Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Grateful Game

Tucking my son in on an ordinary Tuesday night I struggled to be grateful.

My head was full of laundry, overwhelm and a ridiculous state of tired. The tired that comes from not sleeping well the night before, worrying over dumb things and cramming too much in one day.

As part of our bedtime ritual, we usually like to read a devotion together. This night's devotion was about a "cheerful heart" and being grateful. If there could be any more of an anti-example of cheerful heart, I was definitely it.

Instead of the usual "God bless so and so" sort of rote prayer we do, I asked my son if he would like to play "The Grateful Game." I figured naming our blessings out loud might help me to catch some gratitude. Or at least help me think about something else besides how tired I was.

Listening to my 7 year old son speak about his blessings grounded me in ways I could not imagine. He began "Mom, I'm grateful for parents because some kids don't have any."

"Yes," I said humbly, "that is true."

"Mom, I'm also grateful for having food and a home and my bed, there are so many kids around the world that don't even have any food at all or a place to sleep."

"Those are all great things to be grateful for," I said feeling my tiredness slip away.

"Mom I'm grateful for my stuffed animals because they snuggle with me in bed when I'm alone and scared. And I am really grateful I have $30 saved in my bank."

The more he continued, my heart melted to how beautiful it was to witness my own son's gratitude. His simple statements of appreciation allowed me to bask in the wonder of his abundance. I couldn't help but feel that same humble appreciation.

Tucking him in that night was a worn out mom who could think of nothing else but what was missing. After the grateful game, I was a mom with a renewed sense of abundance, courtesy of a seven year old.