Day 7- Practice Happiness…with a Thankful Heart

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“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”  -Henry Ward Beecher

   
Christians have forgotten how to live a life of gratitude! Everywhere you look in God’s word, you’ll find Jesus talking about being grateful. 

  
 

{Instead of whining about everything.} Complaining is a form of selfishness. It seems to engulf everyone at times and it blinds our view so badly that we can’t even see through the dense fog. Blinding us from seeing all the good things around us. 

 Christians are suppose to be HAPPY, 

  {we have an amazing reason why we should be!}

  

 Christ died for US, and we’ve been washed clean through HIS blood. We’ve been saved by HIS love and grace! If that’s not something to be thankful for, then I don’t know what is?



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“Joy has nothing to do with material things, or with man’s outward circumstance…A man living in the lap of luxury can be wretched, and a man in the depths of poverty can overflow with joy.” – William Barclay

 
Somehow we’ve become a world who believes that our happiness lies solely on our circumstances. 

 

“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Francesca Reigler

“Happiness is purely a choice!”
How do we as moms, teach our children to be thankful in ALL things? How do we teach them to appreciate what others have done for them, or have given them?


As a mommy to 4 almost 5 Munchkins, I’m learning that the task of teaching the art of gratitude, starts with momma’s heart. Our children practice what they see. 

 

“If momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody  happy.” If Momma is grumbling over the daily grind of life, or different circumstances that cross her path, her children will very quickly pick up on this attitude. And let me say, it ain’t very pretty! 

 

Ways to Practice Thankfulness – At Home

 

Helping our children cultivate a heart of gratitude is so very important to us. And these are some of the ways that we as a family have found to “steer” our children in the direction of thankful hearts vs. selfish hearts.



 

1. Model Thankfulness. We all know our children will pick up on this, if we model it for them! Be sure to show gratitude towards things others have done. Make a big deal when your children have encouraged you or have blessed you with good behavior. Let them see your heart of gratitude. Remember – be thankful all year round, not just during the holidays or the good days! Find ways to be thankful on the bad days or tough days as well.

 

“Give thanks in ALL circumstances!” –1 Thes. 5:18

   

2. Make Children Apart It’s obvious, my children like the feeling of giving to others. Whether it be helping set the table, or helping their brother make the bed, children will be more thankful if they feel they are helpful to others. So make them apart of something BIG, like serving some way in the family. Give them a responsibility that they can do on their own, allowing them to help someone else.

 

3. Purge the “Stuff” My children love “stuff.” Especially my daughter! She unlike me, is a pack-rat. ;0) She enjoys saving and collecting anything and everything! It’s easy for our children to get the case of the “gimmes.” Every now and then we go through all “their stuff.” Their toys, clothes etc. We have a party and find things we don’t use or wear anymore, and put it in a basket or box. These “things” will be found a new home by my children. Sometimes they will have a specific someone they want to give a certain item to. Most times it ends up going to goodwill. This keeps my children from having a selfish attitude and keeps the “gimme attitude” at bay. {It also keeps our home clutter free!} Children LOVE to give, so give them the opportunity to share what they themselves have.

 4. Make a “Thankful Tree” Every year we make a family gratitude tree. We call it our “Thankful Tree.” The kids go outdoors and round up any sticks they can find, that would work for our tree. We make “new leaves” every year. 
{Though I’ve come to a new conclusion for this time consuming task.}

LAMINATE the leaves! Write on leaves with a dray erase marker. {Use next year!}
 

The whole family thinks of so many things that we are thankful for, and we write them down on our leaves. We string them up on our tree. We then can visualize how very blessed we truly are. 
 

5. Go on a Thankful Hunt Look for people to encourage and lift up. Write notes of encouragement or call someone and let them know you were thinking of them. Tell others how much you appreciate them, and how thankful you are for them.

 

Make some goodies and drop it by their home. Make them SMILE. 

 

When we ourselves practice the art of a thankful heart, we then are truly happy and fulfilled. Helping others always lifts the spirit, and keeps us from the “whoa is me” disease.

 




“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:10-13

Let’s not waste another day of November grumbling and complaining about EVERYTHING or waiting for everything to be “just right” before we choose to give thanks.  

 

Let’s choose to be thankful TODAY!
 

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18

 
Start today by giving thanks, no matter your circumstances.

I guarantee you’ll have a much better day!  

Thankful challenge:
Pick a new tradition from the list of 5 above and add it to your family this year. Adding more ways to be thankful is always a plus. Meditate on the scripture given and let God guide our path in thanksgiving this year.

Today’s Challenger:

Esther is just an ordinary homemaker, serving an extraordinary God. With no fancy credentials or special titles behind her name,she has a strong passion and desire for encouraging young wives and mothers {and those in training}, to grow more intimately with Jesus, while joyfully embracing the job of H.O.M.E.M.A.K.E.R.


As a perfectly imperfect homemaker, desperate for God -Esther spends her homeschooling, peanut butter & jelly, mud-puddle,dandelion, laundry filled, sticky finger days, one crazy adventure, one day at a time – All in light of God’s daily sufficient grace. She’s learning to love the Lord more intimately, to love her husband {and best friend of her life} more passionately, and to train her 4 precious “Munchkins” more joyfully.


You can walk right along side Esther at: Our Simple Country Life, and start a great friendship with her on Facebook as well.

Link up to the challenge:

I’d like to invite you to link-up if you are participating in this challenge, or if you have written a post that will encourage women to be more thankful.

If you are not a blogger you can link up too – just use Becoming a Strong Woman of God URL in place of your own to indicate that you are committed to this challenge.

Bloggers, if you are linking up below, may I ask that you post the “30 Days of Being Thankful” Challenge button on your site so that other women will join in the challenge as well

Serving Him With Joy,

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*Diligently Convention– Christian Homeschooling Families

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About Sonya

I am a sinner saved by grace trying to move through this broken world as a wife, mom and homeschooler. I have 3 gorgeous sons {24, 17 & 11} and a wonderful husband of 13 years, that have my heart! I don't have all the answers however sharing my life with you in hopes that it will drawer you closer to Him. I pray that when you leave here you walk away knowing Him better.

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