On God, ghosts and gratefulness

GRIN # 141

In both conversation and writing, I try really hard to stay away from religion and politics.

But this blog is personal, so I don’t mind sharing that I’m working on introducing God to Tyler. He may make a decision later in his life to believe in God or not, but I want to give him the gift of a foundation, which is what my mother gave to me.

But God is not necessarily an easy thing to grasp when you’re little.

In preschool, Tyler thought God lived in the attic because we always looked upward during nighttime prayers.

In kindergarten, they studied U.S. governors, and Tyler  was convinced God was a governor.

Now, in first grade, the kids love to scare each other with tales of ghosts and goblins, which Tyler is convinced will get him in his room at night.

“There are no ghosts, I promise,” I tell him before bed.

“What about God?” Tyler asks.

“God is a spirit. A kind, loving spirit.

“Isn’t a spirit a ghost?”

(Kid, you are wearing me out!). “Uhhh….”

I’ve also had to tell Tyler that God is not the complaint hotline.

Tyler wants to review his grievances with God: who was mean to him at school or who didn’t make a fair Silly Bandz trade or whatever. If he’s really mad, he might clench his fists and talk about getting back at someone—as if God will deliver a few voodoo dolls the next day in the mailbox for Tyler’s revenge.

I got so frustrated with all the damn belly-aching, I decided we would each think of two things to be grateful for.

No matter how small.

After all the complaining, being grateful is a hard habit to get into.

But it’s getting easier. I think. I hope.

Sometimes we’re grateful for the sweet blueberries on our cereal.

Or that Sister made it home from the vet to live with us a little longer.

That we have beds. And hot showers. And air conditioning.

That we love each other.

And that we’re well.

And it occurred to me, that whether or not you believe in God, there is something very good about being grateful.

What are you grateful for?

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9 Responses to “On God, ghosts and gratefulness”

  1. Julie Ellison Says:

    I’m thankful for my family, no matter how odd they are. My family reunion was this past weekend so it’s fresh in my mind just how odd they are. (Of course, if any of my family members see this, just know that YOU are the exception.)

    I’m also thankful that I have everything I need, even if I don’t always have everything I want.

    Thanks for the great blog today! They are always entertaining, but it’s good to be reminded to stop complaining and be thankful.

  2. One of the many things I am thankful for is YOU!!! Thank you for sharing your gift w/ all of us!
    Oh, and…
    I make Emma give me one positive for every negative. It has really helped all of the needless complaining.

  3. I downloaded an “Gratitude Journal” app on my iPhone. Yes, I’m a list-maker. But this is one list I am ‘grateful’ to tend to. Every day I write what I am grateful for that day. It is the most important exercise I can do for myself. You are doing a wonderful thing by encouraging Tyler to discover his beautiful relationship with God.

  4. I am most grateful for my family. I am thankful that we have a roof over our head and plenty to eat. I am blessed to have great pets. And we are all most blessed to have such a loving and forgiving God. So important to give the foundation of BELIEF.

  5. THAT IS A GREAT BLOG I AM VERY THANKFUL FOR MY FAMILY OF COURSE NO ONE IS ODD IN MY FAMILY SMILES EVERYONE

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