My father-in-law has a saying as he leaves a store: We found something we just couldn’t live without. It is a joke. He knows that. Most of the time we are buying things we don’t really need.
The grocery store, browsing the aisles of Target, and window shopping at the mall allow me to face the reality of being grateful. Am I a grateful for the things in my life? Am I thankful for all that God has provided? I would like to say that I am. I would like to say I don’t need anything else in my life.
But my wallet. My bank account. The clutter in my house speak something different. All of this stuff speaks to my children as well. I can see it in the tantrums, tears, and tempers when they don’t get something they want while we are at the store. I’ve been floored by their rude comments on birthdays and Christmas’ when a gift doesn’t live up to expectations. I try to cover their words with my embarrassed apologies.
Instead, I’ve learned their ungratefulness is a reflection of my own ungratefulness. Kristen’s book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, did not give a me a quick formula for making my kids more thankful. It wasn’t a parenting book of how-to‘s and do-this. It was book that spoke to my own sinful heart. It revealed my own ungratefulness.
We are making some changes in our family because of this book. For me, it isn’t about the purchases. It isn’t about buying less. It is about my heart. And my treasure. And my goals for my own life. I say with my mouth, “These things (houses, cars, things, etc) are not important to me. But with my actions, I reveal a deeper heart issue. I had a heart that was content with a life God had given, but not with the God who had given me this life.
- We are making it less about getting, and more about giving. I love to give, most of the time. I can write a quick check and feel good about myself. But ask me to give my time, talents, or things and that’s another matter altogether. I have been challenged by Kristen to make it more about giving to others, and not just our money. It means write that note. It means go visit that person. It means make a meal. Not when it is asked. Not when it is expected. Not when tragedy strikes. Anytime is the right time to give. We are striving to give more of our time in our family. Although our children cannot do a lot of serving in our community, we can serve in our home. A servant’s heart is about serving those around us. And the people around us right now are our family. My children will learn to serve as they serve each other.
- We are embracing the mess of our lives and extending mercy. I cannot keep my children from disobedience. But I can be more consistent. I can also extend more mercy. Parenting is not easy. Parenting takes intentional steps toward Christ-likeness. I am only beginning to read a little about Grace-based parenting, but the concepts are growing in my heart. Although I will strive to instill obedience and respect for authority in our children, grace can always be found. Grace is available to us through our Father, it should be for our children as well.
- My husband and I realize it starts with us. Our own hearts are the issue, not our children’s. Is Jesus the priory in our own lives? My children will see the most important thing in this world is Jesus by the way I live, right now. Do I read the Bible before starting my day? Do we take time away from our favorite shows to talk about Jesus? Our family needs to do better. Our family is growing and it is time we show them Jesus. First by being an example, but also by teaching them tools and encouraging them to develop their own relationship with God.
I want to tell my children: “I’ve Found Something I Can’t Live Without.” And the way I tell them that is to live it. To demonstrate kindness. Grace. Consistency. Teach them to respect authority. Set boundaries. Loving them fearlessly through the hard work that is parenting. It is easy to get into a groove, but Kristen’s book has challenged me to stop. Take a step back. Reevaluate and move forward.
I’ve been challenged. Encouraged. Inspried. And completely convicted while I read this book. I know you will as well. Today I’m joining an amazing group of bloggers as we hop around the blogging world – discussing Kristen’s book. If you are still hesitant about pre-ordering “Raising Grateful Kids” – check out these amazing other sites today!
Inspiring an Attitude of Gratitude – by Alison
Rasisng Grateful Kids – by amanda
Why You Can’t Buy Gratitude At The Dollar Store – by Andrea
Missing – Gratefulness in our home – by Ange
Choosing Gratitude – by Angela
Gratefullness – by chaley
5 Steps to Gratitude-Fille Family – by Christa
Practicing Grateful Parenting – by Dana
Sing a Song – by Hannah
Cultivating gratitude in our family – by Jamie
Gratefulness In Our Home – by Jana
Gratefulness In Our Home – by Jana
Let It Begin With Me – by Jen
Choosing Gratefulness – by Jennifer
Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World – The Book – by jeri
Eradicating Entitlement – What are you rooted in? – by Jessica
Gratefulness in our home – by Kate
The Problem With Entitlement is that it begins with us – by Katelyn
7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful – by Kathryn
Raising Grateful Kids – by Keri
How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude – by Kishona
Grateful – by Kristy
Entitlement: The Ugly Truth of a Beautiful Lie – by Leigha
The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Raise Grateful Kids – by Lindsey
Dear Son: How Do I Teach You To Be Grateful Without Guilt? – by Marie Osborne
Gratitude, A Practical Definition – by Mia
Cultivating Gratitude in Our Home – by Nancy
Learning Gratitude through Chronic Illness – by Rachel
Being Grateful – by Rebecca
I’ve Found Something I Can’t Live Without – by Sarah
The Power of Naming our Gifts – by Sarah
Outfitted – by Sarah Jo
Growing Gratitude in our Family – by Sondra
Teaching Gratefulness – by Stephanie
How Grateful Looks From Here – by Alison
Fighting Entitlement in Children and All of us – by Leah
Entitlement Problem – by Karrie
Grateful Today – by Krystal
Read more about Kristen Welch here.
Read about our journey of adoption here…..
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