Saturday, January 16, 2016

7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful

7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful

7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful


New Year's Resolutions and the Itch to Change


December, with the love and magic of gift-giving at Christmas, has come and gone. As a parent, you love seeing the excitement and joy in your children as they open the perfect gift you chose for them. 




All of a sudden, the day you've been planning, sometimes for months, is over and done for another year. Then, if you're like me, you realize you should probably jump on the goal-setting bandwagon and actually get something accomplished in the next year. You start to see things through the lens of change. What's working, what's not? How can I be a mover and shaker in my life and in the lives of my family members? 

I've thought a lot about it. Goals have always been a part of my life. I'm really not very good at accomplishing them, but I rock at setting them! Can anyone sympathize?

7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful


But today I'm going to take a step back and just be grateful. What my husband and I really want this year is to have grateful kids who give back to each other and the community. And that starts with grateful parents. What I'm most grateful for are my husband and each of my sweet girls. Sometimes there can be a lot of drama, but I wouldn't change it for the world - because that drama is part of me. Being grateful comes a lot more easily if you have an example and also feel like a valued part of the family.

So, with my #1 Mark of Gratitude being my FAMILY, here are a few more. They are pretty standard, but my reasons behind the gratitude might be a bit unusual. Enjoy!

2. I'm grateful for dance parties that help me get a little bit of exercise! Finding ways to break a sweat isn't my favorite, but if I can do it with my children, it's so much easier! My silly, happy girls make it tons of fun. Here the 4 year old is trying to "dip" the 2 year old.


3. I'm grateful for cold, snowy days when I can get out, get some fresh air, and surprise my husband with a clean driveway before he goes to work. Normally, I really, really don't like to be cold. But seeing the grateful expression on his face was totally worth the effort.

Sometimes the best service is secret service. #service Heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com 7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful #gratitude

4. I'm grateful for children who practice instruments and play beautiful music. Let's be honest here. Practicing with children is no walk in the park. In fact, it can be hard, hard, hard. It's a good thing I believe my kids can do hard things! And, yes, music is important enough to me, developing their talents is important enough to me, that I'm willing to make them do hard things. Even when there are tears, there are also some laughs. When it comes down to the end performance, though, all the drama fades away. Even they are grateful they put in the time with their favorite mom in the whole wide world. :)



5. I'm grateful my husband is an incredibly hard worker - which means we live comfortably enough to have to worry about clutter. And, just for the record, it is a goal of mine to reduce it this month. I did 4000+ things in 2014 (see How to Create a House of Order). But, still... I'm trying to look on the bright side - which isn't as easy as it looks. :)

Grateful for clutter Heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com 7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful #gratitude #clutter

6. I'm grateful for thoughtful children who try to be good and do good, take care of each other, and have crazy fun times together. Nothing unusual here. I'm pretty blessed!

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about. Angela Schwindt #gratitude heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com 7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful


No one was actually hurt in this movie. :)

7. I'm thankful for healthy children who color on the walls. This little sweetie had been sick for over a week. Just flat out vomiting, sore throat, coughing misery. Thank heavens she turned it around. She just happened to think it was okay to get up at 12:23 AM and start coloring since she felt better. This movie is for her posterity!


So there you have it: 7 unusual ways I know how to be grateful. I would love it if you shared some crazy ways you are grateful, too. You can also check out Kristen Welch's new book Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World on Amazon. It's well worth it! (This is not an affiliate link. I was given the privilege of being on her launch team and received a free digital copy of the book.)

As the goal gurus say: Let's make this actionable! When can you ask your children what they are grateful for? Do you have 20 seconds at the breakfast or dinner table? Is a good time right after school while eating a snack together? What if you turned off the radio while on the way to a practice and just talked to each other? If you have 40 seconds you could ask the all-important question, "WHY?" That one word makes it so much more real for both you and them! If you have 2 minutes, you can ask them what it means to be grateful.

For example, your little girl says she is grateful for her Barbie. Why? Because it's her favorite toy. What does that mean? It means she's going to take care of it and not leave it laying on the floor to be stepped on. Now you've had a real conversation about something that is important to you (her gratitude) and to her (the Barbie).

Let's make this the year we are grateful for everything! And then teach our children to be the same. 

