Thursday, November 17, 2011


Raising a child has taught me so much about my own sin and shortcomings. I sometimes watch Eli get worked into a frenzy about some minor issue and think, "Geez! Get a better attitude!" And then I remember that I oftentimes am guilty of doing the very same thing!

This year we have been working hard to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness in our home. Part of this includes listing, at various times, what we're thankful for in any given moment. I've been learning that turning my thoughts from complaining to thanking really does work to change my whole attitude!

I've loved observing this in Eli as well. When he gets frustrated about something or is upset, I try to, instead of just silently brooding over how much I dislike his bad mood, start listing things that I'm thankful for. It takes a minute or so, but Eli will eventually chime in. Before we know it, we're both coming up with a long list of things we can be thankful for in the moment, and both of our attitudes are totally turned around!

I'm thankful for how the Lord uses my three-year-old to teach me how childish I sometimes act! And I'm thankful that He has compassion on me just as a "father has compassion on his children" and remembers that I am "but dust" (Psalm 103).

And I am thankful for all the things that Eli says he is thankful for! I love them all! Rainbows, candy, cousins, paint, red leaves, his bicycle, a car to drive, a Daddy who works hard, his friends, rain,... I can almost picture God in heaven just smiling as He hears the thanks of little children as they take joy in all His bountiful gifts.

We pray that the lesson of thanksgiving continues to change our attitudes and our hearts. Because, truly, God's gifts are abundant.