satisfied, despite my lack of artistic talent.

"What does it say?" Jonah wanted to know.  I taped it to the wall in the small space between two doorposts - the gateway between the kitchen and dining room.  They pressed close around me to see.

"Gratitude Wall.  In everything, give thanks."  Ben read aloud.  "What's a gratitude wall?"

"Here, I'll show you."  From the drawer in the kitchen, I took out a small stack of miniature post-its and a pencil.  I wrote on it "my sweet kids and husband. ~Lydia."  I pressed it onto the wall just below the sign and smoothed out the paper under my palm.

I've been writing down the blessings in a private journal for years.   Years of babies and birthdays and beauty all around.  Years of hard days and hot tears and crying out for direction.  And we go around the table most meals, each one contributing their blessing of the day.  But I wanted something more.  A visual reminder.  

Each child wrote down their blessings.  Some wanted to do more, but with a finite amount of post its and an infinite amount of blessings, I restricted them to one per day until I had a chance to buy more.  "Can we fill the whole wall up, Mom?"  Fiona asked excitedly.  They went off to play that day, brimming with happiness.

What happened next was more than I had banked on.

"Put a blessing on our gratitude wall!" they all shouted when my sisters stopped in for a visit.  Grandpa left one too, and Uncle Noah and Aunt Amanda.  The kids read each one.

I pass through that doorway a hundred times or more each and every day, and those little post its of gratitude are like flags of goodwill urging me on.   This life is pure gift, and even the hard things are holy.

I still need to go buy more post its.  But gratitude cannot be held back by lack of paper.  It's fast becoming a family trait around here, and I'm discovering that the more we count the gifts, the more we see them.  And the more we see His love all around, the more we can share.

How do you create an atmosphere of gratitude?  Hint: try the wall.  It's contagious!


6 comments:

  1. This is a fabulous idea! Very sweet! <3

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  2. I love seeing your gratitude wall whenever I come over. It is so sweet.

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    1. You must leave one next time you come!

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  3. This is just so lovely, Lydia. Thank you for sharing a wonderful idea in such heart-warming ways!

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  4. So I just read this, and let me tell you, this line - "This life is pure gift, and even the hard things are holy." - was exactly what I needed today. It's amazing how easy it is to become ungrateful and filled with doubt as we cry out for direction and purpose. But it's the small things that make life sweet. Thanks, Lyd!

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