Grattitude A T T I T U D E

Yesterday was a day of contemplation. It was a day of pondering and prayer. There are many people I know right now in need of extra help. I spent the day with a prayer in my heart for:
*my brother - he had a medical school interview and I really wanted it to go well for him
*my husband - he's trying to get a moon-lighting job. The extra income would help our family SO much because regardless of what the recruiters tell you, the Air Force pays by rank. Not by how many years you went to school, what your job is, or how hard you work. And although he went through ROTC and 4 years of dental school as a 1st lutinent, none of those years added to his rank so we are still at the very bottom of the "officer totem pole"
*my dearest friend here in Mountain Home who may be having a miscarriage.
*a sweet newborn baby, born with a severe heart defect and whose family I love, that had open heart surgery TWICE yesterday
*and another wonderful family from our 1400 court days at the UofU. Their 5 year old son is fighting for his life right now with stage IV Neuroblastoma Cancer.

Most of these people live far away so I made phone calls and emails and texts to let them know I was thinking of them. I focused my energy on my own little family and the gratitude I have in my heart. And I picked up the kids from school and took a Cheesecake to my friend, because what else can you do? Pray and bring food.

When Landon saw me bring in the Cheescake to someone else he threw a fit. A real, fist flying, tears falling, fit. I couldn't believe it. My OLDEST, ALMOST 8 YEAR OLD child was crying because I was giving someone else a cheescake and none of it was for him. I felt like I had failed as a mom. I haven't taught him that service is one of the true joys in life? I haven't taught him that giving is better than recieving because it not only makes you happy but someone else? I haven't taught him empathy? Something HAS to be done about this.

My thoughts turned to the Brite Series my mom had my brother and I listen to as kids. I still remember a few of the books on tape: Courage, Cleanliness, Honesty, Gratitude Attitude. I wished for those tapes. I planned a Family Home Evening lesson on not just being grateful, but showing our gratitude through our attitude and actions. We read the story of the 10 lepers from the New Testament and talked about how showing our gratitude brings us even more blessings and makes our lives more full.

We talked about ways we can show our gratitude for having brothers: giving in instead of fighting, letting the other one chose where he wants to sit at dinner time, helping the other one clean his room, asking before taking a toy....
We talked about ways to show gratitude for our parents: obeying, not crying when you can't do exactly what you want when you want to, talking nicely to them...
And we talked about ways to show gratitude for the blessings God has given us: following the commandments, saying thank you in our prayers, serving others...
Then we made this:This turkey has things we're grateful for written on his feathers. But his tummy (a jar) is empty. As I catch the kids doing thoughtful things, like being a good sport during a game, instead of quiting because you're losing, or doing a little act of service, we will write them down and put them in the turkey's tummy. The plan is to fill up the jar before Christmas and use it as a segway from Thanksgiving to Christmas: Celebrating Christ's birth and life and the blessings that have come from that by showing him our Grattitude Attitude.

My hope is that our family will be a little more unified as we focus on serving eachother. And that the kids will think of others a little more often. And, next time I bring someone a cheescake maybe I'll get a response more like, "That looks good. I hope they'll like it as much as I would."


my4suns2 said...

Wow, ditto! I feel like everywhere I turn someone is having a huge trial and I just want to help somehow. My heart feels heavy, but gratitude is such a wonderful healer.

I feel the same way with the kids, too. I'm hoping someday when they are older a switch will flip and they'll just get it. Lately we've been talking to them about those who don't have enough to eat so Garrett and Dallin are saving all their change to give to those in need. It's a good sign!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Miss you guys!

Adri said...

Great idea, Kendra. As always...you are full of fabulous ideas!

Kasey said...

My eyes are burning from trying to hold back the tears... You are such a good friend - I really miss you.

I love your turkey - what a cute idea!

Nancy K said...

You are such a good friend. I loved your line saying What else can you do, but pray and bring food-Amen! And with our kids what else can we do, but pray and do our best--and make a WAY cute turkey jar!!! I love it!!! You are such a good mom and your example to them and me is wonderful!

Andrea said...

Kendra- you are such a good mom and such a good friend. I miss being around you guys because I feel like I was a better person when I had your influence. You are raising such wonderful little men, and I know they will learn gratitude from you example alone.

Nic@Nite said...

You are such a good mom and friend! What a good example you are for your kids and the rest of us!