If you’ve known me any amount of time or read around my blog a bit you might know my special feelings about Psalm 126:5-6. You might know that I heard an incredible message on this short section of Scripture just before we began foster parenting and it has stuck with me ever since. You have probably heard me talk about the many days I couldn’t believe I’d ever have sheaves and you know, too, of course that I have a whole bunch of them now.
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
Psalm 126:5-6 NIV
In case you don’t know me, really, it boils down to this: the sheaves aren’t the harvest, they aren’t just grain- they were the left overs; the bundles that were made from what was left behind the grain gatherers. The overabundance.
My four most precious sheaves now are 7, 5, 4, and 3. I do have an overabundance and far more than I deserve in these small people God has entrusted to me. I am awed at them often, awed that I have been given such incredible people in my life and in my care.
I’m in a book club with a handful of moms and we are currently reading “Growing Grateful Kids” by Susie Larson. So far the most impacting advice I’ve found in it is practical. (Practical isn’t usually what impacts me most.) Susie Larson says that the first way to teach gratefulness in children is to express your own gratefulness. As I’ve read some simple steps from the book, such as, comment on how thankful you are for the sunshine and beautiful blue sky, verbalize your gratitude for simple things like clothes or food, I realized how very seldom I say these things OUTLOUD. I write them in my journal. I ponder over them while I watch the kids play outside. I think them. But I don’t say them for my children to hear.
Another bit of practicality for you comes from the last book we read in our club “Don’t Make Me Count to Three” by Ginger Plowman (and I didn’t love everything in this book before you jump on me, okay?) She said “you cannot impart what you do not possess.”
Do I possess thankfulness?
Because without it, I cannot create grateful kids.
And in thinking on these things I’ve come to realize that I am actually thankful for more, deep down, than I verbalize- or even actively think about. When I sit, and I ponder and I wonder about my own aptitute for gratefulness, I’m overcome with it. I’m amazed at my life. At my children. At my husband. At the people in it. That I have simple comforts. I could make lists upon lists. However, in the minute to minute life, I don’t practice this. For my sheaves, to my sheaves and beyond.
So, this fall, I’m going to become a sheaf gatherer. I’m not just noticing my sheaves, I’m gathering them. I’m going in the field, to be a gatherer. I’m exploring, I’m re-learning how to be grateful…for life in general. It will be a challenge (delete the list I almost included here to show you- to prove to you- it will be hard to be grateful) and clearly I will be the biggest challenge to my own growth. Won’t you come along and gather with me?
Let’s be thankful…..