Skip to main content

Teaching Gratitude #5: Grateful for 21 Days of Gratitude

The wonderful 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge from Inspired by Family Magazine has, technically, come and gone with over 1,000 people from around the world taking part in some way or another. I have gained so much from this practice, through focusing on Appreciation rather than I Wants...

...Midway through the challenge, I shared 11 things I was grateful for (in response to the prompts that Mari from Inspired by Family Magazine laid out at the beginning of the challenge). I also shared some of my favorite posts from other bloggers during the challenge. 

Now, I want to come full circle by sharing my responses to her last 13 prompts:

12. An experience you had - This one is really difficult, since I am grateful for so many experiences that I have had, but since I have to pick one, I will select the experience of having lived and studied abroad in Egypt (13 years ago). Though there are many reasons that I am grateful for this experience (which could fill a post or two), I will focus here on just one -- I met my husband there, a fellow American also studying abroad. Very timely, since it was the weekend after Thanksgiving 13 years ago that we shared our first kiss. :) 

13. Something in your room - My books. 

14. Something in your kitchen - My cast iron skillet and cast iron dutch oven, which belonged to my grandmother (and probably to at least her mother and, perhaps, grandmother before that). 

15. Something in your home - My piano, which some wonderful family friends generously gave to me about 4 years ago. 

16. A gift you received - I recently received a wonderful package from my brother, who currently lives in Thailand. He sent a beautiful hand-made silk bag for me that he got in Luang Prabang, Laos, which he knows is one of my favorite places on Earth. That gift is one I will certainly treasure.
You love this bag, right? (And my model...)
17. A defeat that made you stronger - Three distinct losses/defeats came to mind, but I will go with the simplest here (and the first significant defeat that I remember in my life): When I was 12, my passion for basketball began. When I was 13, I played my official first game, and we lost 57-4. That tough loss gave me more motivation than a win would have.

18. The one thing you can't part with - Family would be the obvious answer and really the only answer as there is no material item that I could not live without. 

19. An animal - The beautiful and graceful birds that are in abundance in our tiny, rural town.

20. A trait the person you are closest to possesses - Commitment. 

21. Creation, nature - The answer is the prompt - I am grateful for nature.

22. A book that has been meaningful in your life - I am selecting two because they are related and connected (same author). Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh, which was given to me by one of my closest friends and which forever changed the way that I viewed the world, and assessed my place/role in it, and True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart also by Thich Nhat Hanh, which my brother gave to me years before I became a mother, but which is a book that certainly relates more to being a wife and mother than any other book I have read. (Here is a piece I wrote from the book).

23. The one thing that you love most about you - Ugh. Probably, it would be the trait in my children that I love the most that is a trait of mine that I often see reflected back at me through them, which is thoughtfulness and generosity. 

24. Your mom and dad - I am so grateful for my parents for so many reasons, but what I appreciate the most is their unconditional love for me and their unwavering commitment to encouraging me to become my own person and follow my own passion and dreams, even if that journey/path was not always easy for them. (As in the case of say their 21 year-old daughter moving to Egypt and traveling around the Middle East by herself for much of the time she lived there). Now that I have my own children, I truly appreciate how difficult that was. THANKS MOM AND DAD!! 

And, thanks Mari for inspiring this focus on gratitude. I plan to carry gratitude with me into December as I have discovered that by focusing on gratitude and appreciation, I stay grounded and less swayed/influenced by all of the spend-spend-spend, gimme-gimme-gimme that seems to be everywhere at this time of year. 

I invite you to join me in keeping gratitude in your mind as we move toward December and to focus on presence (with your family and loved ones) rather than presents. By December 1st, I plan on sharing some exact ways we will be focusing on presence as a family this year and will invite you to join us for 12 Days of Christmas: An Adventure in Giving Presence. 

parents as teachers
Our experiences with gratitude:

Creating A Daily Practice
Family Dinner {Unplugged}
Moms Connect About Gratitude

Comments

  1. Such beautiful responses - I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I have a set of cast iron frying pans that I inherited from my grandmother and I think they are one of the very best items you can pass down. Happy first kiss anniversary!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Happy Very Hungry Caterpillar Day: Celebrating 45 Years with Caterpillar and Butterfly Crafts from The Kid's Co-Op

March 20th is Very Hungry Caterpillar Day with celebrations and programs being held around the world to honor the 45th Anniversary of the book. 


We love The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so of course we're joining the fun. Plus, my youngest son's blog nickname is Caterpillar, after the book. Just as Wild Thing is my 4 year-old's nickname inspired by Where the Wild Things Are. 

Today, we'll be doing another Very Hungry Caterpillar Food Drive. We did our first one for Eric Carle's birthday last June and called it a Very Hungry Caterpillar Virtual Food Drive and loved hearing that the virtual part worked, as others were inspired by our online shares and also did VHC-inspired food drives.

P.S. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Virtual Food Drive post 
also features 40+ Activities Inspired by the Book, so you'll definitely want to check it out.
For our VHC-inspired food drive this time, Wild Thing will be helping me write the grocery list for food items to donate as we read the boo…

{A Season of Giving} 12 Days of Christmas: Celebrating through Giving

Stacy (the Great) of Kids Stuff World brought to my attention the 31 Days of Service/Giving Calender (and great e-book) from Mom It Forward. 

Having gotten to know Stacy really well through our joint Moms Fighting Hunger effort during Hunger Action Month, I was all too happen to jump on board and take on 12 Days of Christmas, the action prompt for Dec. 4th.


The e-book describes the prompt in this way:
Choose another family in your area to be the recipient of 12 days of gift giving. Try to think of a family that may be struggling financially, emotionally, or with health problems and might need a boost during the holiday season.E ach day, starting December 13, leave a gift anonymously on the doorstep of your chosen family. Involve the kiddos in your secret acts of service. Your gifts can relate to the “12 Days of Christmas” song verses (i.e. partridge in a pear tree, turtle doves, French hens, etc.) but it’s not necessary. Try to choose or provide handmade gifts, drawings or tre…

Happy Birthday, Eric Carle~We're Doing a Very Hungry Caterpillar Virtual Food Drive to Help Very Hungry Kids! Join Us!!

Summer is officially here (for half of the world anyway). For many of us, school was out well before the First Day of Summer/Summer Solstice on June 21st. While summer means beaches, pools and vacation for many families, it also means increased food insecurity for others. Food budgets increase for almost everyone in the summer, and families that rely on free and reduced school lunches struggle with the loss of these much needed meals (many schools also provide breakfast to children as well and for many children, their only meals are the ones they eat at school). For some reason, thoughts of the summer struggle against hunger surged to the forefront of my brain every time I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, or overheard Wild Thing reading it to himself or his father or brother (he has the whole book memorized). 

Finally, it came together, that caterpillar who is so very hungry and needs all of those food items in order to become a beautiful butterfly made me think of all o…