Being thankful

This Thursday is Thanksgiving Day, and most of us will pause and give thanks for our blessings.  But what about the other 364 days of the year? Try this: every morning, say out loud three things you’re thankful for. I mean it. Even if you’re having a really rough time in your life, be thankful through hardship. If you think about it, there are always things to be grateful for. Your husband. Your wife. Your children. Your health. Your faith. The roof over your head. The dollar in your pocket. Get in the habit of giving thanks—not just on Thanksgiving, but every day.


Make room for one more

Americans love to indulge on Thanksgiving. Can’t you just taste that juicy turkey and dressing? Well, there are people who won’t get to enjoy even the first bite of turkey. Maybe they’re unmarried and don’t have any family nearby. Maybe they’re a single mom with three kids and can’t afford all the fixings. Or maybe they’re your elderly neighbor who’s embarrassed to admit they don’t have plans. Think about people you know who would really appreciate an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner. Then pull up an extra chair to your table, or better yet, pull up a few.

Black Friday is approaching

It is getting very close to Black Friday — the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season. But a great bargain isn’t so great if it means spending the holidays in extra debt.  Instead of getting carried away by all the big sales and promotions, set some limits in writing before you leave the house. If you haven’t already, create a detailed holiday budget for gifts, decorations, and special grocery items—and stick with it. Write down exactly who you are shopping for and what types of gifts you are looking for. Go shopping with a plan . . . and enjoy the holiday season without going into debt.

What do you kids think about marriage?

Here are some classic responses:

How do you decide whom to marry? “You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.”  ? Alan, age 10

How can a stranger tell if two people are married? “You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.” – Derrick, age 8

What do you think your mom and dad have in common?  “Both don’t want any more kids.” – Lori, age 8

When is it okay to kiss someone?  “When they’re rich.” – Pam, age 7

How would you make a marriage work?  “Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.” – Ricky, age 10

Classic.  So what do your kids think about your marriage?  If you think you need to do a better job portraying what a marriage should be, the first step is to renew the romance. Start with a getaway.  Have you ever planned a trip for just you and your spouse without the kids?

Too much time online?

A spike in the amount of time teenage girls in the United States spend online is a likely culprit behind the surge in rates of depression, suicide and contemplation of suicide, new research suggests. The finding stems from an analysis of fatal injury data collected between 1999 and 2015 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as two large ongoing surveys that have been tracking the thoughts of roughly a half-million American teens since 1991.

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Know your motives

As a leader in your home, motive is so important. If you don’t have good motives, you will make bad decisions for your children. Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” As a parent, I need to constantly ask myself, “Am I living my life to give or to get?” When it comes to my kids, I need to ask “Why am I making this decision?” “Is it best for my child long-term or just a short-term fix that’s convenient for me?” “Is this activity something my child will enjoy or just something I want to do?”

Making your spouse feel appreciated

The next time you’re alone with the kids, have them sit down at a table and write a note of thanks to Mom or Dad.  Have them list 5 things they’re grateful for and then put the letters on your refrigerator.  Your spouse will be deeply touched and you will be modeling for your children what a healthy marriage looks like.