Our firstborn always said “Ganks!”, instead of thanks. We never corrected her, and instead incorporated her version into our everyday jargon. I suspect we’ll still be using it when she is 32, much to her chagrin.
Both of our daughters have always been quick to give thanks. I would say it comes naturally to them– because they haven’t been trained otherwise. Maintaining an attitude of thanksgiving is important to me and da Hubs. For too many years we bought what the media was selling, we invested in the American Dream of self-promotion, materialism, and consumerism. For too long we strived for MORE while ignoring the abundant blessings before us.
Even in my mothering, I all too often sacrificed quantity for quality. I would find myself impatient and angry with my young girls as we rushed from play group to gymnastics to story time at the library. These, of course, were all wonderful activities, in and of themselves, but in my vain attempt to be Supermom I frequently robbed us of the profound blessing of a simple game of Candyland right at home.
About this same time, I participated in a humanitarian trip to West Africa that certainly contributed to the reshaping of my mindset. It wasn’t pity for the impoverished, downtrodden women that I served, but rather the sincere joy and contentment that exuded from them that inspired and touched me.
These days we strive to encourage an attitude of gratitude in our children, as they inadvertently do the same for us. We start each day with our journals, and write one thing that we’re thankful for. It can be anything. One day, our oldest was thankful for pencils. Another day, our youngest was thankful for her beloved “Soey Doey Dolly”. Today, both girls determined they were thankful for each other.
This exercise reminds me of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. I realize I’m the last one to the party, but I’ve finally gotten around to reading it, with the No-Book Book Club. (We do read, we just never actually discuss what we read when we get together.) I highly recommend it. Her words inspire readers to recognize God’s blessing in the mundane. To be thankful, content, with your lot and see beauty in the ordinary.
I don’t recall who it was that boldly spoke these words to me, but soon after becoming a Christ-follower I was gifted this truth that I keep returning to, all these years later: No matter what trials and tribulation you face, it’s NOTHING compared to what God has saved you from… what you actually deserve.
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15