November, 2011

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

November means……that Christmas is right around the corner.  The stores have had decorations and commercials out for weeks already.  How can a family cope with this bombardment of commercialism?  By using November to cultivate an attitude of gratitude before celebrating advent.  How?

Our children are similar to sponges; they soak up our ways and attitudes.  Be intentional about noticing and verbally appreciating family members.  Be specific when thanking a family member.  Comment on how much you enjoy being with a family member; be specific in why.  Be intentional in family prayers and in general conversation about God’s many blessings.  In conversations, focus on letting an attitude of gratitude show through.

Talk about gratitude from God’s perspective.  Jesus talked about how important being thankful is to God.  Jesus tells a story (Luke 12: 16-20) of a rich man who has more crops than he has space in his barns.  Does he share his extra crops and rejoice in his good fortune?  No, he builds bigger barns to store his grain.  God tells him, “You fool!  This very night your life will be demanded from you.”  Talk about how God feels when we are grateful for his blessings—and how he feels when we are not thankful for all that he gives to us.

Gratitude leads to action and to care for other people who are in need.  The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) is an organization dedicated to “responding to the needs of people who suffer from poverty, hunger, disaster, and injustice.” Their website, has r,esources for families:  news about needs and projects around the world, ways to get involved, and specific ways to pray.

Before the busy-ness of the Christmas season attacks, take some time as a family to cultivate grateful hearts and attitudes—toward God and toward each other.  It might end up preparing your family for the very best Christmas season ever!

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