I have been trying to teach myself Spanish by using an app called DuoLingo. I spend roughly 5 minutes a day on this app and am currently on a 398 day streak! While I'm a long way off from being fluent, I have noticed a huge increase in my vocabulary and reading comprehension. I am learning this new language...slowly but surely.
Gratitude is a language that we all want to be fluent in - a language we'd like to pass along to our children - but it is foreign. Gratitude does not come naturally to us, unfortunately, so we have to practice. We innately know that happy people are grateful people and there have been several scientific studies that prove this point and demonstrate how a person can become more grateful/happy by simply listing 3 happy memories at the end of each day.
We have been trying this as a family for the past week and we are loving it! I found that often we would get to the end of the day and our kids would say things like, "This was the worst day ever" even though we had done a lot of fun things because they had fixated on the little bit of bedtime drama and spiraled from there. If I'm honest, the same thing can happen with me - I can forget all of the blessings, focusing instead on the 2 or 3 things that went wrong. So this practice of searching back through our day and looking for good gifts has become a wonderful nighttime routine and a great transition into a prayer of gratitude.
I looked into a bunch of different gratitude journals that are on the market but opted instead to make my own. I tried to write questions that would force us to focus on the current day and give us several different types of blessings for which to search. I write the entries for my 5 year old and everyone else does this on their own. I plan to ask permission to read through these entries when we pray over each kid on Sunday evenings as a way to peek into their hearts and see what kinds of things are bringing them joy.
I think your family would love this routine as well! Pick up a couple of extra notebooks in your back to school shopping and you can print a bookmark by clicking the link below.
We can learn to speak this happy language if we practice a little each day!
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful.