If you’ve followed Michelle for any amount of time, then you know that her family lives a minimalist lifestyle. This hasn’t necessarily been by choice, but it has become her way of life and they will be thankful for it. Here’s her story . . .
It wasn’t always easy.
I went through seasons of questioning God and asking why I didn’t see His favor over me and my family’s lives in terms of physical and tangible things. I battled with depression over wanting my children to have more.
I rarely paid attention to the little things.
The wake up call
Not only were the little things being ignored, but I also didn’t pay much attention to what was being modeled to my children. They were learning how to be unsatisfied, discontent, and envious. I would complain about wanting more and would even get noticeably upset.
Then my children started mimicking my behavior.
They’d ask for more. They’d voice wanting something else. And my four-year-old even began to respond, “Aawwww!” whenever I would tell her that she couldn’t have something.
The harsh reality is that I would get onto them for acting that way, but I wasn’t willing to admit that it started with me.
The work to be done
After coming to a point in life where I understood the work that needed to be done within me, I could begin to see the importance of it all. It became a lesson I could teach my children about the importance of having things and the emotions attached to them.
These are lessons that I wanted them to start learning earlier than later so an action plan was needed.
First on the list was admitting my failures and apologizing for having shown them the not-so-godly way of thankfulness. Of course I didn’t expect my littlest three to understand, but our 10 year-old could get the gist of what I was admitting to.
This in and of itself was liberating and cleared the path to start something that our family puts into practice to this day.
Show and tell
Little by little we started paying more attention to the little things. Instead of voicing that we want a bigger house, we express thankfulness that we have the perfect home for us.
Although we may not have a vehicle big enough to hold our family of 6, we exercise our gratefulness for being able to do things together like take neighborhood walks. While on our walk, we are reminded and verbalize thankfulness for being in walking distance of a nice park.
We have even changed the way we pray about things. Before, I would pray about wanting bigger and better things, but now our prayers are of praise and thanksgiving. We call out every little thing we can think of and thank the Father for His provisions.
These few changes have made such a big difference in not only my children’s lives but also mine as well. Over time, all of our perspectives have changed from more, more, more to valuing and appreciating the little things.
You may, or may not, have mastered helping your children be thankful for just a little, but I’d like to make some practical suggestions that can benefit any family:
- Get rid of clutter – Having clutter is usually the driving force behind feeling like you need to have more. This is also a great time to get your children involved in donating to others.
- Downsize – think you’ll use. Also use this opportunity to teach your children about blessing others.
- Prayer of thankfulness – Add prayers of thankfulness for the little things to your daily routine. This can make for special family time too.
- Thankful journals – These are especially great for children. Have them write the little things they are thankful for every day. Every so often, they can go back through it and see just how blessed they are.
Overall, we have so much to be thankful for. Beyond this Thanksgiving season, don’t forget to stop and be thankful for the little things.
Michelle created 3 Thankful Posters just for you to print and display. You can get them by entering your name & email below.
Michelle Huddleston is a wife, homeschooling mom to four blessings, author, and the co-founder of With the Huddlestons and More Than Minority. She and her husband, Bryan, have a desire to help others learn to live unapologetically authentic through providing innovative tools, resources, and support. You can connect with the Huddlestons on their blog, Facebook, and Instagram.