Both of my sons have now learned this little prayer:
God our Father
God our Father
We thank You
We thank You
For our many blesses (at least that’s how my older sings it)
For our many blesses
They sing it all the time. I mean ALL. THE. TIME.
As their Mommy, I love hearing them sing it. But, then I know that we have trouble with our hearts. Their hearts. My heart. We aren’t thankful all the time.
I think the trouble with gratitude is that we get so accustomed to saying grace, saying thank you, having stuff, that we forget the heart-work that is required with gratitude.
“The grateful heart that springs forth in joy is not acquired in a moment; it is the fruit of a thousand choices.” – Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth (Choosing Gratitude)
The heart-work of gratitude is laying aside so many other things so that our hearts can be filled with Gratitude. It is letting go of pride. It is letting go of entitlement. It is letting go of some things we want. It is letting go of me and focusing on God’s love and perfectness for our every need. It is letting go of the world and grasping on to Him for everything we need. It is letting go of grumbling and complaining (and Facebook doesn’t need to be the place we “let go” of our complaining).
As a tired Mommy of two littles, I find it often hard to be grateful. Even this morning, I was complaining about too much noise right when I walked downstairs. One was singing – everything. One was running around helping with breakfast. Instead of choosing to be grateful, I was complaining about the noise.
Before I go downstairs, I usually read a Psalm. Psalm 106 has been most helpful in remembering to be grateful. Tim Keller, in his book The Songs of Jesus, says this about Psalm 106: “Every stanza of this poem makes the same point: Human beings fail at living as they should with God and their neighbors (my kids and my husband are my nearest neighbors). No matter how many things God does for them, it doesn’t change their hearts – their ingratitude, their endless craving, their sense of superiority to God, or their envy and selfishness. We need something to be done in us to save and transform us, because we can’t do it ourselves.”
I find myself here so often. I find my heart more in line with the grumbling Israelites than a redeemed daughter of the King. As you read these thoughts on thankfulness this month, ask God to make your heart more like His. He will do it!
About the Author: Kimberly Campbell is a wife and mama and lives in Augusta, Georgia. She is a creative, letterer, photographer, and writer (who blogs at http://kd316.com). She loves deep community and reading. She’s an introvert who can be found most nights curled up on the couch watching NCIS, West Wing, or the Cosby Show, or Bull. And eating homemade popcorn. With her husband, of course, after the boys are asleep.