Faith, Relationships

Inspiring Gratefulness in Your Home

Christmas present
2009: I love the look of anticipation on their faces! Christmas creates a wonderful opportunity to inspire gratefulness.

The week after Christmas, my mom would have us make a list of all the gifts we received and who gifted it to us.   My sister, brother, and I would write thank you notes for each gift received. I grumbled. It took a lot of time. It hung over my head. But, it taught me the IMPACT of gratitude not only for the one who receives a thank you but for what it did in my heart as well.

Did you know?  The book of Philippians is a THANK YOU letter itself.  Yes, really. So cool.

thank you

Here’s the situation…

  • The author, Paul was writing to a group of friends at the church he started in Philippi (Acts 16).
  • He was under house arrest in a rented home chained to a Roman guard (Acts 28:30-31).
  • He wrote to say thank you for the gift they had sent him (Acts 4:15-20), as well as to encourage them . He starts right off with…

I thank my God is all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all. Philippians 1:3-4

This letter is one of joy, encouragement, and laden with beautiful truths. It is the perfect space for us to occupy in these crazy, hazy, lazy, survival days of summer.


Like Paul, we too can feel

tied down,


held captive,

or bound

by our life’s circumstances whether in our home, our office, our marriage, or our school.  It is easy to allow our circumstances to bind us and inhibit us from truly living.

In surviving the summer, we don’t have to be subject to the walls of our circumstance.  Paul didn’t write a letter of complaint about the unfairness of his imprisonment. He didn’t focus on the literal bondage he was facing with the Roman soldier.  Instead, he wrote a letter of gratitude, thanking his friends for thinking of him.

Let’s learn and practice that response too. It is the first step in surviving the summer. Here are a few ideas to inspire gratefulness in your home…

Summer Survival Project #1:

Write a thank you note to someone in your life. Be specific. Share how their gift has impacted you.

Spend a few minutes with your children teaching them how to write a thank you card. When the boys were younger, I would dictate what they would say. Or I’d create a form letter allowing them to fill in the blanks. I always include a picture of them, often with the gift itself.

For more, here’s a great blog on the benefits of teaching your kids to write thank you cards.

Summer Survival Project #2:

To foster a spirit of gratitude in our home this summer, I’m going to try something new. We have a chalkboard in our eating nook.  Every morning at breakfast, I’m going to ask the boys to write something they are grateful for.  I’ll probably keep it up for the month as we add to our list.  Our gratefulness will be like a banner in front of us.

Let’s inspire gratefulness in our homes this summer. Gratefulness transcends any walls in your heart or any trappings of your reality. It’s one way we can survive.

See you on MONDAY!  Have a great, grateful weekend!