Monday, August 07, 2006

Gratitude is an Attitude

Gratitude leads to contentment
Contentment leads to happiness
Willard Tate said this yesterday during our Sunday School class and it set me thinking. I've noticed how ungrateful my children seem to be. I'm sure this is an immaturity thing but it makes me so sad. I'm sure this is because I lack contentment but this post is about them.

Kenny, especially, seems to be envious or jealous of other people's good fortune. The show Extreme Home Makeover drives him crazy. He has figured out (with our help) that we don't want something horrible to happen to our family so we can be on that show but still.... He wants to have fun but he doesn't want YOU to have some other kind of fun that he might miss out on. Yesterday he mentioned one of the kids in his Bible Class had an IPod. He knew I would disapprove but he still wanted me to know. Abbie is already starting, too. She wants everything she sees on TV. Even the things that she (and Kenny tells her) I don't like. (Any teenagy type thing including Bratz.)

What's a mama to do? I'm thinking of a gratitude journal for Kenny - yes, I'll be doing one, too. We'll be listing 5 things a day we are grateful for. Maybe Abbie should draw pictures? Do yall have any other suggestions?


Tammy M. said...

I think that TV is the number one un-gratitude device ever invented. I also remember Donnie C. saying in class that catalogs breed discontent. Plastered everywhere around us are things we do not have, it is a maturity thing I believe, and how mature and well adjusted kids are about stuff starts at home. Eeek.

Sarah said...

Next summer my family is getting a Meals-on-Wheels route -- I'm really angry at myself that I let this summer get by without getting one. Because of all of the college groups in Abilene that help them during the school year, they really need help during the summer. I think that is a great way to see what reality is for a lot of people who have very little -- and how those people are so grateful for what little they have. Also wander the halls of any nursing home and see how someone's presence changes those folks' entire day -- they are very grateful for any company. I'm with Tammy -- TV is such a ridiculous, unrealistic look at life. Our kids are surrounded enough by other kids who have WAY too much -- but they fail to notice the kids that also surround them that have virtually nothing. We are SO rich and blessed.

Anne Jones said...

I'm with them...and I'll even go so far as to say that since gratitude is about maturity, then there are also LOTS of "grown-ups" who need to GROW UP! (Myself included in that statement sometimes)

Don't you just LOVE Willard Tate? I was very fortunate that he was the pulpit minister at Hamby when I was in college, and that is where I attended, so I got to hear him every Sunday. Amazing lessons learned form him...and he has some great little books out too:) I think I still have a couple if you want to borrow them!

Anyway, I think a gratitude journal is a GREAT idea! Maybe Natalie and I will start this too...maybe we can start by decorating the journal cover with pictures of things we are thankful for - God's blessings. (Photos of our family is the perfect place to start!) Then begin filling in the pages with both words and more pictures each day!

I'll admit I am not a very good example sometimes. It is hard not to grumble when payday is on the first, and by the third, after bills are paid, I am trying to figure out how to make the very little left over stretch through for the other 28 days until the next payday...I need to really work on this one myself!

Maybe I should start my journal ASAP!

jessica said...

My kids are like this too...

I have gone on a shopping hiatus this summer. They have not received any new toys or any new clothes since May... when they ask for something I tell them to spend their own money... which they don't want to do... it has definetly helped their attitudes and made them extremely grateful for the new stuff I bought for school.
As for the TV... I have taken to finding the products that they sale on those stupid commercials on the internet so the kids can see how unworth it they really are...