There are a host of things that I want my children to learn before they leave our nest. Among them is the attitude of gratitude.
I believe that being thankful is among the most important things we can master and pass on to our children. I believe that a thankful heart can bring light to any dark place. I believe that being thankful helps to ward off feelings of entitlement, greed, selfishness and pride. I believe that we all can nourish our spirit with feasting on gratitude.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Trent and I have noticed something unwelcome invading our home lately. I believe it has been unintentionally invited in on the shirttails of good things. Our children, lacking of no good thing, are lacking in a deep way. Our North American lifestyle of blessings has handed them a clean, safe home, stocked cupboards, a closet of clean clothes, a backyard complete with swings, chickens and age appropriate toys bursting from their rooms. What it has not given them is a sense of deep appreciation.
A trip to the park? Fun, but nothing special.
A day at the beach? Exciting, but would be better if we also went got ice cream on the way home.
Food on the table at every meal? Why wouldn’t it be?
Clean water at any moment desired? Of course!
Trent and I have had it. It is time to take things to the next step. We recognize that it is going to take effort to install in our children the reality of how much we have to be thankful for and how to avoid overlooking the BASIC things that we enjoy everyday. We also want to avoid replacing any feelings of entitlement with guilt. Having blessings is not something to feel guilty about, yet it is also not something to take for granted.
A while back Hunter asked if we were rich. Our answer?
Yes we are rich. (I am basing this on the fact that anyone who makes over $37,000 a year is in the top 4% in the world for income earned.)* We have everything we need plus things we want, we have more than enough. Not only that but we are rich in family and friends. To top all of that off we have a God that loves us and we love Him. And because we trust and believe what the Bible says, we know we will spend eternity with Him so in addition to being wealthy we have hope for an amazing future. Aren’t we richly blessed?
I believe we have a tough job ahead of us. Teaching rich kids to see life though new eyes takes effort. However, nothing worthwhile is void of struggle. My desire is to focus on one topic at a time helping our family to have a greater awareness and appreciation not only for what they have but what they have to offer by finding practical ways that they can make a difference in the lives of those who need help and hope. If you find yourself in a similar place with your family, I invite you to join alongside us and offer your input, suggestions or share your thoughts and feedback.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Tomorrow we will begin with the first topic: Water.
If your heart was stirred and you want to read more, I suggest clicking over to Simple Mom’s post titled “Neither poverty nor riches”.
*This fact was learned after listening to a fantastic sermon series by Andy Stanley called “How to be rich“.