Thursday, July 06, 2006

Guest Blogger: Mary DeMuth

Gratitude Parenting

For so many years, I've parented out of my seeming lack. At the end of the day, I'd recount all my failures one by one . . . and the list was long. I'd fall asleep feeling inadequate and utterly inept as a parent.

Then I met Hud.

Hud McWilliams works with our mission organization as its counselor. He's also a gifted teacher with lots of insights into personal growth. Several years ago at one of our staff conferences, he spoke about gratitude. His words revolutionized the way I view life and seeped into my parenting as well. What would life look like if I chose to be thankful and grateful instead of negative and self-blaming? Would it make a difference?

As a pioneer parent, I struggle often with my own lack, my own inability to get this parenting thing right, hence counting my failures every night. Slowly, over the past few years, I've been trying to wear gratitude. How has it affected me?

I am more careful to stop myself when I get in a self-condemning rut.

My husband is more aware of my cycle as well. I've given him permission to speak into my life when I'm getting really down about my parenting. This has helped tremendously.

I am more positive around my children. Because I'm learning to be grateful, they are learning as well because what is in my heart spills out onto the lives of my children. I am happier. I am better able to say and believe that I am a good mother. (This is a HUGE change for me.) Gratitude spills over into every area of my life: my marriage, my work, my relationships.

So tonight, before you go to bed, do some counting. But this time count your blessings. Thank God for all the great things He has done. Dare to thank Him for doing great things THROUGH you. Ask for help when you fail, but don't dwell on those. Simply be thankful for another day He's given you to breathe, love, bless, hope and laugh.

Check out more about Mary!

Mary E. DeMuth
Christ Follower. Novelist. Freelance Writer.
Author: Building the Christian Family You Never Had
and Watching the Tree Limbs: A Novel


At Thursday, 06 July, 2006, Blogger Amy said...

Thank you. I wish I had heard of this when I was married. I was exactly like this and it caused our marriage to fall apart.

As a single parent, I have learned to appreciate the little things, trying very hard not to get frustrated with myself for my short comings.

Thank you for your insights.


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