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Mommy and the Joyful Three 11/17/16

Thankful for What?

Thankfulness is a word we often use to describe our feelings about what we have. But, how thankful can you be if you have nothing?

A few months ago, I was blessed to photograph some of the local homeless people for a calendar. All of the proceeds are going towards a better future for them.

As a photographer with three children, and as a mom who wants her children to understand God’s love, I took them along with me on the photo shoots. As a society, we rush to judge and are prone to social stigmas. Our kids see that and will also often overlook those in need.

The homeless we came across touched our lives, me and my kids’, more than we could ever impact theirs.

They were grateful for conversation. They were thankful for a simple smile. One of the events that deeply resonated with me was when a man remarked how lonely it can be when you feel that the world steps right over you. Truly, even just acknowledgment can make their day.

My children loved meeting these men and women. I was so amazed at how naturally kindness came to my kids. The beauty of children is that God shines so brightly through their unjaded eyes.

This Thanksgiving, I implore you to do something similar. Perhaps there is a family you know of in need that could use some of your old toys. Maybe there’s a soup kitchen where your family could volunteer. Pull out some craft supplies and make some Christmas cards for kids suffering through Christmas at your local hospital.

Children love to help and they love to be a part of “bigger” things. This year, I am having my children make a wish list, not of presents they want, but of what blessings they’d like to see other people experience. My kids saw how bad it can get. Now, I want them to see how good it can get – and the role they can play in helping out.

The holidays are right around the corner and I am determined to give my own children the best gift they could receive, that of true thankfulness.

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

It says “In Everything”. We should be thankful in the hard times, not just when life is good. It is harder to give thanks when we do not have all we desire, but I am now taking my cues from the homeless I encountered and trying to be thankful for just smiles and the little things. My kids will see my changed attitude, my thankful attitude, and will learn from it.

There are so many ways to teach children about thankfulness, love, and compassion. I would love to hear your ideas as well. Post them below.

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