Every night I tuck my boys in and ask them the same questions:
1. What is your happy thing from today?
2. What is your wish?
3. Who did you help today?
I write their answers down in a journal, we cuddle and then pray. This is the happiest part of my day, when we reflect and spend quiet, quality time with one another. I ask these three questions with a purpose, hoping to grow these boys into men with character and heart. This is why I ask:
1. What is your happy thing from today? I want to encourage them to not only dwell on the goodness that has happened during the day, but to be grateful for it. Life is tough, but God always makes a way. I want my children to see God’s hand in all that they do. When the day has gone oh, so bad, there is always a silver lining. I want to teach my boys to look for that sunshine. It is there. They just need to look for it. By thinking of the happy, they will be grateful for what they have. So many emotional problems stem from self-pity. “I deserve to have everything perfect. The world needs to cater to my needs,” we often think. Then we wallow in despair when we don’t get what we want. Instead, joy is a choice. It is not in what we have, or who we are. It is a decision to believe that we are created by a God who loves us, made us with a purpose and has chosen us to be blessed.
2. What is your wish? Dreams create reality. Hope steers our decisions; as we look forward into our exciting futures we can actually change them by acting upon our dreams. I want my boys to dream big and then work hard. Being familiar with their thoughts and desires which determine what decisions they make, will give them a special power. If they can dream it, they can accomplish it. Half the battle is knowing what you want. Once you know, you are that much closer to conquering the hurdles in front of you. My favorite wish that they make is when they make a hope or wish for someone else. This warms my heart. It is selfless love, the kind of love God Himself has for us.
3. Who did you help today? They know this one is coming, so all day they focus on how they can help others. Selfishness kills the spirit, but generosity grows the soul. If I can give my boys one gift, it would be to help them to learn compassion and show empathy for others. The Bible encourages us to help carry the burdens of those around us. I want my boys to be Jesus to someone each day. It may be the only Jesus that they see that day.
So, I ask you:
What is happy in your life right now?
What do you wish for?
And who have you helped today?