A Thankful Heart

Thanksgiving is defined as an act of praise or worship (to God), gratefulness, or to be grateful for something.

As November approaches and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I have been studying and digging deep into what true thanksgiving is. When we think of Thanksgiving, we often think of the Pilgrims and the Indians, meals shared around the table with family and friends, the thankful trees in our foyer, and so on. These are all good things to reflect on but I want to live a life of Thanksgiving... to demonstrate a thankful spirit for 12 months, not just one.

As a mom, how can I teach my kids to be thankful and grateful in a world that teaches them that they deserve everything they see or want? How do I demonstrate a thankful spirit to my two sons - especially on the days where I'm cleaning the dishes for the fourth time since I woke up, folding the tenth load of laundry, or cleaning up around the house?

This is what the Lord has impressed on my heart...

We, as daughters of the King, are sinners - we did nothing to earn the gift of Salvation. I deserve to be punished, to be convicted of death, to not be in communion with God; yet in God's mercy and kindness, He sacrificed His one and only Son to give us life and to release the chains of bondage that held us captive. This is the truth we need to teach our kids. This is how we demonstrate a thankful Spirit each and every day.

We should be in awe and amazement at just the act of breathing---- at our hearts beating in rhythm --- how our feet hit the ground each morning...

So how do we teach this kind of gratefulness? We as moms need to make it a point to show them through our actions. Our kid's copy everything we do, right? We need to show them how thankful we are.

Let's speak prayers of gratitude out loud in front of our kids. Take our kids on a walk outside and point out things that they see in His creation and tell them how amazing our God is for creating these things. If your in the middle of washing dishes, you can sing praises to the Father. While folding laundry, shoot up a prayer of thanksgiving for the fact that He has provided you with not only clothes, but the ability to clean them. Yes, my dear moms, we can teach our children through our actions. They say "actions speak louder then words", so lets practice what we teach.

I say instead of just one month that focuses on what we are thankful for, let's develop a lifestyle of thanksgiving.

When I am tempted to think "woe is me" or when I start to have a "look what I'm doing for you" attitude --- a moment of thankfulness can turn that negative spirit right around. Stopping to reflect on what I am thankful for has helped me become a happier mom and wife. I am slowly learning to look at the mundane tasks in my life as gifts. I am healthy and well, able to complete these chores for my family. I am blessed to have a family to serve. The Lord has provided us with jobs, a home, food in our pantry and refrigerator, etc.

As I write this, I assure you I'm not perfect by any means. I actually fail miserably at this but I'm a work in progress. I am striving to tackle one day at at time; which often turns into tackling one hour at a time. Inviting the Lord to work on my messy heart is hard, yet slowly He is teaching me to turn to Him, lift my eyes up, and see Him in His Glory.  For me this starts with a heart of praise for all He is doing and has done.

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