Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 12.20.38 pmAs I sit here in the office writing another blog to encourage and build up as many people as I can, I sit with a very thankful heart.

Through this beautiful life, I get to live; I have observed how people with thankful hearts are different to others. A thankful heart produces so much within the carrier of that heart. I believe we aren’t necessarily born with thankful hearts. However, you do see some. I have seen, as have many of you, I’m sure, toddlers who find it easier than others to say thank you. To live with thankfulness within we need to make a conscious decision

To live with thankfulness within we need to make a conscious decision to become thankful, always looking for what and who we can be thankful for.

We are mysterious beings us humans. We are usually very quick to see what we don’t have and not as quick to see and appreciate what we do have. Our glass tends to be half empty rather than half full. I believe one of the biggest hindrances to thankfulness is familiarity; we devalue our blessings because we come to expect them and take them for granted.

I have just come home from Bali where I was so blessed to be able to bless some kids that beg on the streets at night with something as small as an Easter Egg hunt and see their excitement and sheer delight with each little egg they found. In their excitement, inexperience and wonder, some of them ate them wrapping and all until we explained they needed to take the beautiful paper off before eating them.

My grandchildren had a wonderful time full of just as much excitement, laughter and wonder as they ran all over my garden on Sunday finding their eggs and putting them in their buckets. They were more experienced and knew to take the wrapping off before eating them but still full of joy about the whole experience. The wonder and excitement that children bring to our lives are just priceless. To see them all so full of joy, anticipation, expectation and thankfulness is so invigorating.

I love the wonder in children, my experience is, whether they be poor children in Rwanda, India and Indonesia or children with plenty in Australia, America or wherever they are, they all the same, filled with wonder when someone loves them and values them.

My older granddaughters in their teens had just as much fun helping all the little ones look in between the plants, underneath the rocks, around the pool area and all around the chook enclosure. The common thing that happened in both scenes was what made my heart sing. I saw children who have so very little in life and children who have plenty and in both scenes I saw children who found a lot of eggs share with those who found just a few.

Of course, not all were as generous as others, however in both scenes children were thankful and blessed others around them. Overall, the atmosphere in both scenes was thankfulness and generosity amongst them all and I was very proud of both groups of children.

Sadly, as we become older, we often lose the art of thankfulness and generosity, and I do believe it is an art that has been lost. I have thought about this and why this is so. Why do we see so much indifference and not nearly as much thankfulness in people around us as adults?

I guess we all have different reasons; some may be because we haven’t ever known unconditional love and value placed upon us and it’s hard to be thankful when undervalued. Some may have never been taught to be thankful instead learning to expect to receive and have even come to the point where we demand.

We all need to live with a grateful heart or we will never reach our full potential in life. Our past doesn’t have to dictate our future or our present; we can make the choice to be thankful now. Thankfulness releases us to experience a whole other level in life that is so empowering and freeing. As parents and grandparents, it is so important for us to teach our children as little ones to be thankful. As I mentioned in the beginning, thankfulness produces so much within
the heart that carries the gratitude and thanks.

I was so proud of my children and their spouses as they taught each one of our little grandchildren to take their buckets and share one of their precious eggs with each of us adults. Thankfulness is a powerful tool that helps us walk through life well.

I have observed that people who are thankful are always much happier and more content than those who aren’t. Grateful people always achieve more and attract people around them. Thankfulness creates a quality within that produces strength when things get difficult.

We all face difficulties in life and people who have learnt how to be thankful will, even in hard times, have their spirits lifted as they declare thankfulness for even little things they can see. If we chose to, we could always find something to be thankful for and as we speak it out and declare it into the plight things just doesn’t seem as hard.

When we focus on what we are thankful for we create space to be strengthened within and become more able to go forward.
Thankfulness at times has to be a choice. Sometimes there might be very few things to be thankful for even down to just being thankful we have another day to live. That choice of thankfulness we just made can make all the difference because once we chose to be thankful for one thing, we can usually find other things to be thankful for.

When we live with an attitude of thankfulness our whole attitude and outlook on life changes and we, become empowered. There are so many ways to teach children how to be thankful. Just teaching them to thank you when receiving things is important. I can remember thinking when will they ever not need me to remind them to thank you. Trust me; the day does come, and it makes an enormous difference to them walking through adulthood.

Involving your children in charities where less fortunate people are helped produces a sense of appreciation and thankfulness within them. Teaching them to thank their friends when they come over to play or if they are invited over to play, to get them used to speak out “thank you” is so powerful. Of course remembering how children catch more than they are taught, we need to example thankfulness to our children. When they hear us, live in that area as we say “thank you” to each other and them this will be invaluable to them. Make sure you thank them for the little things they do for or with you and don’t wait for the big stuff. Thank them when they give you a cuddle, a kiss or when they ask you to sit and play with them. They have trusted you to be involved in their world intimately, be thankful to them and never take it for granted.

I know we live busy lives, and sometimes we just can’t sit and play, however, when we are invited in let’s thank them, play when we can as often as we can, thankful they have asked and then when we genuinely can’t they will still know they are valued.

Noticing the beauty of a sunrise, thunderstorms, bush walks, the beach, etc. and expressing thankfulness for them will teach them there is always something we can be thankful for. Of course, there are many big things our children and grandchildren can be thankful for, and we too can be thankful for but if we are only thankful for the big things we miss out on so much joy that can be ours day in and day out.

Let’s look and see what we can be thankful for, let’s teach our children the treasure and power that lies in thankfulness and watch
them grow into powerful well-equipped adults who enjoy life and flourish.

Enjoy finding the treasures you may have taken for granted, develop the art of thankfulness within and see how much more satisfying life is.

Be blessed,