What a year, and what a summer! Overwhelming, muddled at times, yet still with so much joy and so many blessings; so many opportunities for discernment. You may have caught part of my musings of all this in the post “Gaining Clarity”, but something I kept coming back to again and again this summer is this idea of feeling grateful and being gracious no matter where we find ourselves. What an important and challenging thing to work on for ourselves,and for our children to see.
It can be easy to feel grateful when things are going well, and so much easier to be kind and gracious in those circumstances. However, how much more important is it for us to be able to see our times of more turbulence, whether outward or inward, as opportunities to express our gratitude and to show others how gracious we can be?
- To be able to say things in love or to hold our tongues. Holding our tongues is not very popular these days, but such a worthy thing for us to practice and to show our children. We don’t have to say every single thing in a stream of consciousness thought that spills off of our lips or how we feel in the moment. We can choose to address things later, or to let it go.
- To be kind even when we don’t feel like it.
- To be able to follow through on something that was not in our original plans, and to be able to be flexible and gracious enough to accept changed plans without kicking and screaming along the way.
- To be able to control our own desires, our own perhaps unworthy passions, and to really discern what is the right path, the right way?
- To be okay with things that sometimes just don’t have answers or don’t have good answers and to be grateful for that. To be accepting of the mystery that is life.
- To be able to count our blessings, and realize our children are watching us do things. Are we truly being fearless in our life, in our parenting and in showing them over and over a positive attitude, a “can-do” spirit, a spirit of being able to meet life head-on? Or are we showing them fear in how we live?
- Can we be gracious in arguments and in dealing with conflict? Do we have to get the last word in , justify our position, defend ourselves or can we just walk away? Ask for forgiveness? Compromise?
- But, by the same token, can we stand firm and resolute in graciousness when limits must be made?
- Can we be gracious when our path is not the same as someone else’s path?
- Can we be gracious to ourselves as we are evolving and changing, and gracious enough with ourselves to maintain some balance and not thrust our zealousness onto other people? In other words, can we show how we are changing through our gentle words, the light in our eyes, the love we share and not share so many words?
I feel grateful right now, in this minute and in this year. I hope I am being gracious to those around me. So many people know so much more about life, about parenting, about marriage and about homeschooling than I do. I hope I can be a good enough listener to learn from them and savor their experiences and words.
Who can you learn from today? Who can you be gracious with, even if they are not being gracious to you? Where can you interject that smile, that sense of humor, that place of wondering together?
Blessings for peace,