Giving Thanks Daily
Do you ever have one of those mornings when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and nothing seems to go right? You are just not in a good mood and it seems like everyone including your family members are trying to get on your nerves. How do you snap out of it and make the world a happier place for yourself again? I find giving oneself a mental time out and taking a moment to give thanks for all that is right with your world makes a huge difference. We have to learn to give thanks, and teach our teens to do the same because miracles abound every day in our lives, if we will only take the time to see them.
1. Giving Thanks for Life
We may have woken up, not feeling so great, but we woke up nonetheless. Take time to thank God that we are alive. Our significant others and children woke up with us. Yes your world is not perfect, but take time to savor the brightness of the sun and the dew on the grass and your beautiful children whose smiles just warm your heart. Believe in the fact everything is going to be okay. You’ve been given a new slate to make your mark on the world today. Smile and take this opportunity and move forward with gratitude.
2. Giving Thanks for Provision
Parents lie in bed at night worrying about paying bills and buying the latest outfits for their teens. They sometimes look at their bank accounts and calculate how they are going to make it to the next paycheck. But take a minute to thank God every day for the house you live in, the bed you sleep in, the car you drive to and from work. Oh, and of course you do have a job. Some people don’t have these life essentials and we take them so much for granted. Your teen may not have the latest Nike shoes but so what. Talk to your teen and you’ll be amazed that sometimes they will prefer you to be home eating dinner with them than working the extra shift so you can afford the latest gadget. Sit down and thank God that somehow you make it through each day, providing the basic necessities for your family and teach your teens never to take their possessions for granted. Teach them to give thanks for all the pleasures of life that they enjoy and they will indeed grow up to be happier adults.
3. Giving Thanks for Protection
I have always been a stickler for time and I remember when my children were younger I would get upset if they were slow about getting ready for their activities. One particular day, we left the house about five minutes late and even as I was berating them a huge truck literally drove into one of the cars ahead of ours. My children looked at me and said “Mommy that could have been us, if we had left on time.” Yes, it may not have been us but I had to thank God loudly for divine protection. We are protected every day, from accidents and robberies and even serious illnesses. Don’t take life for granted. Thank God for the near misses of life. Thank God your teens are protected every day from injury as they compete in sports, and as they drive to and from school. As we lie in our beds at night, we need to be grateful we made it back in there and thank God for his protection those we realize and even those we don’t.
4. Giving Thanks for Guidance and Revelation
Do you sometimes feel that there is something not quite right with your teens, but you can’t put your finger on it? Then you go to pick them up and you meet a parent who just happens to tell you something that is happening with the kids. One mom told me how another parent thanked her for allowing her teen to sleep over one night. Her child had told her she was visiting yet another child. It turns out they had all lied to their individual parents to go and watch a concert they were not allowed to watch. Another teen skipped school and her mom only found out because the school called to check on her because the mom had allegedly called in sick for her. I call this revelation and guidance and always thank God for these instances when you get glimpses into your child’s life you otherwise would not have known about. Definitely take time to discipline your teen, but do take the opportunity to thank God that you even found out that there was a problem. There are days when you wake up and know you have to pray especially hard for a particular child. Call it a parent’s intuition or divine intervention. These are moments of guidance and revelation given to us every day if we will only take the time to listen to our senses, and act on them.
On those days when you wake up feeling low, take a minute to look up at the sky and thank God that you and your family are alive to enjoy yet another day together. Snap out of your mood and decide to live this new day purposefully. Thank God for the food we eat and his daily provision of our every need. Be grateful for the protection we enjoy every day as we go about our normal business, and thank God for the seen and unseen dangers we are sheltered from daily. As you hold your children close thank God that he gives you guidance and revelation to be a good parent to them.
Take time every day to give thanks and teach your teens about the wonderful gift of gratitude.