By Sarah Humphrey
“Is the glass half empty or half full?”
This wise, old expression teaches us more daily lessons in eight words than most full length television shows. It’s a reminder to think positively, give thanks, and look for what is good.
I recently sat down with my three littles to do a daily devotion. This summer has been different for them, and they’ve been struggling with some disappointment. The weather has been filled with more rain than sun, so our pool days have been much fewer than we typically experience. The neighborhood kids that usually knock on our door from sun up to sun down are doing an extra summer program with the public school because of the past year of COVID restrictions, so it also seems extremely quiet for the majority of the day. The phrase “I’m bored” has made its way in and through our four walls more times than I’d like to admit, and it became time for us to talk through what was going on.
I walked to the kitchen sink, filled a glass to the middle of the cup, and set it down on the table.
“Is this glass half empty or half full?”
I got both answers, as well as one response of “Is this a trick question?”
It wasn’t a trick question, but I did want to make them think! So often in our lives, it’s easy to slide into the negative side of processing. For adults and children alike, we can look at all the ways we aren’t fulfilled in some way and then slide into a slippery slope of complaint. As an adult who is with kids all the time, I often have to remind myself to keep my own glass more than half full! But the more we purposely choose to look at the glass as half full instead of half empty, is exactly when we start to gather gratitude and new ideas for what is right in front of us.
A simple reminder can change our attitude into gratitude! If you or the kids around you are struggling to remember to see life half full instead of half empty, consider this easy activity to train your brain into a new way of thinking.
- Find a favorite Bible verse that expresses your gratitude to God. We’re choosing Psalm 9:1 in our house: “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”
- Have each child write this verse on a notecard, piece of paper, or even decorate it with paint on a small canvas. Allow the kids to have time to see the Scripture “come to life” through art or handwriting.
- Each evening, set an empty glass next to the Bible verse on your kitchen counter or table.
- Each morning when you wake up, read the verse aloud and fill up the water glass for a fresh drink. (This is not only a good metaphor, but it’s also a good, health habit!)
- Commit the day to gratitude, praise, and thanking God for all the ways He’s filled your cup. A simple morning prayer can change everything!
- Do this every day for one week, and see how new thinking patterns develop for you and the kids around you. Feel free to continue as long as needed in order to foster the habits of gratitude, positive thinking, and prayer!
Sarah is a wife and homeschool mom to three kids while also working as an artist, author, and voice actor. Her writing and doodling can be found in her devotional, “40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood” and her voice in several commercials, children’s books, and audiobooks. She loves encouraging women and kids to embrace self-care, utilize their gifts, and become leaders in the community around them.