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Sunday, November 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Mama Bear Moxie: An attitude of gratitude

Claudia Van Vliet receives a half gallon of milk from volunteer Bruce Senn of Darigold to add to other food items during the annual turkey giveaway at Spokane Arena on Nov. 25, 2014. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Claudia Van Vliet receives a half gallon of milk from volunteer Bruce Senn of Darigold to add to other food items during the annual turkey giveaway at Spokane Arena on Nov. 25, 2014. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
By Kristina Phelan For The Spokesman-Review

November has arrived, and it has me feeling all the feels when it comes to giving thanks. I am not on Facebook much anymore, but I do miss the daily gratitude posts that friends would make during November. There were years when I would do the same in posting one thing per day in November for which I was thankful.

I have heard of gratitude journals, which are simply a notebook where you write down what you are grateful for on a daily basis. I have never had one but think that this year might be the right time to do it. I like to include my family in things like this that can help teach my kiddos to look outside themselves.

So much of our world is selfish and focused on what we can accomplish during the day. Teaching my kids to rotate the mirror to those around them can be tricky. As a mom, I have learned the lesson that the world doesn’t revolve around me. However, I also should be aware of the fact that the world doesn’t revolve around my children, either.

I want my kids to look for and recognize the world around them. I want them to give thanks for the little things in life that we often take for granted like a solid home, indoor plumbing and a furnace that clicks on while we are all still sleeping. The ability to work, bring in a paycheck and have money to buy groceries are all things that I want them to notice. The fact that we can even stop at a grocery store to pick up a gallon of milk is a huge thing in itself.

This November, I want to help my children see the small miracles of the world that happen on a daily basis in their lives. To see the bigger picture. To recognize and pinpoint those tiny aspects of our day that are privileged. To notice, and help, those in our world with outstretched hands as well as those in our society with hardened hearts.

As we enter this holiday season, I want to encourage all of my readers to give back to their communities in little ways that count. Whether it is playing cards with an elderly neighbor, taking a plate of cookies to a friend or inviting someone in need of your Thanksgiving table. Reaching out beyond ourselves helps us have an attitude of gratitude and, in turn, show love to others in need.

What will you do this month to have an attitude of gratitude?

Kristina Phelan is a former Spokane area resident now living in Illinois. Visit her website at mamabearmoxie.com.

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