Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful Hearts

I get the honor of posting on Thanksgiving. All week I've been thinking about various things that I'm thankful for. You can see more of them here.

There's a Veggie Tales song about Thankful Hearts. One of the lines goes something like, "a thankful heart is a happy heart, I'm glad for what I have, that's an easy place to start..."

Let me wax philosophical for a moment here. I am a poli sci major after all. Somewhere along the road, as a nation we've lost the ability to be thankful for what we have. I remember seeing news clips where people on welfare state that cable tv is a staple, a necessity of their lives. It's an American way of life.

How often do we step back and cultivate an attitude of being thankful for what we have? Happy with what we have? Blessed with what God has granted?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines thankful as: Aware and appreciative of a benefit; grateful. The Random House Unabridged Dictionary compares thankful and grateful in the following way: Grateful indicates a warm or deep appreciation of personal kindness as shown to one: grateful for favors; grateful to one's neighbors for help in time of trouble. Thankful indicates a disposition to express gratitude by giving thanks, as to a benefactor or to a merciful Providence; there is often a sense of deliverance as well as of appreciation: thankful that one's life was spared in an accident; thankful for the comfort of one's general situation.

I want to cultivate a life that is grateful for what's been given to me. I drive a nice, dependable vehicle. Why should I covet what somebody else has? God has provided a wonderful job to Eric that in turn provides a great roof over our heads. The home is large, and allows us to host many different groups, something that is important to me. Why should I want for more? My closet is full of stylish clothes that fit. My bookshelves are lined with books I love and movies I enjoy. What more could I ask for.

Yet
it's easy to slip into an attitude that covets the house my friends has on two acres in th ecountry. (Do I really want to live in the country?!?!? Me thinks the yard might be overwhelming). Or I think I need more clothes, more books, more fill in the blank here.

And as I raise my kids, this sense of entitlement to more is placed squarely in front of my face. I want to cultivate a spirit of thankfulness in them. A spirit that turns to their heavenly Father to provide all of their needs. A spirit that can distinguish between needs and wants. It's a challenge, but I want to rise to meet it.

So as Thanksgiving approaches here are a few more things I am thankful for:
  • A husband who provides very well for his family.
  • A husband who works hard so that we do not want for anything.
  • A God who provides all of our needs according to His riches and glory.
  • A home that more than adequately shelters us.
  • A home that can be a ministry tool as we open it up to others.
  • Vehicles that are dependable to get us to jobs and ministries.
  • A God who loves me without abandon, and who's mercies are new every morning.
  • A God of second chances.
  • A God who does not waste any experience that I have.
So what do you do in your family to cultivate thankfulness? And what are you thankful for this year?

1 comment:

PamelaTracy said...

I'm thankful for writer friends like you who write such thought provoking posts that make me rethink what what I'm grateful for.