Some days gratitude is hard. Some days, despite knowing how abundantly blessed we are in this country we live in, all I seem to do is trudge through the day complaining about #allthethings, try to get everyone to bed as quickly as possible and then crawl into bed and go to sleep myself. #keepingitreal
But even on those days, we try and build things into our day to help us remember just how blessed we really are, to turn to the One from whom all good things flow and thank Him for His goodness to us. Because it’s not just important for me, it’s important for each family member. We want to cultivate in our home an attitude of gratitude. One that prevails when the storms come, that we can thank Him no matter what rages around us. We might not thank Him for the storm, but we can surely thank Him for his love and protection in the storm.
Do we always get that right? Ahhhh… no. But it doesn’t stop us trying!
One of the things we have done that the kids really enjoyed is having a family gratitude journal, a “Blessings Book“. We used an A4 sized visual diary and some felt pens, but really you could use any kind of blank book and writing/drawing/painting implements.
The great part about something like this is that it’s a project that even the little people can get involved in. We chose to bring ours out at dinner time as it’s the time we all sit down together every day. Someone would put the date at the top of the page then each of us would have a chance to write or draw something that we were thankful to God for that day.
It creates a picture of family life that we can look back on and reflect on God’s goodness when things aren’t feeling so rosy, and it helps our children practice gratitude – because it takes practice, amen?
Some of our kids are naturally more focussed on the blessings in life, finding this a really easy thing to do (they’re also the ones that are the natural encouragers and builder-uppers in family life). For others, more of a challenge to even scrape together one thing each day. But we want to give them tools that they can use, creative options as they grow that they can continue to explore and find out what works best for them, what helps them keep their hearts turned towards Jesus and following Him.
How does your family practice gratitude?