a lesson in gratitude…gone all wrong.

I loved reading everyone’s thoughts in response to last post–I wrote responses to your responses in the comment section.  I’ve been reading “To Fly Again” by Gracia Burnham.  She’d given me a copy this summer, and I didn’t know how much I needed to read it!  It’s put so many things into perspective for me.  AND, AND, AND!!!  Gracia is coming to Winona Lake March 12-13th!!!  I’m planning a community-wide women’s lunch for her to be the guest speaker, then our college-age group, the Venture, is going to host her Thurs. evening.  In case you can’t tell, I’m super stoked!!!

        So, it started a few days ago, as this has all been on my mind.  I want my kids to learn to be thankful for what they have.  Less than 1/4th world’s population sleeps on a bed!  25%!!!!  75% sleep in a hammock of some kind or a mat on the floor or on a floor with no mat or on the plain dirt.  (Gracia, “To Fly Again”)  That might be a stretch to teach them, but atleast, they can be thankful for the food they have to eat.  So, I decided one thing I’m focusing on is mealtime.  I walked by a lady the other day in Wal-Mart giving a schpeel about these Nutri-Pal bars.  She was advertising them as “If they don’t like what you made them, just give them this and you don’t have to worry about nutrition.”  I don’t know much about these bars, other than they’re chocolate bars, packed with vitamins and minerals.  If it works for that mom, more power to her.  (I can barely figure out my kids, let alone others’ 🙂  But I, personally, don’t want my kids to have that much of a say.  They can learn to eat what I’ve made…and be thankful for it!  I’m just going to have to do some hard-core training…So, Thurs. night, I make black bean soup.  They typically love it, but that night, threw riots.  Fri. lunch, I make the leftovers into rice and beans.  This is a favorite meal for them.  I do it Brazilian style, and we eat it a few times a week.  Neither would touch it.  So, I put it in the fridge and got it out for their snack.  (I’m not usually this hard-core, but I’m going to fight this ingratitude head on, right?)  Well…Miles wouldn’t touch it still.  Jack did, and then got raspberries.   Now, today I see why.  They’ve both had diarrhea and have tried to make it to the potty, but aren’t always successful, so I’ve been cleaning up black beans all morning…That’s what I get for trying to teach gratitude. Maybe there’s a children’s book I can get on the subject…
       On a much, much sweeter note.  Thursday at lunch, Miles said he had a special treat for me when I finished my plate.  After lunch, he got out his backpack and brought me his snack from preschool he’d saved for me.  Frosted animal crackers.  He was so excited to have a snack to give me.  It was so sweet, it was almost painful to eat.  Then Friday, the whole fam picked him up from preschool, and as soon as he got in the car, he was saying “Dad, I brought you a special snack!  Cheerios!  They’re your favorite!  I saved them for you.”  We look at each other, stunned once again by his selfless generosity.  Miles opens his backpack and gets out a baggie full of Apple Jacks.  He said “I only ate a few so you could have them.”  Right then, I thought of the verse “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  Miles continues to teach us what this looks like.  And again, we painfully ate them, as tears welled up in my eyes thinking of my son saving his snack so he could have something to share with his family.

The devil doesn’t care how religious
we are as long as we live for ourselves, remain consciously wrapped up
in ourselves, try to feel good about ourselves, and cover up the
nakedness of empty, meaningless lives through a spiritual charade. 
–Don Matzat, “Christ Esteem”


5 thoughts on “a lesson in gratitude…gone all wrong.

  1. filledeparis

    Maybe a good way to approach gratitude would be to do something for someone else with the kids–like those Operation Christmas child boxes, or give away clothing, toys that are unused. Sounds like Miles his on the right track with his snack sharing–that’s great!

  2. spies_likeus

    Oh my gosh Sara… Miles saving his snack for you guys is so sweet!!! It literally brought tears to my eyes!! That is one thing I want to see in my kids… sweetness and care for others. I don’t know how you teach that but you’ve done a great job : )

  3. speedyjhg

    Isn’t it interesting what adults learn from children?  It’s God’s sense of humor that the “educated and mature” would learn lessons from those “less educated and less mature.”
    My last comment wasn’t intended to make you feel bad about driving; it was just bringing to the table some of the questions raised in college about the way the we design our infrastructure to be automobile friendly as opposed to pedestrian friendly (and then complain that we don’t get enough time at the gym, don’t get enough exercise and have a national problem of overweight kids.)  However if you want to have some fun, there is a website that measures walkability of areas.  http://www.walkscore.com  They measure how close things are (as the crow flies) and come up with a score on how walkable a place is.  100 is a pedestrian’s paradise.  (Since they don’t have access to sidewalk information though they do assume that you will swim across Winona or Center Lake if that the shortest distance to the closest grocery store.)  Hopefully you score better than I; our apartment is a 22 out of 100.


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