forging strength

Forging Strength in Our Darkest Hour

Forging Strength in your darkest hour!

I have gotten a ton of feedback from our last podcast on “How to Discover Daily Grit and Gratitude.”  From what I have heard, most people were surprised that my family went through such a life altering event by losing my son Gabriel.


I have had a lot of emails, texts, and communication through the GDP community about how much the last episode effected them personally.  What I am finding is that there is a vast majority of families out there who are afflicted with miscarriage or death of an infant.  I have even had questions asking why I have opened my life up so much about what happened during that six weeks and how it ended.


The bottom line is this…I shared it for several reasons.


It’s Healing

When we go through something that is literally life altering it changes us forever.  It’s easy to fall into a mindset up anger.  It’s also very common that an event like what our family went through can easily tear the strongest families apart.  When we share the events of our life to give strength to others, we heal.  Simple as that.  When we heal, we help heal others through our own struggles.


Forging Strength of the Family

Losing my son not only effected me, but it also effected my entire family.  My wife and two older sons took the loss of our son very hard.  To be honest, I underestimated how much it would effect my two oldest boys (Ethan 10 and Mason 8).  I can tell you without a doubt a ten year-old and an eight-year old child feels the devastating effects of loss when something like this happens.  However, here we are eighteen months later and I can tell you without a doubt our family is stronger now than it ever has been.


Forging Strength through Gratitude

My family learned firsthand the power of the right perspective even in our darkest hour.  Our family literally went through six weeks of hell that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  Knowing you are going to lose your son will rattle even the strongest man.  However, I learned the power of having the right perspective in the midst of absolute uncertainty.  I kept a daily gratitude journal during this six-week long process and I believe it literally saved me from insanity.


Take 5 Minutes of Gratitude Every Morning

Every morning during that six-week journey, I wrote down three things that I was grateful for every morning.  I can tell you without a doubt, that most mornings it was very hard to see the positive aspects in my life.  However, I can tell you without a doubt that there were several things in my life that were positive.  It took a great deal of discipline to decide to focus on the right things in my life despite the chaos.  I would write down things like:

  • “I’m grateful I have a job.”
  • “I’m grateful my three boys and my wife all have their health.”
  • “I’m grateful we have a roof over our head.”

I will admit, on some days I stretched to find gratitude.  However, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, it was the best thing I did every morning.


My Hope for You

I share this story and this daily routine of:

Morning Gratitude – write down 3 things you are grateful for

Your Power Statement – write down your statement that you will use when the fear wolf starts to whisper in your ear.

Your Mission of the Day – what will you do today.  Come hell or high water, what will you accomplish today?


Evening Gratitude – write down 2-3 highlights through the day.  Get back into the mindset of gratitude.  The highlights are there every day if we decide to reflect on them.

Eradicate Regret from your Life – What was the lowest point of your day?  Write it down.  Get it out there.  Now, instead of focusing on how deeply you regret that low point, ask yourself “what is the lesson?”



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Thanks for checking out this week’s Five Minute Thursday Episode on Forging Strength in our Darkest Hours.


How to Discover Daily Grit and Gratitude

Gratitude is the Secret Sauce to a fulfilled life and is the fuel that develops our grit.

It takes Grit to Climb to the Top

Some of us look at a mountain and immediately think, “Eh-there’s no way I’m climbing that thing.” Others of us will look at the mountain and think, “I’m climbing it. It’s not going to be fun or easy, but I’m climbing it.” To climb that mountain takes grit-the stuff that separates those who do from those who simply watch. Of course, having grit is not necessarily something we inherently have. Sometimes, we have to develop it.

What do you do with Adversity?

Shawn and Larry share their stories of how they developed grit. Both share the pivotal moments where they had a choice: give up or face the mountain. The essence of their stories is this-developing grit is a process, it’s getting up every day and knowing there is a choice. This choice is to live with gratitude, even in the face of extreme adversity.

Why Morning Gratitude is a MUST

Easier said than done, but if we choose to wake up every morning and look at what lies ahead of us with a grateful heart, challenges will seem easier. Larry suggests making daily gratitude deliberate. In other words, one of the first things he suggests doing each morning is writing down what you are grateful for. (He even includes his kids in on the practice and they look forward to doing it!).


With this in mind, he then suggests creating a daily mission statement. Think about it-when you know what you are going to do, you have a better chance of actually doing it. This mission statement doesn’t have to be profound, it can be something as simple as, “Today I am going to read a book to my kids before bed.” There. Done. And guess what? Mission accomplished.


If you happen to see your day getting off track, your mission statement in jeopardy of being derailed, Larry says he uses his “power statement” to bring him back to home base. This “power statement” is the phrase that you utter to yourself when you feel fear keeping you from climbing up that proverbial mountain. It’s the same thing the Navy Seals use when they face a challenge (for more on this, listen to Episode 28 with Mark Divine. Oh! And he’s coming back!). Choose something simple like, “I’ve got this” or, really, whatever speaks to you.

Eradicate Regret from Your Life with EASE

Even when you have done all of this, there will be times when we won’t be the best versions of ourselves. But, instead of allowing the regret to take over, embrace it. Yep, that’s right, embrace regret (sounds oxymoronic, but stay with us here). Regret can be a great teacher; it can show us where we need to improve. So, when we embrace regret, we not only learn from what we did wrong, but we also know how to improve in future events. This way, you really are eliminating regret from your life by absorbing its lesson.

Back to Gratitude

Finally, when the day is done and you have a chance to reflect on all you have accomplished, look back at two of your most positive moments that day and one regret. Be grateful for each of them, but take a lesson from them as well. Once we learn to master our failures as well as our successes, climbing our many life mountains won’t seem so impossible.



Check out our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS


Thank you for checking out our show on How to Discover Daily Grit and Gratitude.