It is funny how God gives you just the words you need, but you don't discover them till the next day.
Yesterday, I prayed to God for wisdom on what to do about our daughter's attitude. I suggested she write 10 things she was thankful for in her journal because Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are has helped refocus my giving thanks.
Before, I would somewhat regularly write "thanks" in my journal, but now I have a separate gratitude journal. Counting God-gifts: small, big, and everything in-between.
Our girl scribbles fast, gets up, and tells me she is done. I ask to see her journal: she is "thankful for everything God has given her."
Hmm. I tell her that is not what I had in mind so I show her my gratitude journal. She reads my numbered thanks for God-given-gifts, then says, "It's all little things."
To which I replied, that is how we begin, by giving thanks for the seeming small things, which helps us recognize the bigger things.
Apparently, Ann Voskamp had the same thought yesterday, as I read her words today:
‘Only he who gives thanks for little things receives the big things.
We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community
Read the rest of Bonhoeffer's quote and Ann's thoughts here - you'll be blessed.
So guess what we did today? Our girl and I read Ann's post together. It was fun to introduce her to Ann's blog, and to let her know that it wasn't only her mom's idea to give thanks.
Today, I am thankful for how God creatively answers prayer in very surprising ways. He sent me back-up in a big way.
I have never had the privilege of meeting Ann, and I'm pretty sure I am not even a blip on her radar.
Ann didn't know what words we needed, but our gracious God did. So grateful.
What are some of the benefits of kids learning to be grateful?
How has God surprised you? What just right words has God recently given you?
Need a gift?...To buy Emily Wierenga's lovely artwork on a journal, t-shirts and mugs, please visit http://www.cafepress.com/tspoetry
Linking up with God-graced sisters: wonderful Jennifer of Getting Down with Jesus, encouraging Emily of Imperfect Prose and her wonder team, and thoughtful Michelle of Graceful.
© Soul Stops/Dolly Lee 2012. Limited License: Okay for noncommercial use if you attribute this post to me and link to my permalink and blog.