November 28, 2018

“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” – Proverbs 1:8-9

As a parent, there are several days when I question my parenting skills. I have a six-year-old little boy who is full of love and life. Most days are great, and we have a blast together, but then there are those days I wonder if I’m doing anything right. Recently, we spent a day at the zoo together. It was a great day, but by the end of our 4-hour tromp around the zoo I was done for the day and my patience was wearing thin. On the way home, we stopped at the store for a few things and without thinking I instructed him to go ahead and hold the door for a lady who was approaching. As he did, she looked at me, smiled and said, “Thank you. You’re a good mother.” These words from a stranger changed my attitude about the rest of my day. I stopped focusing on the negative and exhaustion and started focusing on what was good about the day; being thankful that I was able to spend the entire afternoon at the zoo making memories with my son. I was thankful for the beautiful weather we were able to enjoy and the many giggles.

I have no idea who the lady was, and I doubt I will ever see her again, but her few words of gratitude made a huge difference for me. It made me more aware of how and when I show my gratitude. Showing gratitude to a stranger could not only change their day but it could change their perspective. This Thanksgiving, I’m going to focus on my gratitude giving- to the person holding the door at the store, the man taking money at a drive thru and to the parent who looks tired and stressed.

To the stranger at the store, thank you. You didn’t know what I needed that day, but your expression of gratitude meant a lot to me.

Today, I’m praying that I can focus on sharing God’s love and bringing hope to the world through my gratitude.

Taylor Easttom, Edmond Campus Director of Children’s Ministry