Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Being Grateful

One of my dear friends had asked a question on Facebook…..

“What can I do to teach my kids to be grateful for what they have?”

Needless to say, she got several replies.

“Charge them for everything they use.”

“Have them watch you pay the bills.”

“Send them on a missionary trip for a week” (That was my answer)

The best answer that she got was from a 17 year old girl. She said, “You teach your kids to be grateful by being an example of a person who is grateful too.”

I ad-libbed. She said it so much better than I just did! But she was so right! – Out of the mouth of babes….

I went to a friend’s home from High School a couple years ago who was a great example of someone who knew she was blessed and knew Who she owed her blessings too. Her husband is the president of a popular beer company and they were doing well. She was happy to show me her home and showed such gratitude for all of her gifts.

I have another friend who, by the American definition, would be considered poor. She lives in a small home with 8 children and her husband is out of work more often than on but every time I see her, she tells me about all of her blessings. She is always smiling. The very few times that she has shared her hardships with me, she always did it with a smile on her face and an enthusiastic anticipation of God’s plan for her. She sees every one of God’s gifts no matter how small they would look to us.

I have many friends that I could use as examples of gratitude. It is difficult to choose. As a leader at my co-op, I was told of a mom who had her tuition waved because of financial hardship and her husband being out of work. My mouth hit the floor. This was the most joyful mom in the entire co-op. Heck she is the most happy and joyful woman I know!!

This idea of being joyful, grateful and feeling blessed about every gift even if we don’t have money is not a foreign idea. People all around me have this joyful spirit. They are my examples. I feed off of them and bring it home to my own family.

Every day, I tell each of my kids how blessed they are for the infinite gifts we have. Nothing good that we have is by our own righteousness. Every trial has a purpose. Every hardship has a reason. Knowing this keeps me calm.

When my dishwasher breaks, I smile and wonder how God is going to work His blessings. He always does.

When the drum set my son wanted got sold minutes before he was going to purchase it, he almost cried. My eyes widened and I smiled really big and said……”God’s got this! He just put His hand in your drum set purchase. This clearly wasn’t the one God has planned for you.”

He got a much better drum set that came with extra parts, a book and DVD for a cheaper price.

Yes, my kids are still going to Guatemala this Summer for a week but I know that their real gratitude comes at a much cheaper price. I need to be grateful and I need to pass this on to my kids or they will be miserable. Poor or rich…Rich or poor, I need them to be grateful for everything good that they have and recognize every miracle God sends their way.

When something breaks…..When someone dies…..When trials and hardships rear their ugly heads…..

God is about to make something special happen.

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