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Three Things

Three Things

While I often reminded my boys, “You’re the best friends you’ll ever have,” skirmishes still erupted. The oldest antagonized his younger sibling while the youngest often over-reacted. Playing referee as a single mom tried my patience.

So, when things started to escalate, I learned to interrupt and demand that my boys state three things they liked about the other. Extreme versions of this have appeared on the internet. Parents have squeezed squabbling siblings into an oversized t-shirt and forced them to dance.

Words alone worked well for us.

Instead of simply separating my boys during a fight, I forced them to fight their bickering with kindness. Did it always work? No. But they still remember the technique.

Just this week, I spoke with a friend who battles negative thinking, like me. We all too easily travel down mental pathways where we rehearse our failures more than our breakthroughs—especially while sipping coffee in the morning, reliving the previous day. Barely awake, we find ourselves circling a lazy river of self-deprecating thought.

My friend balked at the image. But it works for me.

In response to our recent revelation, we’ve determined to speak at least once a week and rehearse—out loud—three things we did well during the previous seven days. Since we live in a narcissistic world, the practice makes us both somewhat uncomfortable.

But just like I determined to tie a yoke of brotherhood around my boys and remind them of the unique blessing they were created to be in each other’s lives, I desperate need to develop greater peace with the person God created me to be.

My first grandchild will be born any day now, and I was just fitted for specialized braces, called AFO’s, to help me walk. When I asked the young woman helping me if people wear them over skinny jeans, she smiled sweetly and said, “Most of my clients don’t wear skinny jeans. They’re typically much older than you.”

Ouch. Widowed young and now suffering a degenerative neuro-muscular disease, I’ve just never been normal. But that’s okay. God made me who I am, with my weird legs and tired body, to press on as He leads and to shine His light where I can.

So back to those three things.

Not only do I need to rehearse three things I like about myself, I need to record three things I’m thankful for each day. And when I get hurt by another and want to derail into a diatribe concerning their failures, perhaps I need to list three things I like about them too.

By sterilizing the lazy river of thought in my head, I’ll clean up my soul and connect with heaven in a purer way.

Join me!

By: Susan Schreer Davis lives with her husband, their cat named “Eggs” and the challenging effects of mitochondrial disease. She leans on humor, her dysfunctional family, and faith the size of a mustard seed to maintain hope. Learn more about Susan, her latest book and many songs at

Join us at for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

One Comment

  1. Alas, I don’t practice the following every day but it would be good if I did. The suggestion was to thank God every morning for ten positive things that happened within the previous 24 hours.

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