"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Reminder of the Discpline of Gratitude

I was looking through the seminars for the Annual Homeschool Conference I attend in March and was reminded of what I posted last year around this time. I had enjoyed Ann Voskamp's seminar the most and have been working on gratitude this year. As I move forward into a new school year I wanted to remind myself of why it is so important to embrace this discipline. This concept, the disciple of gratitude, of course, is meant for anyone not just the homeschooled. It just happened that Ann was speaking to a group of Homes Schoolers. :)

Here is my original post about the seminar:

The second seminar I sat through was Ann Voskamp's. It was a late start as the power point wasn't working at first and she answered questions at the beginning. As she answered the questions I could feel the Holy Spirit moving, preparing hearts for the message Ann would eventually give. This is difficult to describe, if you were not there. But as she spoke, she talked about all the endless deeds we as mothers do, the sweat and tears, the moments of doubt, fear and failure as you seek to rear your children in the context of a homeschooled education. As she eloquently spoke the list in short sequences she ended with "I know - I do too." A reality that connected her audience to her and her audience to one another. How do we then find joy in the journey of Homeschooling? Her answer was startling simplistic but the truth of it, was like an arrow piercing to the deepest part of my soul. Many of us cried and felt the touch of our Saviour as Ann's message reached our hearts. The answer: gratitude - found in each of the moments of our life, in the midst of the chaos. The ability, the discipline to find gratitude in all the feelings that consume us in the moment, to teach our children that in those moments we can choose God's grace over the feelings that draw us away from Him. Ann said it so well: "It's impossible to feel gratitude and negative feelings at the same time." As I learn this discipline of gratitude, not only do I embrace this for myself but it is the gift I offer my children. They see that my relationship with the Lord, my creator, is real, as He works on me to the inner most parts of my soul. It is that gift I give them, my legacy of love, hope and grace that will remain when I pass from this world. So today I begin the journey of gratitude, as I embrace it for myself, I pray that in the most complex moments of life, in the dark times where failure looms and I feel the walls closing in - I will choose gratitude and thanksgiving. As one of my children challenge me, with a bad attitude or fight, I will say: "Thank you Lord, for this child(ren) - your gift to me, to teach and love, instantly I am gentled, reminded of His love and grace for me, one of His children. And finally the verses Ann reminded us of at her seminar Philippians 4:8 "Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praise worthy -- meditate on these things."

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