Monday, February 02, 2009

Cultivating a thankful heart

Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and then more.  
Melodie Beatty

Teaching my kids to be thankful starts with me!  Do they see an attitude of gratitude in me?  There is nothing faster that puts me into perspective and out of the pit of selfishness than to go from looking around to looking up and counting my blessings and naming them one by one.

Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies.  
Charles E. Jefferson
Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits.  
Psalm 68:19

So many, so weighty are the girts of God's bounty, that he may be truly said to load us with them.  
Matthew Henry

God gave you a gift of  86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say 'thank you'
William Arthur Ward
Give thanks in all circumstance,  for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  
I Thess 5:18 thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 Eph 5:20

Here are a few practical suggestions for cultivating thankful hearts in our children.   
    * This doesn't need to be a Thanksgiving Day thing only:  go around the table and everyone say one thing they're thankful for.
    * Gratitude Journal- much like a works of God journal- record daily or weekly the things we're thanking God for.

Please share ways that you practice thanks-giving with your little ones.  I'm all ears!


Janelle said...

All those quotes were very encouraging to me! Thank you! I too want my kids to have a grateful heart! If there is anything at all that I want my kids to learn it would be thankfulness, not only for the things they get, but for our great God who gives and never stops giving!

I don't know if I have specific ways of teaching this, mostly by example I hope anyway. I do make them, at least Aaron right now, say "thank you" whenever they are given anything. I think I need to focus more on thanking God for what He has given us. We do focus on that in our prayers at night.

Great post! I'm anxious to hear what others say too!

Future of Hope said...

Thanks for the thought-provoking post, and for the good ideas. One thing that I really appreciate at Jack's school is their "I am thankful for . . ." wall. They have a section on one classroom wall that is designed for the kids to either bring in a picture or a simple note of something they are thankful for. It is cute to see the children's ideas, but it also an encouragement to see how full that wall has gotten over the course of the school year.
I think that it serves as a visual reminder to the kids in Jack's class that there is always something to be thankful for.
Hmmm. . . I wonder if this idea could be done in a bedroom or playroom?

Mary Ann said...

Wonderful quotes & verses, Beth! They were an encouragement to me. I don't have any tips or tricks about cultivating a thankful heart in others, but I think that setting the example goes a long way here. Especially when things are rough or trying, finding something to be thankful about can really make a difference. If we consistently do that when children can observe it, it may teach them to have the same response. That's my theory anyway ;-)

jeileenbaylor said...

Such a good reminder and encouragement!

Erin Neiner said...

I know this is "out of sorts" with where the comments belong, but I had to THANK YOU for bringing a LAUGH to my night (something not happening much with how I'm feeling...) with watching Kate's "crossing her eyes" video!!Somehow I missed it the first time. I seriously needed some laughter...and John and I were both rolling! We must have watched it 5 times!!! THANK YOU!