How to Pray with Childlike Faith

“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 HCSB) My three-year-old son’s bedtime routine is the same every night–take a bath, brush teeth, read a book and a Bible story, and pray. I usually say the prayer and let him add prayer requests and his own list of things he is thankful [Read more...]

How to Encourage Gratitude in Your Children During the Holidays

I remember my excitement the day the Sears & Roebuck catalog landed in the mailbox of my childhood home. I carefully looked through each section circling the gifts I wanted to find under our Christmas tree. The Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine, Barbie’s Dream House, and a Cabbage Patch Kid made the list more than once. The more pages I turned, the longer my wish list grew. Every year, kids near [Read more...]

How to Get Rid of Glass Half Empty Gratitude

I have an almost-teenager at my house which means sour attitudes float around here like pickles in a jar. My middle schooler is generally an optimist, but this stage of emotional development sometimes sabotages her sunny disposition. Phrases like “I will never…” and “it’s always…” transform temporary hardships into eternal absolutes. Hope flutters away as [Read more...]

How Can We Develop a Thankful Heart?

My daughter sat on the floor with her dresser drawers open, surrounded by fabric casualties. She repeated the phrase that so many of us utter in the early morning hours–“I don’t have anything to wear!” Ankle deep in clothing she picked out at the store, she couldn’t find anything suitable to wear. I scolded her with a less than patient tone. I pointed to three [Read more...]

Finding a Different Beautiful in Unexpected Places

“When we can see the beautiful in the unexpected, we learn to find joy and celebration in what is, instead of mourning what isn’t.” (Courtney Westlake, A Different Beautiful) The beaches of the Florida Panhandle are hard to beat. White sand and blue water under the pinkish-orange sunset sky is a true masterpiece of our Creator. If you ask me to take you somewhere beautiful, this [Read more...]

3 Things You Can Do Today to Have Grateful Kids Tomorrow

When I think of an ungrateful kid, Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory instantly comes to mind. Her infamous story of bratty rich kid turned bad egg is the ultimate example of how not to raise a grateful kid. Veruca’s dad gave her everything she ever wanted. When Wonka wouldn’t give her a golden goose, she sang, “Don’t care how, I want it now!” [Read more...]

In Everything Give Thanks

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Psalm 105:1-2 Psalm 105 starts with thanksgiving. Following this declaration of God’s goodness, the psalmist recounts the ups and downs in the history of the children of Israel. From Abraham to Joseph to Moses, God shows Himself faithful. [Read more...]

Love Keeps a Record of Rights

We recently had a long run of viruses in our home. All is good until Mama gets sick. I went down on a Monday about the same time the kids got home from school. I stayed in the bed until lunch the next day. Mamas don’t often get a true sick day. We work our mama job through the coughing, sniffling, and fever. My husband kicked it into high gear for this one. He took care of dinner, baths, and [Read more...]

Savor the Senses

This time of year is full of sensory delights. It is one of my favorite things about fall. The scents of sage, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The feel of a warm, ceramic coffee cup in my hand, coupled with the nip of frost in the air. The sound of the referee’s whistle as the band plays “Yea Alabama.” And, with Thanksgiving planted right in the center of this sensory smorgasbord, it [Read more...]

Can Abundance Crowd Out Gratitude?

Abundance is a tricky thing. It seems the more you have, the more you want. Take restaurants, for example. My favorite restaurant when I was a little girl was Burger King. We didn’t eat out much in the 80’s, but when we did, it was two-for-one Whoppers on payday . When I moved to the city to go to college, I discovered a great little Greek restaurant, a swanky Thai place, and The Cheesecake [Read more...]