Gratitude

After a week of I wants, and I needs, and you didn’t does from my favorite two little FC’s I was feeling pretty beat up and beat down by weekend.  Doesn’t it just seem like Christmas brings out the worst in kids in terms of a sense of entitlement?

I had a discussion with R this week about her allowance.  We decided the kids would get one dollar for each year they are in school – $7 for the 12 yr old, $3 for the 8 yr old to correspond with their level in school.  Not a lot of money I’ll grant you that.  And I am certain there are parents the world over that are much more generous that we are.  But here’s the issue.  Miss R was complaining about how little her allowance was and how she had already spent it on a candy apple at the parade when I asked, “How much did you get at home?”

“Nothing.”

Next question, “How much did you get at your last foster family’s?”

“Nothing.”

Final question, “What are you complaining about then?”

Yep. Perhaps our minimum level of generosity was over kill.  Perhaps we created this sense of entitlement.  Perhaps nothing is better.  Tim and I have debated the role we are to fill in these kids’ lives.  Are we just to sustain them while they are in our home or are we to incorporate them into our lifestyle? They are going back home eventually, so are we setting them up for a huge crash by giving them everything we can give them and enriching their experiences with ballet and karate?  We are still weighing that one and the jury is still out.

Last week I started a little exercise with the kids on our ride home from school each day.  We each have to list three things we are grateful for that day.  And pretty much, they are able to come up with three good things.  I pat myself on the back and feel good about making a great stride in parenting.

Then I went to church yesterday.  Our pastor started the service off with a confession about gratitude and how God had reminded him that he has more blessing than he can even number.  He then invited us all to join him in a prayer of true thanksgiving for our blessings and to stop taking for granted what God has blessed us with.  Right on preacher!  Yeah! That’s what I’m trying to teach these two little jewels.  But then I woke up this morning and realized I wasn’t grateful.  This is a dream come true for me.  Last week I got called momma for the first time, granted it was the receptionist at the doctor’s office who probably just calls all women bringing in kids momma since that is easier than learning their name but it was the first time in my life someone has called me that and I was not compelled to correct them because, yep, I’m a mom.  Even if it is just temporary and I know I am not trying to replace their real mom, it still fits me now.  And that my friends is HUGE!

I love how God is using this experience, the day in day out pull my hair out struggles to point me to him again and again.  How stupid of me to complain about the struggles.  This is what I wanted more than air at times.  This is a blessing from God, an answer to years and years and decades of prayers.  This is what I was missing in the core of my being.  How arrogant and silly am I to wish it would end, or wish that it wasn’t so soul crushingly hard at times.  And just like that, this morning my attitude changed.  And amazingly so did the attitudes of my FC’s.

We got up and dress and out of the house on time.  That, people is, always going to be a miracle.  A miracle that it happened without screaming and tears and anger and a miracle that I get to stress over this daily event even at all. No I don’t have all I want for Christmas.  No I can’t give like I used to give but I can love like I’ve never loved before and that will make this the most amazing Christmas of my life.

 

 

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