teaching thankfulness

Being born in America has its distinct advantages.  We definitely have freedoms beyond what most of the world could even imagine.

Being born in America also has its disadvantages.  We who profess to be followers of Christ must struggle against a culture that unabashedly teaches that we are entitled to “more”.

This is never more true than when you’re raising children.

It’s hard!

People joke about wishing kids came with a manual, and for real, there are  a whole lotta days when I echo this wish.  Raising kids isn’t for sissies; this is especially true for Christian parents who desire to raise their children in a way that glorifies God.

FYI:  the entitlement culture?  Not glorifying to God.

You see, we don’t deserve anything.  Nada.  Zilch.

It’s by GRACE we have been saved, not of our own works, lest we should boast.

I’ve really been struggling the past few weeks with how to instill godly characteristics into my children without seeming like it’s a chore. I want to do it in a way that allows us as parents to participate in the learning process.  I want it to be a natural part of family life, not something that seems forced or contrived.

And, as I’ve prayed, the Lord has revealed ways to go about accomplishing my goals.

Because, He doesn’t want it to seem like a chore either.  He wants Matt & I to be able to participate so that WE can learn more about him too.  He wants it to be a natural part of our family life… because he doesn’t want to FORCE us to love him… it should be like breathing.

With all of that said, I wanted to share something that we started, tonight.

I “happened” to be in an office supplies store looking for something (that I ended up not buying).  As I was leaving, I passed by the index cards & paraphernalia.  My eye caught a little metal tin box, and because I know of my children’s love for storing things inside of other things, I stopped & picked it up.  It was small enough to fit index cards in, kind of like a plastic recipe box, only metal, and cuter. 🙂

All of the sudden, the idea popped into my head,

“this is how you will do it”

Ummm, excuse me?  Do what?

“this is how you will teach them to be thankful”

And, it all came together.

Living in the affluent area of a large city the way we do, my kids don’t lack for anything.  We don’t give them everything they want, but they have a lot; more than they need.  I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out a way to teach them thankfulness.  We can model it all day long, but we’re fighting a losing battle against the entitlement culture.

So, we have a thankfulness box.

Every night at dinner, we each get a little piece of paper (I cut up index cards).  We each get to write down something that day we were thankful for, and it can be ANYthing.  (*ahem*… mine today may or may not have been “coffee”)

On the back side, I wrote today’s date.  The idea is that when our box is full, or just whenever we need a reminder, we can pull these pieces of paper out & be reminded of the Lord’s goodness to us.


I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this.  It fits with everything I had been praying about.  It won’t seem like a chore, because it’s at the dinner table & we’re all there anyways.  It allows Matt & I to participate & learn along with our kids.  It’s not something we’re trying to force into our schedule that seems awkward.

Besides coffee, I’m ridiculously thankful for the guidance of the Spirit.

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