As we approach the fourth Thursday of November, I begin to think about what I am thankful for. The above verse is one I learned as a child and it remains one of my favorites. Recently I realized that I wasn’t really embracing what it says. I’m a pretty thankful person for the most part, but there are those two little pesky words that were tripping me up . . . in everything.

It is easy to fall into the woe is me attitude during the child-raising years. We’re tired. Our schedules are crazy. Every day is made up of the same wash, rinse, and repeat cycle. Before we know it we are in a perpetual state of discontent with everything and everyone around us. Eventually our ungratefulness spills over to our entire household. What’s an overwhelmed momma to do?

Begin by putting on your own oxygen mask! When I’m at my worst I’m not reading Scripture. I’m not lifting my situation up in prayer. And I’m certainly not encouraging my family to do the same. When I find myself in this situation here are the steps I take:

1. Read the Word. Not the easiest thing with little ones but if you get creative you can make it happen. There’s always the get up before the kids method, but I fail miserably with that. Try keeping Scripture handy. Like a New Testament in the bathroom . . . I’ve become quite skilled at reading and brushing my teeth.
2. Listen to Praise Music. It’s hard to be in an ungrateful state when you’ve got praise music on. If crazy is reigning supreme at your house, just crank it up.
3. Be Still. Nap times and early bed times were made just for tired mommas. Take advantage of them. When the kids go down you slow down too. It’s the perfect time to just close your eyes and talk to the Father. Don’t worry about the endless tasks that need to be done. They will still be there when you open your eyes. 
When I diligently pursue these areas my focus begins to center on what is important. And what is important is that Christ has taken upon Himself every wicked thing I’ve done and replaced it with life everlasting. He has chosen me to live the life I’ve been given, craziness and all, and I can choose to be thankful in everything.

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