We just got back from a Spring Break road trip to see family “up north.” We spent about 24-hours in the car, round trip.
That is a lot of time in a car with eight other people.
Our kids (they get it from me!) are prone to be car sick, so we cannot read books or play on little screens. Pretty much looking down is out of the question. So, when we travel we listen to audio books, we watch movies, we play with toys, listen to music, talk with each other (yep, real live conversation!), and play games in the car.
Truth be told, we like playing games in the car even when we are driving around town. We like looking for VW Beatle cars – old and new, and PT Cruisers. A few years ago HHR’s came out and for a while our younger kids had trouble telling the difference between an HHR and a PT Cruiser. All of a sudden we saw HHR’s everywhere. It was hard not to notice them. So we started an HHR game, too. And the more we looked for them, the more we found them.
The funny thing is we have lots of fun together looking for cars when we are driving around. Then we get out of the car and come into our house and it seems like people look for offenses. And the more we look, the more we find them. It’s not nearly as fun as seeing a Convertible PT Cruiser with wood grain…. None of us feel like we’ve won when we play the find-an-offense game.
“You didn’t put your shoes in your shoe cubby!” (Maybe because they were muddy and you wanted to clean them first, but all I’ll notice is that they aren’t put away.)
“You slammed the door in my face!” (Maybe you were trying to catch the baby who was falling, but you let go of the door when I was behind you so that’s all I’ll notice.)
“You only gave her one of your special candies!” (It was the last one and you sacrificed and didn’t keep it for yourself, but I’ll only notice I didn’t get one.)
Accusations and angry words fly. From me, too, lest you think I’m above all this! The kids often do what they see me do. And the more we determine to see offenses, the more offenses we see.
It finally occurred to me that we are all searching for something – and whatever it is, we usually find it.
So… over a year ago our family took Ann Voskamp’s challenge to find things for which to be thankful on each day in October.
Then in January 2013 we decided to keep a notebook and write down the things for which we thanked God with special emphasis on thankfulness when something was hard. (e.g. “Even though I got kicked in the head by my brother on the swing, I’m thankful it provided the opportunity to see the tick behind my ear so I didn’t get sick.”) We kept going until we got well past 1,000. It didn’t take very long with eight people contributing.
This year we started a Good Report Board of sorts. We relocated a small-for-us white board to the dining room and started to write down things each person did that inspired rejoicing. It can be anything from “laughed with brother while cleaning bathrooms” to “shared truffles with the family” or “prayed for brother to have fun time out with Mommy and Daddy” and “slept through the night.” When the board is full, we have a celebration and look back at all the ways we’ve been encouraged by the acts of those around us. We are looking for good things to report. We are searching for grace.
All of these activities have done a lot to change the culture of our home. When we are intentionally looking for the good to report on others or for things God is doing and ways we can be thankful even when something goes “wrong” from our perspective our attitudes change. As our attitude change, so does the culture in our home.
Are you ready for a culture change in your home?
Easter is coming and there will be lots of Easter Egg hunts going on in church yards, community parks, and family homes. The delight of finding eggs hidden in the grass is a sweet joy for many children.
But what if we also spend the weeks leading up to Easter searching for EGGS (Evidences of God’s Grace) in the weeds of our daily existence?
This is not my idea – I’ll refer you to Ken Sande’s blog called, Join Me on an EGG Hunt to read more. He wrote his post last spring – so the contest mentioned at the end of his blog is no longer running.
But I thought it would be fun to have a contest here at Cultivate Grace.
Grace, of course!
An Amazing Grace Gift Box from Ulta. It contains:
1 bottle of shampoo/bath/shower gel
1 bottle spray fragrance
1 bottle whipped body creme
- First, read Ken’s blog Join Me on an EGG Hunt
- Return to this post and leave a comment telling me of an EGG you’ve discovered or a plan you have to search for EGGS in your house.
- For additional entries, leave the same comment on your Facebook page with a link to my Cultivate Grace Facebook page. Tweet your comment and mention @cultivate_grace for another entry (you have to use the underscore or you’ll be @mentioning a winegrower in California… lol).
- This contest is open to US residents until Monday, April 21, 2014, 11:59 p.m. CDT.
- Sorry, I can only mail within the US.
- On Tuesday April 22, we’ll have a drawing and announce the winner at Cultivate Grace, on Facebook, and Twitter.
I’m looking forward to celebrating God’s grace in your lives and hearing creative ideas of EGG hunts in your homes!