One of the blogs I follow had a writing/thought prompt for this week involving looking for signs of new life as we finish out the season of Easter with Ascension Day (Thursday) and then Pentecost.
I had thought to do a post about the garden and how exciting it is to see healthy plants where there was only bare, worn out dirt last fall, but instead my mind led to the idea of the new life and/or growth that I see as I interact with the children and how important it is to recognize this and feed it.
With three preschoolers it seems that often my days are so full of training and discipline that it is hard to see the incremental steps toward mature adulthood that the children are making. I have to make myself stop and think about all they do and say and then think of how things were last month, last week and yesterday. When I’m in the midst of a spate of meltdowns from F, whinings and weepings from Su, and general getting into things from W it can be very hard not to think that I am failing miserably at teaching them to govern themselves.
Yet, there is growth and new life: each of them does less (most days) of their personal faults than they used to. F is learning to be spontaneously affectionate (yes, he had to watch his little brother to figure out how to hug us on his own initiative). Su is learning how to really try things and not just give up when faced with something new. W knows what don’t touch means now and generally listens. There is progress.
The older two don’t fight as much as they were a month ago, so that’s progress too. Slowly they are becoming better workers and scholars, and I am learning to enjoy them more and be easier with the days that don’t go as planned.
This month as part of our daily morning prayer we are keeping a Thankfulness Journal. We go around the table and name things to be thankful for then incorporate them into our prayers. It will be interesting to go back and see how they have grown in months to come. I have been encouraging them to be thankful at odd moments of the day when it seemed like we needed an attitude check but I’m hoping that making Thankfulness a regular part of our spiritual practice together will help us all to be more aware of the goodness of God and the world we live in.
Our verse for this month is I Thessalonians 5:18 ” In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus.” I hope that we can learn to live this each and every day.