We came up with the informal name, The Great Global Gratitude Tour, last year. We were thinking of it in different terms than we do now. Why? Our perspective and goals changed…drastically!
Our focus was on ourselves and how we could visit all of the places we wanted to visit and learn how to be grateful (a real struggle for my kids who experienced neglect and abandonment, as well as foster care, but that’s another post coming soon), all the while homeschooling/unschooling, all in a rather la-di-da fashion. Our goal was to cram the experiences into our lives while we could to have something to write about, talk about, and thinking that we would really be living the life!
Now, everything has shifted. While we studied and prepared to meet our goals in various ways, some things became apparent. The more we studied our Bibles and prayed together as a family and individually, the more we felt a longing to really serve, not ourselves, but God. That may sound a little hokey, but it’s real! We could envision doing many of the same things, but our intentions changed.
I think (hope, have faith!) that instead of trying to teach my children (especially the ones who were labeled as “broken”) how to feel gratitude, love, mercy, gratitude, gentleness, attachment (all of those emotions that are supposed to just magically appear to those raised in conventional families), I can let them experience how to just be those things. By allowing them to be present, by seeing that they can touch lives in a very real way through joyfully giving of themselves, they will experience so much more than I can ever teach them.
Well, can’t we just do all that without without travelling the world? Yes, but we can also experience our world, educate along the way and open our lives to so many more opportunities and experiences this way.
Also, I have considered that as a single parent of a large bunch, I didn’t want my life with my kids to be limited to just one location, or the usual daily grind! We are an unconventional family just by our very existence, so we may as well go forth and challenge all of the usual conventions!
I have some posts in the works about some of the challenges that my kids have overcome, single parenthood, finances, and more, so look for them soon!