As I’ve shared before…John and I are really working with our kids to help them develop a genuine spirit of gratiude and thankfulness. (Have you ever seen a group of whiny, ungrateful kids with the “gimmes”? That’s exactly the direction our children were heading! Yuck!) We quickly realized the importance of teaching and modeling gratitude to our kids (and just at Thanksgiving time was not going to be enough!) We needed a plan!
So this summer, we started Gratitude Journals. (I picked up a whole assortment of journals from Party City for 99 Cents. They are working out great. You could also make your own journal by just stapling paper together. We did that when Jake was younger and we still have his!).
Each morning, the kids have listed on their “Morning Things to Do” chart, to write (or draw) in their Gratitude Journal. I originally asked them to write/draw 5 things that they are grateful for (or want to say “thank you” to God for). Most days, each child does have a chance to write in their journals. (but not always). And for my littler ones, usually one or two pictures is what they are able to do. That’s ok. Mostly I’m trying to instill a habit of stopping and reflecting on the many blessings they have in their lives and saying thank you to God. It’s definitely a process, but it feels good to have started the journey. And wouldn’t that be awesome if they continue this habit into their adult years?? Oh, a mom can pray!! 🙂
Once a week (usually Thursday’s), we sit around the table and share with each other some of the things we have listed in our journal. I think it’s important for the kids to get comfortable with sharing their feelings aloud, and it’s also a blessing for us to hear what we are each grateful for.
Imagine my surprise (and delight!) when I saw one of my little Sarah’s drawings. (pictured at the top of this post). She shared she is thankful for a home that is filled with love! Oh, thank You God!! (I’ve been feeling overwhelmed this week with summer and kids and camps and full schedules…so her picture brought more joy to my soul than you can imagine!!)
In the book of 1 Thessalonians, the apostle Paul reminds us to “give thanks in all circumstances“. In the midst of a hot, tiring, exhausting week…I’m thankful for Jesus and life in His Name, my husband/best friend John, my four precious kids that bring me so much JOY (even if they wear me out), for our home, my family that all lives so close, for ministry opportunities, the many amazing friends God has blessed me with, and His powerful Word. I could go on and on. Thank You, Lord!! I woke up tired and weary and not ready for another full day, but by stopping and listing a few of my many blessings, it has helped get my focus back Up. I’m off to go draw in my Gratitude Journal!!
Today is Thankful Thursday! What are you thankful for??
Let’s pray…Oh Lord, Thank You for the many, many blessings You have provided for us. Help us to give thanks to You in all circumstances! Please fill us afresh with Your Spirit, and use us to draw others to You. For Your purpose. For Your Glory alone. In the Powerful Name of Jesus we pray. Amen!! 🙂
Great idea! My children are older, but you've given me an idea. Bless you!
Thanks for the great idea! For the past couple years I have really been trying to get rid of the whiny ungrateful kids! Most of my efforts have always been around the holidays (my kids get so spoiled by relatives) but I LOVE your journal idea!