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Teaching Children Gratitude

Updated: Oct 20, 2022

October 4, 2021


With a fresh plate of homemade chocolate chips cookies, I walked out the sliding patio door to my waiting family. We had just enjoyed a lovely al fresco lunch, and now my momma’s heart was happy to share something that I knew would delight everyone.

Eager to share the melty, chocolatey goodness, I handed a cookie to my daughter to which she flatly stated, “I want a different one.” No childish excitement over a delicious cookie or words of gratitude escaped my daughter’s lips but rather a comment of dissatisfaction. She wanted a cookie with more chocolate chips, and the one I offered her did not have enough chocolate chips. My heart sank. My visual balloon of perfect family time just burst.

What could have been a sweet family time sharing the perfect treat turned into a time of correcting and discipling my daughter. I was irritated to say the least, yet these are the exact types of moments that define motherhood. In that moment, I needed to continue working with my daughter on gratitude in her heart.

During the teaching moment with my daughter, I shared with her this verse: O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good (Ps. 136:1). I explained that the first word (and letter) in this verse is round like a cookie and that we should give God thanks for whatever cookie He gives us.

After working with my daughter, the Lord quietly spoke to my heart and said, “How many times have you complained to Me and said you wanted a ‘different one’?” I was convicted. So often I am ungrateful on a much grander scale than cookies, and I complain to God about circumstances in my life that are not my choice. Instead of complaining about a cookie, I complain to God about my house, vehicle, or any number of adult worries and struggles.

Oh that I would learn to gladly take whatever plate God hands me and thankfully accept whatever He places on that plate! Instead of saying, “I want a different one!”, I need to say, “Thank you, Lord, for what you have graciously given to me.”


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