Cultivating a Life of Gratitude

I am committing myself, during 2010, to attempt to cultivate a greater awareness of how much I have to be thankful and grateful for by sharing my daily findings and musings with you. It is my hope that by blogging about gratitude, I will be more aware of what is going on around me in my life, my family, my friends' lives and our world.

November 14, 2010


With our small group, we are reading through the book "Parenting Beyond Your Capacity" (thanks Kim!). I highly recommend this book - it even comes with great discussion questions for a group 'study'.  One of the main points of the book is to emphasize the importance of intentionally having mentors in the lives of your kids because inevitably a time will come when they will need to talk to someone/seek advice from someone other than you (as the parent) and the book encourages you, as the parent, to be strategic and active in helping to set up those people in your kids lives so that you know and trust those people when they do get the chance to speak into your kids' lives.  Talking this through with Ross and our small group, I realized once again, how thankful I am for the mentors I have had in my life.  Many of these came from First Baptist Church of Newtown (Grace Point) in PA - Sunday School teachers (Mr. and Mrs. Weber, Chris), small group leaders (Rachel, Donna, Kara, Amy, Carlin, etc.), worship team members (Scott, Barb and Lisa), babysitters (Rachel), etc.  Some of these people were teachers in school (Mrs. Hall, Mr. Rhodes, Mr. L, Mr. Bogle, Mr. San, Mr. Zwart) and private music instructors (Mrs. Sweetsir, Mrs. Benjamin).  Others came from families I babysat for (Julie Petsis, Ruthie Keating), neighbors or friends' parents/friends' of my parents (Dorold, The Ames, The Elys, etc.). I don't mean to leave anyone important out, either! :)  I still see several of them whenever I go home to PA and they still ask me great, relevant questions.  I appreciate that my parents trusted these people to speak into my life as I progressed through the teenage years.  I am thankful for the 'therapy' sessions/piano lessons they paid for with Mrs. B for so many of those years.  I am thankful for the community I grew up in because I realize I had/still have an abundance of people who were looking out for me and helping to encourage my moral and spiritual development.  Perhaps some of the richness of my experience comes from having lived there from age 3 until I graduated from college (minus the months spent at college). I believe a lot of the richness comes from real, authentic friendship, rooted in the love of a Christ-centered community that was growing in their faith while learning to deeply care for other people.  So thank you to my parents and thank you Newtown/First Baptist ... I realize how rare a community like the one I grew up in is and I am so thankful for it and I pray E-man can have an experience similar to mine somehow!

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the things that Steve is trying to communicate to parents - the importance of mentors...

    Yesterday we had a surprise 'event' for El in honor of her 16th birthday. We stationed people all over Newtown - friends from school and church who joined her as she walked through town, and people that I called 'El's Significant People' (mentors) who gave her a balloon and said Happy Birthday. Part of what we were trying to accomplish was to show her just how many people love and care for her.

    It's funny, as I read through your list, her significant people are from the same areas of life as yours: family friends, Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, people she babysits for...I, too, am thankful for this community that continues to invest in individual lives!