Thursday, January 23, 2014

crankster or thankster

After an errand marathon with my 1 year old, I put her down for a nap and headed back out into the cold to bring up the goods from the car. As I headed back up the 3 flights of stairs to our home-sweet-home, I was tempted to grumble inside. But then something came to mind and stopped me.

Crankster or Thankster.

In a book I'm currently reading, Loving the Little Years, the author says her family often plays this game in the car. Cranksters are people who complain about what they don't have. Thanksters are people who give thanks for what they do have. They make a game out of it and try to come up with tons of things to be thankful for. She says, in short, gratitude is the antidote for crabbiness. Now, perhaps this game is geared towards when the small children in my not-too-far-away-future are grumbling in the back seat. But, it was oh so very relevant to me today. I remember the pastor at the church I grew up in preaching on thankfulness; he said "gratitude is the attitude that sets the altitude for living," and that phrase just stuck in my head.
So I started playing the game. with myself. (Hey, that's one guaranteed way to win, right?)
I am thankful to have a car here - because I can walk downstairs at my convenience and unload the car, rather than trying to figure out what to do with Addie while I unload the borrowed Zipcar. 

Once I had that thought, the things to be thankful for honestly came flooding into my mind. And I felt so compelled to write some of them down, lest I forget and am tempted to grumble in the future.

While back in Omaha, I bumped into another car at a red light. I was so thankful no one was hurt and that her car was 100% A-ok. Meanwhile, I had bumped the headlight casing and bumper on mine. We took it to an auto body shop recommended to us, and he came back with an estimate WAY lower than what we expected. We knew he was cutting us a deal. Well, when we sent someone to pick it up, the auto body shop owner didn't charge us. He just wanted to take care of it for free. Talk about a miraculous car provision! Meanwhile, before that incident, we had budgeted a semi-hefty amount to get whatever done on the car needed to be done to safely drive it out Cambridge and still have it last us the next few years. We took it to a highly recommended mechanic, who came back and said it looks great. We paid $65 for an inspection and oil change. Let's just say that's about $935 less than we were planning on. Awesome! So, when I say I'm thankful for a car... it's more like I'M THANKFUL FOR A CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) 

I'm thankful for the maternity coat a friend lent me so that I could zip my coat on the aforementioned errand marathon today. Plus, it's cute!

I'm thankful for the heavy duty water proof boots both my husband and I were recently given as gifts. My feet are so warm and dry.

I'm thankful for the winter coat given to my daughter as a gift.

I'm thankful for a neighbor who grabbed 30 days worth of mail for us while we were gone!

I'm thankful for friends in Cambridge. Friendships here are a bigger answer to prayer than most people know.

I'm thankful for old friends we reconnected with over break.

I'm thankful for new baby healthily growing in me.

I'm thankful for family, who let us stay with them (and fed us and babysat and let us do laundry and and and.......)  For a LONG time.

I'm thankful we found an apartment to move into in Omaha.

I'm thankful my husband is so hard-working.

I'm thankful for our maternity care being paid for. (We belong to this organization.)

I'm thankful that Addie took a super long nap this morning! (And all the momma's said AMEN.)

I'm thankful we found an affordable gym with childcare to join. Staying healthy and sane this pregnancy.

Seriously, I could go on and on and on.
And poof. The game worked. Any temptation to grumble is gone.

Next time you wanna be a crankster, try being a thankster instead :)