We can choose to be grateful, no matter what. Dieter F. Uchtdorf #gratitude heavenissmilingabove.blogspot.com 7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful


You might be interested in these posts:

Read the true tale of how one missing cake pop translated 
into a lesson about honesty with these cookies as the prize.

I got rid of over 4000 things in 2014. Here is a run-down of how I did it and what motivated me.

I pinned this here:
Follow Heaven is Smiling Above's board Important Insights on Pinterest.

As I mentioned above, I'm part of the launch team for Kristen Welch's amazing book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. That means I get to co-host the #RaisingGratefulKids blog hop. Check out the following posts on what gratitude looks like to these other bloggers. I'm sure you'll find some gems!




Inspiring an Attitude of Gratitude - by Alison Rasisng Grateful Kids - by amanda Why You Can't Buy Gratitude At The Dollar Store - by Andrea Missing - Gratefulness in our home - by Ange Choosing Gratitude - by Angela Gratefullness - by chaley 5 Steps to Gratitude-Fille Family - by Christa Practicing Grateful Parenting - by Dana Sing a Song - by Hannah Cultivating gratitude in our family - by Jamie Gratefulness In Our Home - by Jana Gratefulness In Our Home - by Jana Let It Begin With Me - by Jen Choosing Gratefulness - by Jennifer Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World - The Book - by jeri Eradicating Entitlement - What are you rooted in? - by Jessica Gratefulness in our home - by Kate The Problem With Entitlement is that it begins with us - by Katelyn 7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful - by Kathryn Raising Grateful Kids - by Keri How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude - by Kishona Grateful - by Kristy Entitlement: The Ugly Truth of a Beautiful Lie - by Leigha The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Raise Grateful Kids - by Lindsey Dear Son: How Do I Teach You To Be Grateful Without Guilt? - by Marie Osborne Gratitude, A Practical Definition - by Mia Cultivating Gratitude in Our Home - by Nancy Learning Gratitude through Chronic Illness - by Rachel Being Grateful - by Rebecca I've Found Something I Can't Live Without - by Sarah The Power of Naming our Gifts - by Sarah Outfitted - by Sarah Jo Growing Gratitude in our Family - by Sondra Teaching Gratefulness - by Stephanie How Grateful Looks From Here - by Alison Fighting Entitlement in Children and All of us - by Leah Entitlement Problem - by Karrie Grateful Today - by Krystal









54 comments:

  1. Hi Kathryn! You're right, we parents are the example for everything! Our kids reflect ourselves... Your 7 ways of gratefulness are very nice and loving. I bet those dance parties are amazing, we love to dance too! Today I am grateful for unmade beds, which rarely happen, because I'm very tidy, but it's Sunday and we are having a lazy one and are just hanging out.. No beds made today, but a lot of cuddles.

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  2. The thing that took me by surprise on your list was the comment about clutter. And yet you are absolutely right. We should be grateful to live lives where we have enough money to spend on more than just the bare necessities.

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  3. Love it!! I'm also on the Raising Grateful Kids launch team! I am working on a post right now about how as parents we feel entitled and how raising grateful kids starts with us.

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  4. I love this. You know goodness, gratefulness, little miracles, they are my thing!!! And I love this list, especially the snippet of the littlest coloring on the walls! I love that she won't look at you and then you laugh! The look on her face is priceless! You are a great mom, these kids are lucky that God gave them to you!

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  5. I did a gratitude journal for many years and it's amazing what you can be grateful for even on the worst of days.

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  6. Oh Kathryn, what a fabulous post! There are so many wonderful gifts and blessings in every single day if we will just look for them. You are amazing tyo bring out the small and simple; thank you!

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  7. Thanks for sharing! We are also grateful for dance parties, and snuggles under our heated blanket on a cold day!

