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As I sit here typing this post, my thoughts go back to over a quarter of a century of parenting and homeschooling. These two are so intertwined that I couldn’t tell you where one begins, and one ends. I am thankful, beyond what words can express, for the privilege God has given my husband and me to be able to do both.
During the holidays we often turn our thoughts to being thankful. How do we instill this quality in our children? If we want our children to have a heart of thankfulness, then we need to realize that...
Thankfulness begins with mom
It seems like everything we teach our children begins with us. It is such an overwhelming thought. What happens when I mess up? When I am a bad example? When I honestly don’t know what to do, or how to parent or teach my children?
Parenting is the best… most difficult job on the planet! So much pressure. I have come to realize that even though this is true, we are the ones they see and learn from more than any other person, we, mamas put the pressure on ourselves more than anyone else. We think we must do it all. God doesn’t even expect us to be super mom! Everything we need to be the right mama for children is found in Him.
If I want to teach my children to be thankful and show gratitude. First, I must be thankful and show gratitude.
There is no better way to cultivate a heart of thankfulness than to spent time with the Lord
This is hard! Exhaustion is real for all mamas. At different stages of parenting, it is almost impossible to carve out time with the Lord when it is quiet and you can be alone.
When my children were little my time with the Lord was right before I went to bed. It wasn’t easy. I had to make time with God a priority. Because this was also the time that my husband and I could spend alone we decided that reading the Bible together along with a devotional was a great way to spend part of our evening. (a few of our favorites are listed at the end of this post) Choose what time is best for you and stick with it and watch Him work in you!
Verses to help you remember to be thankful and live it out loud at home, around your children.
When the toilet overflows, the dog vomits on your new carpet, the baby wakes up with an awful cough, your preteen is having a major attitude, and your in-laws are due to arrive that evening, how do you respond? Do you give thanks? I’ll be honest. I don’t! But we always have a choice. Do we react or respond? The ONLY way I can even begin to make sure I respond instead of reacting is with help from the Lord. When I do react in a way that is not beneficial for my children to see, I need to humble myself before them and have a talk.
“Today, Mom did not respond in the way I should have. It was a hard day for me, but that is not an excuse. When days like this happen, we need to look for the good in the circumstance.
I am thankful that we have a toilet, even when it’s not working properly. Can you imagine having to walk outside to an outhouse just to use the toilet? Many don’t have a bathroom in their house.
I am so thankful that God gave us the money we needed to buy the new carpet.
Isn’t it so good to know that God has given us doctors and medicine to help us when we are sick?
I love you Sweetie, and no matter how hard your day has been, or the rottenness of your attitude, I will ALWAYS love you and be there for you. I am so thankful that God let me be YOUR mom!
Aren’t Grandpa and Grandma the best. We are so blessed to have them in our lives!
What is something that didn’t quite go your way today but that you can give thanks for?
This is an excellent memory verse for the whole family to memorize. Make a game of it. Sit in a circle and each person says one word of the verse. Do it several times and see how fast you can do it.
While we teach and admonish our children in all wisdom. (I need His wisdom!), we need to do it with thankfulness in our hearts. Songs are an excellent tool for teaching verses, making chores fun, and lifting the spirit.
Call upon His name often. Ask Him for help, for wisdom, and remember to thank him when he answers. Share answered prayer with your kids. Make His deeds known among your family.
Are you thankful for Sunday mornings, for your church, for family devotional times? Do you get excited about it?
Thank the Lord for your ability to homeschool! I encourage you to take a minute and write down five specific things you have learned, how God has shaped you through homeschooling. Keep it somewhere visible and thank him often. Ask him to make you a thankful person in action and in deed and watch your children learn to do the same!
You are doing an awesome job, Mama! No one loves your children more than you do. God knew exactly what he was doing when he gave them to you, and he will give you everything you need to shape those beautiful lives. Call on him daily to be your strength.
Couples devotions suggestions
My personal all-time favorite devotionals,
Enjoying the journey,
Hi! I'm Michelle, the owner, and founder of Yellow House Book Rental, specializing in providing homeschool curriculum for rent or purchase, as well as counseling and guidance for homeschool families. I'm a wife of 29 years, a 22-year homeschool veteran, and mom of four amazing children ranging from 18-26. We are just about to empty the nest. Oh, how time flew! My husband and I are excited to see how the Lord will use us in this new phase of life. I'd love to be friends! Send me an email, or connect with me on social media and tell me about yourself.
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