Gratitude for Busy Families


Gratitude For Busy Families

I don’t know of a single parent who doesn’t want a grateful child, especially as Thanksgiving adds additional pressure to practice this virtue in our families.

But as Christ-followers, what we’re really after isn’t just words of gratitude, but hearts that are truly grateful for all that God has given to us. After all, it isn’t enough simply to “give thanks,” for abundant blessings if we don’t know who or what we are thanking.

1 Timothy 6:17 points us to the source of all our blessings: “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (emphasis mine).

If you’re like me, you want gratitude to be a more defining characteristic of your family but you have very little time or energy for elaborate object lessons. So, in the spirit of cultivating simplicity (and gratitude!), here are three ideas to help you and your family develop more thankful hearts:

  • Once-A-Day Gratitude Shout Out: Just one time a day, for the rest of the day, have all the members of your family name just one thing they are grateful for that day (and no using yesterday’s idea—that’s too easy!). Whether it’s at the breakfast table, or running errands in the car, choosing to express thankfulness for helps put gratitude back into our heads, and our hearts.
  • VeggieTales’ Madame Blueberry: Okay, try not to laugh at the downright ridiculousness of this suggestion (or at the show’s highly dated animation!). This silly video has been a big hit at our house, and provided a great reference point to discuss gratitude (as well as a catchy song about thankfulness). Not recommended for kiddos old enough to role their eyes at nineties-era talking vegetables. J
  • Grateful Kids: This is a book that has been on my radar screen for a long time, and I’d love to dive into it! If you find the topic of family gratitude on your heart this season, check it out.

May you and your families be abundantly blessed as you grow in your awareness of all you have been given in this season!

- Courtney Harris