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  8. Thank you for such a lovely post. I am due to pick up my eight year old daughter in a minute and will be interested in what her answer will be when I ask her what she is grateful for :) xxx

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  9. My dearest one, I know just now via Stephanie that you also have a blog, I did ignore it till now !!!
    I'm so sad to have lost you as a follower, I hope not to have disappointed you, sweetie if so, please tell me !
    I'm going to do copy and paste the link of your blog, so I'm sure to be updated with your posts, I like your blog so much and I'm not so very present on Google+,
    sending love to you
    Dany


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  10. Dear Kathryn...oh, this was such a sweet post and had me smiling!
    Thank you for visiting Beautiful Girlhood today!
    Blessings!
    Kelly-Anne

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  11. Sweet friend, thisis such a beautiful and encouraging post. Gratitude can change your heart and your way of thinking...after all, we are told in God's Word to give thanks for all things and in all things.

    Thank you for blessing my heart, dear one. Hugs!

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  12. Kathryn, I love your perspective and reminder that the change we want to see in others starts first with ourselves. Every morning I write three things from the day before I'm thankful for. I find it such a great way to set my heart towards one of gratefulness. Thank you, friend, for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday. : )

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  13. Love, love, love the coloring on the wall. (And that she felt well enough to produce such a masterpiece.) We had - have - an artist just like that. She's 14 and no longer colors on the walls, just furniture and paper. Boy am I grateful for that sweet kid! Enjoyed the post and visit from #intentionalTuesday.

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  14. I love this post, because it seems so many children aren't being taught to be grateful. In this age of entitlement, we must really teach this to the children. Thanks for sharing such a nice post at Together on Tuesdays :)

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  15. Those are all great things to be grateful for! I love the gratitude when the kids are sick then you know they're feeling better when they do something they're not supposed to. I always worry about my boys when they're so sick they can't get out of bed and I always feel so much better when my 9 year old starts running around the house with his Minecraft toys. He may make my living room a mess but at least he's feeling better and that is always a plus:)

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  16. We live comfortably enough to have to worry about clutter - how true is that! Great perspective, thanks for sharing! #RGK

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  17. ... I love your post... gratitude is something we need to encourage in ourselves and our families...
    Hugs.. Barb xxx

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  18. Starting my gratitude journal today! When we focus on the good in our lives it tends to attract more good. I love this list!

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  19. I think the world could be a far better place if we all practiced more kindness, compassion, and gratitude.
    I just love this post.

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  20. Congrats on being on the launch team! Your post was enjoyable to read! All of your items were simple, yet they are still powerful :) Thanks for sharing with us at Brag About It!
    Pinned and tweeted :)

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  21. Thank you for sharing your gratitude list. It looks wonderful! :-)

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  22. Hi Kathryn,
    So many things to be thankful for! It really is in how we view everything right? Like healthy kids that color on the walls... I need to remember to be thankful for that!
    Thanks for sharing and for linking up with us at #TALENTEDTuesday.
    Hope you are having a blessed day!
    Cheers,
    AJ

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  23. Love this. It's so true! With the right attitude, we can be grateful in all circumstances. Your kids are precious!

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  24. As parents it is by setting examples that our children learn best. Teaching our children to be grateful is important, but unless we show that we too have thing we are grateful for then they can never learn. And I am always grateful that we have enough of everything to be comfortable.

    xx

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  25. Oh I love this -and I love the gratitude in all these places.

    I started reading 1000 Gifts and I started making a list of things I'm thankful for. There are so wonderful, "little" things that I was surprised to realise how thankful I was for them.

    Thanks for sharing.
    xoxo

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    1. I'm delighted you shared this at the #SHINEbloghop.

      Wishing you a lovely evening.
      xoxo

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  26. Hey, my daughter does Suzuki violin, too! And I am a (closet) Tiger Mom about it.

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  27. I love your list and really enjoyed reading it and your lovely pictures!

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  28. Delightful! This is an outstanding list! How blessed your children are to have you as a mom!!!

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  29. You chose some lovely things to be thankful for. It helped spark my own thoughts! It was a blessing to be on this launch team with you :)

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  30. I live reading your post....Trying to work on greatruly children...love the Christmas video

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  31. What a lovely list! I especially appreciate 4, 5, and 7...because I have student musicians (LOVE your "no walk in the park" comment), a hard-working husband, and a sick daughter I hope will soon be well enough to do normal things! Thank you for sharing your words and your heart, Kathryn! :)

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  32. What beautiful blessings to be grateful for! It's the little things that make a difference in the daily! Shalom!

