Perspective

Thanksgiving.

“Because a thankful heart is a happy heart. I’m glad for what I’ve have, that’s an easy way to start…”

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Does anyone else hear that VeggieTales song ringing in their ears this time of year? I seem to start humming that little tune every November…#momlife. Leftovers from the toddler years.

Such a simple phrase but so true. A thankful heart is a happy heart.

Thankfulness is the remedy to discontentment, and gratitude will fight off self-pity every time. 

As parents, we have the beautiful responsibility of teaching our children what it means to overflow with thankfulness. We get to help them see the world through a lens of gratitude. Yet, as usual, it has to start with us. (Oh, joy.)

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Are we looking for opportunities to be full of thanks? Do we live thankful? Are we daring enough to manage a “thank you” not only in times of joy but through the tears and in the midst of pain?

If we aren’t challenging ourselves to live a life of gratitude, we certainly won’t raise  children who learn to live a life of thanks.

We must both practice and teach thanksgiving. 

Let “thank you” flow easily and quickly from your lips. Look for the unexpected…in both the little joys throughout the day and the unexpected gifts that come through hardships.

Thanksgiving – it’s giving thanks. It takes effort. It’s a lifestyle. It’s about our perspective. 

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I have had many opportunities in the last few weeks to challenge my daughter’s perspective…chances to help her see the other side.

There are nights when our youngest will lay in bed and begin to replay all the “lows” from her day. I am there to tuck her in, pray over her, and assure her that she is a gift to our family. But she’s got her mental list ready, and before I can do any of those things, she’s already berating herself for things she got wrong that day.

I have two choices. Coddle her and tell her how sorry I am for the hard parts of her day. Or, tell her how I saw the day…give her my perspective.

I found myself saying, “Yes, you’re right. Those things did happen today. But do you realize what also happened today?” I proceeded to go through the scenarios but through my filter.

She saw failure. I saw perseverance as I watched her get up and try again.

She saw selfishness. I saw growth as I watched her repent and then prefer her sister.

She saw fear. I saw courage as she stepped out to do it anyway.

She saw careless. I saw responsibility as she cleaned up the broken pieces.

Perspective changes everything.

In order to give her a different perspective, I had to have a different perspective. (Truthfully, if my perspective isn’t in the right place, there are nights I might be inclined to agree with her list and could even add to it.) I had to be looking at the day through the right lens in order to guide her to do the same.

How many times is the Lord there to comfort us, to speak words of life over us, to assure us of His love and we’re sitting there with our mental list ready to go. We start spouting off our opinions and how we see things, convinced that our perspective is the accurate one…and He’s waiting on us to just zip it so He can give us His.

Thanksgiving changes our perspective, and changing our perspective produces thanksgiving. 

Let’s be faithful to ask the Father for His perspective. Let gratitude cleanse our souls and clear our filter so that we can see our lives from His vantage point.

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