bean soup blessings

We were sitting down in front of our bowls of bean soup, Caleb slumps down in his chair and says 
“Why do we have to eat this stuff.” 
I proceeded to tell him {like any good mother would do}…
“Be thankful, there are so many kids starving on the other side of the world!” 
He pipes up and says “There are?” 
“Yes Caleb, there are kids who haven’t had anything to eat all day! They’d be very thankful for just one spoonful of your hot bean soup.”
During lunch we proceeded into a discussion about thankfulness. Pointing out so many things the Lord has blessed our family with, and why we have no right to gripe or complain because we in fact are very BLESSED.
I have five children, and I have realized a long time ago {far too quickly} that my children are not always as thankful as they should be. In fact, my children can be downright greedy at times!
As mothers, how can we teach our children that life is not always easy or fair? I want my children to be thankful for all that they have, and appreciate what others have done for them, or have given them. 
 Here are some easy ways I’ve been able to
 incorporate thankfulness into our everyday life. 
{Please understand, we don’t have this down. – these are simply tools I strive to incorporate as a Momma to help my children aim for a life of thankfulness.} We are learning right along with you!
 Don’t Pelt Children with Too Much Stuff 
Kids are like magnets. They will grab up as much stuff as they can. When giving gifts think long term,  practical, and what would be most beneficial of their time, and still provide long hours of fun.
PURGE
 Have your children ever had a case of the “I wants” or the “gimmes”? Once they get it, it can be a hard task to change their selfish attitude to one of thankfulness. Train yourself and your children to give excess to the needy! Have frequent purging sessions – your home will benefit from it too!
Let Children Contribute
Kids are some of the most natural givers. Children feel apart of something when you allow them to contribute something worthwhile to others. Whether it be helping set the table, bake cookies for a neighbor, or doing a siblings chore. Your children will be more thankful if they feel they are helpful to others and especially to YOU. 
Keep Children Aware 
Make it an effort to teach or share a story about others who are less fortunate 
than you as a family are. Voice of the Martyrs has been a wonderful tool for such stories.
Model Thankful Behavior
It’s an obvious one, I know. But how often do you remember to say thank you when someone does something for you? How often do you grumble un-thankfulness in front of your children? Make an extra effort to tell your children how thankful you are for them, how blessed you as a family are to have a warm home, how thankful you are for a fridge full of food, and how blessed you are to be married to their daddy etc… then sit back and watch it reciprocate through the hearts of your children! 

Teach Your Children this Verse

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thes. 5:18

I’d like to encourage YOU this week to find 10 BLESSINGS and write them down, and place them on your fridge. The next time you feel the urge to complain about your “bean soup” look at your list of blessings!
 I guarantee whoever you are…you’ve been blessed beyond measure in some way or the other.

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