• Thank you Jessica for a great reminder. What a cute photo.

    From Debbie
    June 16, 2011


As I was driving home last night I found myself frustrated.  I wasn’t mad at anyone in particular, just frustrated.  Since we’ve started our family in the last 3 years my world has done a 180 turn.  I used to have more control over my time.  Aside from my work schedule and church service, I could pretty much decide when I wanted to fit in everything else – cooking, cleaning, exercising, time with friends/family, etc. 

Now, with my 2 year-old and 3 month-old, their schedules completely dictate mine.  If I want (or need) to do anything without them, it requires a lot of effort.  Errands I used to take for granted, I now have a baby strapped to my chest and a toddler singing her ABCs all through the store.  On an evening walk, I used to be able to reflect on the day, or look ahead in what’s to come and sort out ideas, feelings, etc.  Now, my focus is on my toddler who wants to ride her bike for the first 3 minutes, then walk, then push her sister’s stroller, then have me carry her, then it starts all over again.  In these summer months I get a little taste of single motherhood because it’s the busy season for my fiancé’s businesses. 

Well last night when I felt the frustration in lack of control rising, I remembered an activity that Johanna Smith Ellis encourages in the Personal Responsibility workshop that she’s holding next week – a Gratitude list.  Whenever I start to get that feeling that “life’s unfair”, I try to remember how important it is to be grateful for all the wonderful gifts we do have.  This exercise suggests that we right down 5 things we are grateful for each day.  They don’t have to be big things, it could even be your morning cup of coffee, but reflecting on 5 things you are especially grateful for today. 

Here’s my list from yesterday:

  1.  My good morning smile and “conversation” with my 3-month old
  2. Energetic and positive coworkers
  3. Confirming plans for a trip home to see family
  4. Playing along with my daughter’s favorite game at the moment – faking sleep
  5. The cool breeze on my evening walk

After this exercise, I start to notice that I don’t feel as bad about the frustrations of the day. It helps remind me of the bigger picture, and allows me to enjoy the rest of the day in a new light.

 What 5 things are you grateful for today?

Jada and Hayla

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