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Thank You, God, for Everything

Thank You, God, for Everything

“Thank You, God, that we got to have waffles for breakfast. Thank You that we played Uno today. Thank You that we went to Pop and Tutu’s for dinner. Thank You for my jammies and my stuffed monkey and my pillow and…”

I stifled an impatient sigh as my five-year old prayed back through her day, giving thanks for both big and little blessings. Her prayer must have delighted God’s heart, but for this weary mom, it prolonged what I had hoped would be a quick goodnight.

By bedtime prayers each evening, I am done. Ready to tuck everyone in, hoping they don’t boomerang too many times for another sip of water or help with a scary shadow or one more trip to the potty. My to-do list is usually still running and I long for some down time before heading to bed and starting all over again tomorrow.

Sometimes it takes a kindergartener to give perspective on life’s truly important details.

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Everything.

In every situation, every single day, we’re surrounded by expressions of our Father’s loving heart. It’s easy to get distracted by my next responsibility and miss the beauty of the moment. I tend to focus on what I want or need from God, while forgetting to notice the many things He’s already given me. And sometimes, life is just really hard. Gratitude is the last thing on my mind.

Yet God calls us to give thanks – He knows it does our hearts good. It turns our focus heavenward and deepens our love for the One who loved us first.

As we embark on this holiday season, let’s determine to cultivate thankfulness – not just for one day in the middle of two hectic months, but every day. Here are a couple of ways to practice gratitude together as a family:

  • Play the Alphabet Thankfulness Game

Sometimes while driving between lessons or errands, we play the Alphabet Thankfulness Game. Starting with A, we call out things we’re thankful God has given to us: apples, bunnies, cars, Daddy, etc. It’s a fun way to remind ourselves of God’s abundant goodness.

  • Record your blessings

Set out a journal or a basket with index cards and pens. Encourage family members to write down things for which they are thankful any time a blessing comes to mind. Our family uses a special “Blessing Box” – it’s currently sitting on my grandmothers’ hutch. In addition to dropping in cards describing our blessings, we also include prayer requests (and we try to remember to record how God answers).

In every season, our Father delights in being good to His children. Every good thing comes from Him. Let’s ask Him to help us recognize His blessings and lead our children in cultivating a lifestyle of gratitude.

By: Meredith Mills is a wife and mother to three inquisitive, adventurous, fun-loving kids. She loves finding Jesus in the everyday and is passionate about helping others experience Him, too. She blogs about living from a heart at rest at www.DazzledByTheSon.com. Connect with her on Facebook at Dazzled By The Son and on Instagram and Twitter @DazzledByTheSon.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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