Not too long ago, we all went to a friend's birthday celebration. Since the party was for an adult, the kids all retreated to the host child's room to play while the rest of us were chatting and finishing up the cake.
During the ensuing adult-free time, both boys did something very unkind to another friend who was also at the party. While they apologized under duress, it was clear they didn't understand the severity of what they'd done, so The Husband and I brought them home early. (This, btw, is one of my least favorite aspects of parenting. Just so you know.)
Getting ready for bed the next night, Boy #2 started his prayers. "God, thank you for the good day and the fun time. Thank you for the fun playing Wii. . . ." He wrinkled his little brow and looked at me accusingly. "Mommy! I didn't get to play Wii today!"
Yes, I explained, that was true, because the consequences of their actions at the party meant no Wii for 3 days.
With a heavy sigh that only a 4-year-old can muster, he continued his prayers, "Thank you, God, for the BAD day. . . ."
I got a good chuckle at the time, but it's stuck with me -- this attitude of his. Of course God knows we'll have bad days; He allows them and sends them. And He knows exactly how we feel about what's transpired on those days.
And then He tells us to give thanks in ALL things (1 Thes. 5:18), no matter how we feel about them. It reminds me of writings I've read by people who are grateful for their bills -- because they have a roof over their heads and a safe place to sleep. Or those who are grateful for a rotten day at work -- because they have a job and an income. Or those who are even grateful for dirty socks and underwear on the floor -- because their life is graced with family.
Less than 2 months after Thanksgiving, my littlest boy (who is one of the sweetest munchkins you'll ever meet -- really) reminded me of the attitude I need to have. Thank you, Lord, for this boy-shaped blessing. Please make me more like him.