It was just a few days ago. The day had only just begun and the thought of having a day completely at home with my kids spiraled me into a sad place. You’d think that after being a “stay at home” mom for the last 5 years, I’d totally have it down by now. The truth is—although I wouldn’t change a thing, sometimes the days still feel monotonous. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to turn what could be a hard day into the kind of day that I’ll feel good about after the kids are tucked in.
See, I believe in good days at home with my kids. I believe in crafts at the table, homework, playing outside, forts in the living room and laundry catch up. On this particular day however, the messes that come from a day at home with 3 little ones and the mundaneness of it all, made me dread the day before it had even begun.
The kids ate breakfast at the table while I stood in the bathroom, cultivating a plan to turn it all around, determined that we WOULD have a good day. The weeks prior had been filled with far too much activity and since I’m a creature of habit, a sudden lull in the pace of our life can drag me down.
I hung onto the counter, standing still and looking in the mirror. I know this is the day that the Lord has made and I should rejoice and be glad in it. No day should be dreaded before it’s even started, but how do I change that? How do you pull yourself out of that hard place? While they finished eating, I came up with a plan. I’d put on some daytime clothes that I feel good in. I’d brush my teeth and then I’d pull out my camera and my thankful journal. To break through to joy on this ordinary day, I’d write down the blessings I see all around me. I’d photograph the gifts everywhere and I’d start to see the beauty in all of this normal life stuff.
The kids finished eating and I made my way back out. I did dishes and counted the gift of warm water running over my hands.
I started laundry and counted the dirty clothes that my kids wear as a gift. I gathered the kids and we sat down at the table to create big snowmen from paper. As I watched them cut and glue, it was a gift to watch their little hands work. Later, another gift when I saw how proud they were of what they’d created. And then, another gift when we hung their snowmen together.
As the day continued on, I counted the gifts everywhere. A quick jot down in my notebook about the way one child smiles, and another line about the way one of them laughs loud. A photograph of a boy practicing his ninja moves and another photograph of a dog sleeping in the sun.
At the end of the day, maybe we hadn’t done what the world might view as big and important, but we’d done what was right for us and there was lots to be thankful for.
What I love more than anything about gratitude is how it turns everything into more than enough. Thankfulness is life changing and life giving. For me, it turns ordinary days in extraordinary days because it changes my perspective.
If you’re in a hard place right now and you’re facing days that feel far from good, can I please encourage you to start a gratitude journal of your own? Grab a piece of paper and just start writing. If you can’t think of anything that you’re thankful for, start with silverware, or think back to a time in your life when someone smiled at you and it made you feel less alone. Don’t overthink it- just keep that paper handy and write out those blessings, even if they seem very small.
What are you thankful for right now?