I stopped into my weekly mommy spot (Starbucks) this weekend for a few hours of “gratefulness thoughts.”
While it may not seem like a big deal to most, anytime a homeschooling mama can get a few minutes (much less a few hours) to herself, she can count it a blessing! So during my few hours getaway from the fam, I decided to make up a list of things we homeschooling mamas can be grateful for this holiday season.
1. We can be grateful for kids.
Okay, okay…that was too simple. Being grateful for our kids is something you would expect a homeschooling mom to be constantly aware of, right? But like all moms, we have to keep remembering the blessing in the hard labor of raising kids. It’s the remembering part that can be tough when we’re in the middle of breaking up a sibling fight, but in the end it’s also the remembering part that keeps us on our knees and continually grateful for the beautiful space in life we get to experience called “motherhood.” Each morning I wake up, I remind myself that although I might be dealing with a difficult stage in one of my kids’ lives, it’s all for a purpose. I remember the two angels I never got a chance to meet who are now with Jesus, and I quickly become overwhelmed with gratefulness that I still have two sweet beauties on this earth who I have the opportunity to raise. It becomes an easy one…God wants me to be grateful for my motherhood, and so do I.
2. We can be grateful for nature. Hmmmm. Since when do homeschooling moms have time to sit around looking out the window to admire trees and flowers? The laundry piles up, dishes need to be washed, the kids are fighting over the last cookie (and the kitchen’s a mess from having tackled the enormous project of baking cookies in the first place), and we should have time to be grateful for nature? Well, yeah.
Because if we don’t wake up and smell the roses today, when will we ever? I say let the dishes pile up for another ten minutes. Take a moment to relax, take a walk, look around at the nature surrounding us and tell me you don’t feel better after. Seriously. The dishes will still be waiting, but your moment of inspiration would have vanished – unless you make a conscious effort to really, truly connect with God’s handiwork and beauty. After all, He made the beautiful flowers not only for His own good pleasure, but for you, too. It’s His gift to you. So enjoy it today. Take your kids on the walk with you and smell the flowers together.
3. We can be grateful for the art of home management. Does that sound regal enough? Does it make you think of Martha Stewart, or make you break out in hives and sheer panic from the idea that you need to be perfect in your homemaking? Homemaking, my homeschooling mama friends, is not about how perfect your home appears to be. It’s about the tapestry of art that you, the mom, ultimately weave together in creating, managing, molding, shaping, teaching, organizing, decorating, planning, fixing, and keeping your home together. This includes everything from playing the role of chauffeur (or in the words of Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bebe- “maman taxi”), to short order cook to the laundry maid. We do it all- and we don’t always do everything well, but we do it all with our differing and unique abilities. And we get better (hopefully). We learn. We Google things we don’t know how to do. We ask other moms. We watch lots of cooking shows and Home and Garden Network. We subscribe to DIY blogs. We read the Bible. We talk to God. We cry to God. We figure it out. And somehow or other, we learn to manage our homes. It’s an art, and I am grateful every day for it.
4. We can be grateful for transportation.
These kiddos need to go places (and I’m not even sure why they feel like they need to go so many places, but it doesn’t change the fact). I’d like to stay home a little more (it sure would make my life easier), but who can say no to Awana and sewing class and art class? (Not to mention a few more on the radar.) My limit is two extracurricular activities per semester (unless, of course it’s a one or two-week event), but you kind of need transportation for that sort of lifestyle. So, although I’m more of a city girl and would prefer to enjoy the subway and taxi experience over driving, I am so grateful for a car. Any car.
It’s a blessing we often take for granted, but in this society there are some major essentials, especially when you have kids, and having a car is one of them. So I’m grateful.
5. And last, but not least, we can be grateful that we’re still here. After all you and I have been through in motherhood, you’d think we would have lost all of our hair by now, but we haven’t.
You made it, I made it, and we’re still ticking…so it’s gonna be alright.
There is so much this holiday season to be grateful for (and although this is a short list, I’m sure you can think of so much more). I encourage you not to let your present circumstances get you down. You can make it…just keep thinking all those grateful thoughts and make a mental gratitude list. Think it, speak it, journal it, blog it. Before you long, you’ll be encouraging others (and yourself too!).
Here’s to gratitude.