Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Choosing Gratitude When It's NOT Thanksgiving

Each year at Thanksgiving time, we pull out our Thankful Box.  This is just a box that I decorated many years ago when my first kiddo's were small and I attended a MOPS group.  It had pine cones glued to the top~most of which are now missing!  It has seen better years.  But each year it is the kids that want me to get it out and put it on the table.  Then during the month or so before Thanksgiving, we all add little notes stating what we are thankful for.  We usually save last years notes so we can look at them this year.  It's interesting to see how many of them are the same, and how many are different. 

On Thanksgiving day, after we are all thankful for our stuffed bellies, we go around the table and take turns reading the notes.  There are the ones you would expect~family, home, food~ and there are silly ones~the window, snow, chocolate, and our annual Thanksgiving Monopoly game~ but this year we had an abundance of thanks due in part to one child.

One of the kiddo's had put a LOT of paper into the thankful box.  And each piece of paper had more than one thing listed on it.  We laughed as we read some of them.  Some of them touched my heart.  But that night after all the kiddo's were in bed, I started thinking about that box.

While he hadn't intended to, the child that placed all those notes in the box was right on track.  He had listed some of the ordinary, mundane things in life to be thankful for.  Things that we usually take for granted.  While I am very grateful for the blessings in my life, I don't always (I can even say rarely) say thanks for the little things in my life.  The things that I take for granted (I will have clothes to wear today).  The things that I expect will happen (the lights to turn on when I flip the switch).  The things that I've been blessed with even though I don't deserve them (pretty much everything!). 

Gratitude is really a choice.  I can choose to see all things as a gift from God and be thankful for everything~even the things that I wouldn't really have chosen~ or I can complain about those things.  I am sad and ashamed to say that my children haven't always seen their mamma with a grateful heart.  I am purposing to change that.  I want my children to see that life is a gift from God, and all things that go with it are also.  I want my children to grow up with an attitude of gratitude.  I want my children to fill their thankful boxes even when they are adults.

I have been reminded often lately of something that was said at our wedding by a sweet aunt....

"He does not promise all sunshine and roses, but He does promise that 'My grace is sufficient for thee'."


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

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  1. YES! A thankful momma's heart can make all the difference in the world for her family especially in hard time.

  2. This was beautiful Jess! Thank you so much for sharing such an edifying post at my link-up!

  3. This is so true! Oh that our children would see a grateful heart in their mothers....purposing along with you! Counting gifts....Thank you for sharing and linking up at Simply Helping Him! Blessings!

  4. This post is dear to my heart. I MUST find things to be thankful for and grateful for as I am focusing on the downside of something that is a blessing, yet very hard for me being I am a mom.

    When my children were younger, I had a blessing jar made with a canning jar and calico material with elastic at the top and a ribbon covering the jar.

    Thanks for linking up with me over at WholeHearted Home this past week. This was a real blessing. I just may make a blessing box again even though Thanksgiving is past and ours disappeared maybe when we moved 5 years ago.

  5. I am featuring you today over at WholeHearted Home :-)


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