Friday, August 12, 2011

Music to My Ears

I wish I could say that Blogger was auto-posting, because I was in the hospital having a baby right now.....but I'm not. So don't ask.
Now that I've got that off my chest, on to more interesting topics!
As missionaries on furlough, we've been faced with some interesting challenges. If you've been in my shoes, I know you'll understand!
One of the biggest challenges has been for my kiddos, though I've certainly needed help in this area, too!
My girls are seven and four and the only home they've ever really known has been on the field. Let's just say that moving to a new place for a year is never easy, even if it is their "home" country!
Now I'll be the first to tell you that God gives us grace for whatever He calls us to do. And I'll also add that God has made children to be incredibly resilient! They often bounce back into shape much faster than mommy does! (And no, I'm not talking about having that baby again!)
we have definitely had "furlough days". The days when a little one wakes up crying, because they dreamed about friends on the field; the days when nothing seems to go right and they just want to go "home"; the days when nothing seems "normal" and they just want life to feel like what they're used to; the days when they've had to try a bunch of new foods and nothing tastes good; the days they've had to go to yet another new Sunday school class and they are nervous and want to know when they get to go to "their" church.
These are the days I'm talking about. And whether you are a missionary or not, I know you've had them, too. (Okay, maybe not the food part, but you get the idea!)
The days when NOTHING seems to go right.
If you've read my blog for a while, you may remember my post about seeing life through eyes of gratefulness. Since that time, I've also come to see the importance of fostering that in my girls.
Thanks, Ann!
And so here is my little solution: every time we have one of "those days" and the tears come, we think of things to be thankful for.
I bought some cute post-it notes to use, but really, you could use anything you have on hand. Colored paper, 3x5 cards, die-cuts, scrapbook paper or even chalkboards, whiteboards, or notebooks could all work.
It's a seemingly simple solution, but it works.
1. Think of things to be thankful for, instead of all the things
that you are unhappy about.
2. Write them down one-by-one.
3. Put them where you can see them!
4. Keep writing them until your focus has changed!
The amazing thing about counting your blessings is that it works!
Funny, isn't it, that God knows what He's talking about!?!
After just a few minutes of writing our thanks, both the girls and I feel much better.
And now that we've done this a few times, I'm already starting to see a change in thought patterns.
Out of the blue...."Mommy, can I add a star today? I'm thankful for...", that's music to a momma's ears.


  1. Beautiful! We will be starting the same thing today... writing down what we are thankful for. Hubby and i are talking about how to also incorporate it into our family devotions.
    praying for that baby to come soon! i well remember the last days are just ... ugh. :(

  2. Patty~
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I can easily see how this would be a real issue to deal with on furlough. Thank you for being real and sharing this wonderful idea! ♥ it!

    Heather G.

  3. Thank you for this idea. I am constantly trying to point out the good, but I think it would mean more if they did it too. I love the idea of cute post its to keep them visible. Thanks!

  4. Such a great idea! I try to do that, but the kids would really enjoy this.

  5. Hi! I'm from our missionary group on facebook. You have a beautiful blog! I'll be following!

  6. Beautiful post.....I know exactly where you're coming from....I'm looking forward to returning to our 'home' Portugal in a few weeks. And my youngest children are too!

  7. Great Idea! I love it! I do that myself, but the idea of including the kids and posting our gratitude for all to see is all the better! Thanks for sharing!