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  33. Your list is wonderful, Kathryn. What a delightful reminder to everyone that there are indeed many often overlooked ways to be grateful and to show our gratitude. It's always such a blessing when we can find reasons to be grateful rather than reasons to complain! Thanks so much for sharing at Snickerdoodle Sunday.

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  34. This is such a great list! My daughter has been sick a lot this fall and winter and I have to agree, after seeing them sick you just can't be upset if the start to feel better and make a mess! Ha! :) I appreciate it! I love that you shoveled your driveway for your husband, my husband would appreciate that, too!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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  35. raising grateful children is a real art. There's a fine balance between giving them room to be free, and giving them boundaries - you seem to be getting the balance right! thanks so much for sharing at our #OverTheMoon linky ~ Leanne :)

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  36. Hi Kathryn, I write quite a bit about being grateful and living a life of gratitude...but your post was just plain pure FUN! Definitely going to recommend it to our own readers!!
    Thanks so very much for sharing this at Coffee & Conversation...hope to see you there again!!

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  37. I am so delighted that you shared 7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party!Thank you so much for sharing your gems and for your support! I'm pinning these inspiring quotes too! All the best, Deborah

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  38. I love this! It is so important to raise grateful children. I always try to lead by example to show my son that being grateful isn't something you do because you have to, but something you do because you love and care about others. Gratefulness is a trait that carries us so far in life. Thank you so much for this beautiful post and for sharing it with Inspiration Thursday.

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  39. Kathryn, what a beautiful and thoughtful post. I never thought to love my clutter because we can afford to purchase it. What a revelation. Have a beautiful week. Love, Mimi xxx

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  40. What a lovely post. There are just so many ways to be grateful, aren't there? Just opening up your eyes every morning is one.

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  41. A very awesome post! We raised our children to be thankful and to always look at circumstances trying to find something to be thankful for, instead of wanting more. It is a blessed thing to live in that knowledge of being thankful instead of ungrateful. Your children are very sweet, and I loved the story of your little one coloring on the walls after feeling better, kids are so fun!

    Appreciated your visit to my blog, and hope you are having a wonderful day :)

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  42. Great post! I love the quote on the first photo.. We all need to remember that we are the biggest examples to our kids.

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  43. Love your grateful list! I don't know if I focus on these things enough, but having you point them out definitely makes me think of how grateful I am for even the little things. I will say I also like the occasional cold, snowy day; sometimes to surprisingly get outside but mostly to have an excuse to curl up with a blanket, the kids, a warm drink and a movie!

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  44. Wow, Kathryn lovely post, I have to learn a lot from it. you are right we should feel grateful for such small things in life.

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  45. Good Saturday Morning Kathryn, this was very timely post for me to read today. Thank you for taking the time to compile. The gratitude of clutter is a thing for sure.
    We get so caught up in our day to day that 1) we don't stop to look at what we have to be grateful for and 2) we dont' take the time to show our loved ones that we are grateful for them. I really needed this today.

    Thanks...Lynn

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  46. I am always uptight about my clutter, but after reading this I am going to be a bit more grateful for that clutter.
    Thanks Kathryn for the new perspective on clutter.

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  47. I love all the little videos! Your kids are a lot of fun as well as talented. The coloring on the walls is my favorite, but the frying pan episode is running a close second! Through all of what our family is going through I'm grateful we are all here. We are learning so much, and time, love and laughter are the most important things ever.

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  48. I love this! I'm working on expressing my gratitude more often, and I even do a weekly post about it. I had fallen into a bad habit of only acknowledging the negatives, and that's not the example that I want to set for my children. I made it a goal to work on it, so reading what other people are grateful for always makes me smile, and reflect.

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  49. Lovely post Kathryn, you are right we should be grateful for everything we have. Very nice examples you gave of simple things in life, we should be happy with those simple things, we have.

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  50. Thank you, Sadhna. The simple things in life are just the best!

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  51. I like your gratitude posts, Jessica! It's a wonderful practice and so healing from the stresses of everyday life. I'm glad I made you smile with my list.

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  52. Thanks for taking the time to watch the videos, Nikki! Yes, my kids are pretty great. :) You certainly can tell the world about being grateful in the midst of struggle. I always love reading your perspective on things.

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