Three Thanks

imagesThis morning my fashionista daughter was struggling with her outfit for church. And by struggling I mean complaining that she did not have shoes that “matched” her outfit.

I’m talking about the my hippie morphing into a hipster daughter…the one that NEVER matches. She is fearless in what she wears–loud colors and prints mished and mashed in ridiculous amounts of layers to achieve her intended look.

So when she complained that she had no shoes to match her outfit, I was truly at a loss.

I cocked my head and looked at her hard for a minute. The issue wasn’t with the matching, the issue was a layer deeper.

We lined up  the four pairs of summer shoes she had to choose from and picked the “least awful” pair–some plain black flip flops.

Then we sat down and had a chat:

me: Look at your flip flops. Can you think of three things about them that you are thankful for?

she: <haughtily> I have shoes.

me: Yes. I can’t tell you how many children I’ve seen in poorer countries that don’t have a single pair of shoes, much less four pairs to choose from. What else?

she: <a tiny bit less haughtily>They aren’t broken yet.

me: That is something to be thankful for. Do you know that in some countries you are not allowed to go to school unless you have a uniform and shoes? Some kids want to go to school so badly they wear broken flip flops or shoes that are too small and hurt their feet, or too big that give them blisters because that’s how badly they want to go to school. It’s a privilege to have shoes that are not broken and fit you perfectly. Can you think of one more thing?

she: <begrudgingly> They are comfortable.

me: Who gave you those shoes?

she: God.

me: How do you think it made God feel that you complained about the good shoes He gave you?

she: Sad.

We practiced a real-life lesson in gratitude today. Not just she, but also me.

I needed to turn this exercise onto myself today more than once. More than twice. And I promise you every time I ended up in tears and so grateful to my heavenly Father for the many blessings I have the gall to complain about.

I relish this precious God-moment today. This parenting thing is such a giant mirror revealing that I still have a lot of growing left to do.


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