Tag Archives: thankfulness

Side-seat driver

I’ve been teaching my son how to drive these past few months. I definitely have let my husband do the lion’s share of the teaching. My husband is much more patient than me and can communicate clearly when it comes to immediate action needed. This is really helpful when our young driver is about to run a yellowish/red light! In these moments, I go into “soup” mode. That’s what I call it. I want to respond quickly, but feel like I am swimming in soup. What comes out of my mouth doesn’t even make sense.

All this driving got me to thinking about God. Okay, let me catch you up. When my son is driving, I’m focused on remaining calm and keeping my voice level and easy. I am blessed with a pretty cautious son, so things usually don’t get too challenging, until I insert myself. For example, I needed to mail a letter, and at the last minute said, “Turn here,” forgetting that he needs ample time and space to accomplish this. Yikes! Being a side-seat driver didn’t help him at all. Suddenly, I realized that I’m like that with God. I let Him drive most of the time. But right when things get going well, I insert myself and demand immediate turns, sometimes in the totally wrong direction.

Here’s the good news. I’ve learned a thing or two.  God used to only be my side-seat driver. I had the steering wheel and my own navigation system, although who knows where I was heading. He would just yank the wheel to avoid immediate danger. So, although I have plenty of room to improve, I am sure thankful I am no longer driving that car. But don’t let me fool you– it sure was hard letting go of that steering wheel!

You Will Win the Gratitude Game

Someone challenged me to write a “gratitude” journal for 30 days. I love challenges! So, I got out a super fancy, spiral-bound children’s grade school notebook and started my journal.  I decided that I had to fill an entire page for each day. I also decided that I couldn’t just repeat the same things over and over. I had to try and discover new things for which I was grateful each day. I made the rule that if I had already mentioned someone or something, I could mention them again if there was a new “outstanding” reason for thankfulness.  I challenge whoever is reading this to try this for 30 solid days. But before you do, take note of your level of “happiness” before you start, and then take note of your level of “happiness” when you finish. I think you will be surprised to discover just what gratitude brings to your life.

Here are my 100 things for which I am thankful today:

  1. A warm house
  2. Healthy children
  3. A devoted husband
  4. A break from  ice and snow on the ground
  5. Fresh baked cinnamon rolls
  6. Being able to wish my dad Happy Birthday this week
  7. Having a strong faith in God
  8. A sister who texts me just the right words of encouragement
  9. Another sister who listens to my heart
  10. Another sister who reminded me of how I helped her change and grow during childhood
  11. A friend who shows me how to love
  12. Three teens who understand their call to purity
  13. A dog who wants me to play fetch
  14. My eyesight
  15. A brain overflowing with ideas
  16. Forgiveness
  17. Adoration
  18. My spiritual director
  19. Sunshine
  20. Comfortable shoes
  21. A sister-in-law who offers support and understanding
  22. Discovering a frozen pizza hidden in the freezer
  23. Good neighbors
  24. A wacky back massage from my daughter
  25. Watching my daughter practice her ballet
  26. Reading my other daughter’s essay
  27. Laughing at my son’s funny antics
  28. The Winter Olympics
  29. Two working vehicles
  30. Room for guests
  31. Functional internet access
  32. Marketing ideas that just keep pouring into my brain
  33. A creative and fun and energetic peer who likes to work with me
  34. Fancy wedding gift ideas that I don’t have to think of
  35. Birthdays
  36. Baptism days
  37. All my nieces and nephews
  38. Finding my hairdresser
  39. Learning how to make laundry soap
  40. Having access to recipes online
  41. My apron
  42. Clever ideas for mud rooms I found on Pinterest
  43. Two working washing machines
  44. Two working dryers
  45. Polite children
  46. Hardworking children
  47. Peace in my family
  48. Friday rosary
  49. Friends who help remodel
  50. Friends who have cheap remodeling ideas
  51. Real estate investors and realtors who really want to help and have virtue
  52. A great accountant
  53. Wisdom
  54. Understanding
  55. Counsel
  56. Knowledge
  57. Piety
  58. Fear of the Lord
  59. Fortitude
  60. A great roofing company
  61. Fun paint colors
  62. My grandparents – may they rest in peace
  63. Fun crafts that keep kids busy
  64. Wild hairdos
  65. Funny jokes
  66. Bad jokes told by cute kids
  67. Honesty
  68. Understanding how God loves us
  69. Realizing how much I need to work on me
  70. Letting go of what’s not important
  71. Knowing who you can rely on
  72. A clean house
  73. A simple life
  74. An ordered life
  75. Trust
  76. Moving forward
  77. Meeting problems head on
  78. Giving a hand to others
  79. Apologizing when I am wrong
  80. Letting go of regret
  81. My fuzzy socks
  82. A pantry full of food
  83. A quiet night
  84. Greek yogurt
  85. Our piano teacher
  86. Our dance studio
  87. Good soccer coaches
  88. Resolution
  89. Learning Latin
  90. Understanding my call to holiness
  91. Diet Coke with Fresh Lime
  92. Chunky Monkey Ice Cream
  93. A surprise gift
  94. Relief
  95. Cell phones
  96. Staying centered on God
  97. Joy
  98. Baking soda
  99. Being able to drive
  100. Waking up this morning