The Way of Gratefulness

I had an interesting conversation with my children this weekend. I made mashed potatoes for dinner one night, and Anne caught me supplementing them with some cauliflower. Because she saw it, she was determined that they were horrible mashed potatoes and spent the first part of our dinner complaining, and sharing her knowledge with her brother which brought on a bout of complaining from him as well.

My initial reaction was one of sheer frustration with children who were complaining about what they were eating instead of being grateful that there was food, and food they enjoy, on the table in front of them to eat.

Then I decided to try to make it a teaching moment (despite my frustration). I explained to them that when you come at everything in life with the attitude of complaint, then you are basically saying that the things you don’t like take precedence in your life over the good. I suggested that they instead choose to find reasons to be thankful for what they do have.

About two years ago I began journaling my prayers more regularly, and a little over a year ago, I made a conscious effort to change the way I was journaling. I began adding, “Thank You, Lord…” to almost every single day’s journal. It forced me to look at the day differently. It forced me to pray prayers of thanksgiving rather than prayers of complaint or petition for what I didn’t have.

Now, a day rarely goes by without me being grateful for multiple things throughout the day.

After talking to the kids, I was reading my devotions for the night and read this:


It reminds me of the VeggieTales song my kids and I used to sing all the time:

I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!

For our home on the ground,
For His love that’s all around,
That’s why I say thanks every day!

Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
I’m glad for what I have,
That’s an easy way to start!

For the love that He shares,
‘Cause He listens to my prayers,
That’s why I say thanks every day!

Perhaps it would be a good song for all of us to learn.



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