A Reminder To Live With Gratitude
What if there was a vitamin you could pop into your mouth to instantly make you feel better? It would be a bestseller, right? I propose such a vitamin exists although it’s not found in a pharmacy or grocery store. It’s the underused Vitamin G: Vitamin Gratitude.
We tend to activate gratitude when something good happens or we’re relieved about something. Thank God everyone is safe. Thank you for cleaning your room the first time I asked. But the Bible commands us to give thanks all the time. Notice it’s not a suggestion; it’s a commandment.
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV)
1 Thessalonians 5:18
We sometimes talk about wishing we could understand God’s will as if it’s utterly mysterious. Yet here the Bible makes it clear that whenever you give thanks, you are in God’s will.
We are wise to remember this truth and pass it along to our children. I remember when my son Ethan was seven, he was having a particularly amazing day. He saw his children’s pastor get a pie in her face to raise money for missions. He had friends over to play. He went on a special date with his grandparents to his favorite hamburger place. There was much to be grateful for. Monday however was a different story.
Can you relate?
He didn’t go to recess because it was raining. A movie was showing in the multipurpose room which he didn’t like. He scored poorly on his math minute. Afterschool we went to the library to pick up his books, but I messed up the date and they were no longer on the hold shelf. He cried.
After dinner, I shot hoops with him in the driveway in an effort to cheer him up. We played horse, I won. We played again and I won again. “I can’t find my shot,” Ethan said miserably. The day ended on yet another sour note. I opened up a new pack of toothbrushes. Noelle picked blue, leaving red for Ethan. “Blue is my favorite color,” he whispered.
We’ve all had bad days like this – sometimes strung together for months! There are repeated moments in motherhood where you just can’t find your shot. Every effort seems to be a miss. Your discipline doesn’t work. Your oldest child is having trouble with bullying and it turns out she’s the bully. Another child isn’t doing homework. How can you be grateful in the midst of the mess?
It’s time to ramp up the vitamins…especially Vitamin G. Gratitude is your secret weapon against trouble, worry, and fear. If you can find the good in your life and give thanks for it, you will trade anxiety for peace.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!
If you read the entire chapter, you’ll find these words repeated again in verses 15, 21, and 31. That repetition is there for a reason.
The Psalmist in reminding us to take some Vitamin G!
You can begin today by giving thanks simply for being a mom. I remember telling my daughter Noelle while we were doing dishes about our struggle with infertility. “Did you know that daddy and I had a hard time having children?” I asked. She didn’t so I shared with her how I couldn’t get pregnant for a long time. I had surgery to remove a fibroid from my uterus and then the Lord gave us Ethan. Sadly, that pregnancy was followed by a miscarriage at 26 weeks, but a year later Noelle came. Then I had another miscarriage and finally our lastborn, Lucy.
I have a feeling many of you have experienced a miscarriage or another sorrow on the way to parenthood. If you continually put the emphasis on your disappointments in motherhood, you will naturally find much to grumble about. A bitterness and sadness will settle into your life. But if you will constantly highlight the faithfulness of God, you open the door to God’s love, joy and peace to flow through your life. Make a choice to take a strong dose of Vitamin G every day. Your children will deeply benefit from your attitude of gratitude – and so will you.