It’s easy to have a thriving, productive household when things are going smoothly. But when challenges arise, whether big or small, it can throw everything off track. This week, I’ve been thinking about giving thanks when the household is challenging, and how it changes my perspective.
“Give thanks in all circumstances”
As I sat down to write this post that’s a little more, maybe, heartfelt?, than normal, I started thinking about a post I wrote on one of my old blogs about 5 years ago.
It had been sort of a difficult year, and I was trying to sum it all up in a few hundred words. It ended up not actually being that hard to write the post, because my entire year pretty much came down to one word: thankfulness. I found this snippet from the post:
“I guess we always hear that being thankful makes you happier. Parents, teachers, pastors, and friends encourage us to share what we’re thankful for at Thanksgiving, or to make a list when we’re feeling sad. I’ve made a lot of thankfulness lists in my life, but I can’t remember them ever really helping that much.
Instead, what I started doing this year was actually just being thankful in every situation–good or bad. When something seems good, I’m thankful about it. When something seems bad, I still try to thank God for the good. There is literally always something to be thankful for. It never ends.”
This topic brings to mind 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which has been an encouragement in many seasons:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Embracing family and household challenges
My current challenge is pretty small in the broad scope of things. Still, it is an opportunity to grow and to embrace a common household challenge.
Right now, it’s a 2-year-old who wants her way – all. the. time. It’s a constant opportunity to practice patience. If you’ve ever had a toddler, you probably know what it’s like to be met with resistance at a majority of the decisions made during the day.
I’m going to avoid going into child training thoughts here and skip ahead to what this post is actually about. (I will say, though, that I just so happen to currently be reading Tedd Tripp’s Shepherding a Child’s Heart for the second time, and it has been such an encouragement to me.)
Exchanging frustration for gratefulness
The past few weeks, as I’ve been able to take the time to bend down and talk about patience and self-control and perseverance and obedience to parents and to the Lord, I have been so grateful.
Grateful that there are little ones around to teach and play with and change diapers for.
Grateful that older parents have taken the time to invest in us and point us to what God says about children and child training.
Grateful for the time in my schedule to stop what I’m doing and focus on pointing them to Christ.
Grateful for the high calling of being a momma. Of being the one to raise these kids and shape their values (along with their daddy, of course, who is one of my greatest examples in parenting and in life).
Grateful that they are not at daycare with a caretaker who might not share the same values as we do or have the time to implement them.
Grateful that God has entrusted us with these lives and given us the opportunity to patiently instruct them, as He does for us.
Examples of giving thanks when the household is challenging
I don’t know if your current household challenge has to do with a difficult toddler, sickness, finances, or a sagging roof, but I thought I’d take this space to think through some more examples of giving thanks in difficult family seasons.
I jotted down a few examples of when thankfulness has turned the atmosphere of our household around. Maybe some of these are applicable to you, too.
- Lots of projects to do > thankfulness for healthy bodies to do it
- Whiny children > gratefulness that we have children
- Floor to mop > rejoicing that we have a floor (we had subfloor for months when we first moved in, and I always have to remind myself how excited I was when we finally installed tile)
- Sickness > realizing the blessing of health insurance
- Feeling too busy at work > thankfulness for a job and the opportunity to work
- Car problems > parents who let us use their garage to work on cars and a great mechanic when we need him
- Money problems > opportunity to lean on the Lord
What opportunities have you had lately for thankfulness?
Any specific challenges you’d like to share that have been turned into thankfulness in your household?