The lesson yesterday in Relief Society was just for me. I have been struggling lately to help my boys speak respectfully to me and to others and feel like I have been harping on it with no results. Kimball especially falls into a very negative funk when something goes wrong--it doesn't have to be big. We keep telling him that even though we don't always choose what happens to us, we get to determine how we act and feel about it. Again, this lesson doesn't seem to be getting through. Along with these issues we are having with our kids, Jared and I have been talking a lot lately about the law of attraction and about being positive to attract positive things. (For example, instead of focusing on losing weight, I'm trying to focus on being healthy. Instead of "paying off our debt" we talk about achieving financial freedom.) And as I've mentioned before, I am striving to appreciate the small moments and enjoy this phase of my motherhood instead of looking forward to what is next or getting bogged down in my to-do list.
For all these reasons, our lesson yesterday on Gratitude really hit me. She referenced a talk given by Bonnie Parkin in April General Conference that was so wonderful. And I realized that focusing on being grateful can help with all of these struggles. Being grateful forces us to see the positive and chases away the negative. Being grateful also fosters a feeling of respect for those to whom we are grateful. It was like the heavens opened up and it all clicked for me.
So, after dinner tonight at our weekly Family Home Evening we are going to talk about gratitude. I am going to bring out a "blessing basket" (that may look suspiciously like one of our Easter Baskets--I'm not that creative!) and we will all think of things that we can put in it. Then, I want to keep a list each day as a family of things we are grateful for. I bought these great Crayola window markers a few weeks ago at Target and have been using them to write our daily schedule on one of the sliding doors in our family room. When you have a child with Asperger's Syndrome, schedules and routine are HUGE. Anyway, my kids have loved referencing the schedule on the sliding door. My plan is to keep the "Things We Are Grateful For" list on the opposite slider so that it's right there near us. Not only will that help us to focus on the good in our lives, but it should help my kids who sometimes have a hard time thinking of things to be grateful for in their prayers besides the usual (my family, Jesus, my books and toys . . . )
Here's my personal list for the day:
A clean house
Quality medical care
Mangoes, Strawberries, Raspberries
A washer and dryer
Judy (who taught the above mentioned lesson and is one of my heroes)
My in-laws who are watching my kids during my doctor's appt.
A husband who always kisses me and says "I love you" before he leaves
Two children who nap and two who can self-entertain while Mommy blogs!
Now go make your own list!