Up here in Canada, we are getting set to celebrate Thanksgiving. We celebrate more than a full month ahead of our American friends. I did try to get my husband to celebrate both Thanksgiving just so I can devour his delicious, juicy turkey one more time. Yes, that’s right, my hubby makes cooks the turkey. And, it is incredible! Always juicy, never dry.
Fall is usually a very busy time for me. With back to school work, new students and families to get to know, lesson plans, teaching my own kids…and many other things…it can be super easy to feed a spirit of discontent. I am finding that I need to remind myself every day to be thankful. I’ve come up with 7 Ways to Cultivate Thankfulness in Your Home. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me!
When I choose to be thankful, I not only set the tone of thankfulness in my home, I also increase my joy and contentment. And that is always a good thing.
Cultivating Thankfulness isn’t always easy. In fact, today, I am finding it quite hard. Many difficult circumstances and heavy burdens are weighing down my heart. I have to be purposeful in choosing to be thankful. Actively search for reasons to be thankful.
1. Give Thanks In All
In 1 Thessalonians, we are instructed to give thanks in all circumstances. Sometimes it is incredibly difficult to find anything to be thankful for. I consider what some are going through in their lives right now – a significant loss. And I wonder – can they find anything to be thankful for? Would I be able to if I were in their shoes?
While it might be difficult, almost impossible in some cases, God’s word shows us that there is always something we can be thankful for even in the most tragic times. If this weren’t so, He wouldn’t have instructed us to give thanks.
Of course, during those horribly disastrous moments in life, we may need to ask God for His grace to find those things to be thankful for. If you need extra help in this area, my Journal of Hope will be helpful!
Finding ways to be thankful in every circumstance will help us to cultivate a heart of thankfulness.
2. Thanks to the Lord
We can always give thanks to God for who He is. Regardless of what we are going through, we can thank and praise Him for His character.
Psalm 7:17 says that we give thanks to Him because He is righteous.
1 Chronicles 16:34 says to thank the Lord because He is good and His love endures forever.
Psalm 28:7 reminds us that God is our strength and our shield. He protects us and we can trust Him. For this truth, we can be thankful.
Giving thanks to God for who He is – and He is so many, many wonderful things will help us cultivate a spirit of thankfulness in our lives.
My prayer journal can be very helpful in this area – it is free for subscribers. See opt-in at the bottom of this post.
3. Be Generous
Scripture says that being generous results in thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 9:11). How are you being generous?
Sometimes I can get a little stingy. I have realized that the root of my stinginess is fear. Fear of not having enough (see my latest subscriber newsletter for tips on the topic of ‘not enough’).
- If I am afraid of not having enough money, I will withhold it.
- If I am afraid of not having enough time, I will say ‘no’ to things I ought to say ‘yes’ to.
- When God asks me to create something, I will say ‘no’ out of fear when I feel like I am not intelligent enough to write…like a Bible Study!
However, those times I am generous, I find it much easier to be thankful.
Generosity helps us cultivate a heart of thankfulness.
4. Speak of His Wonderful Deeds
Speaking of God’s wonderful works and ways will help us stay focused on being thankful (Psalm 9:1). It’s amazing how changing a few sentences every day can have a huge impact. For example, when you are tempted to grumble to your hubby about your day, talk about how great God is. What wonderful thing has He done for you today?
Sometimes we make this more complicated than it ought to be. We search for something specific instead of recognizing the ‘simpler’ things, like His grace. how can our day be any less than perfect when we have His Amazing Grace? I have this reminder in my prayer journal. Whatever happens, I have His grace every single day. And that, my friends, is a wonderful deed.
We cultivate a spirit of thankfulness when we speak of the Lord’s wonderful works.
5. Thank Your Husband
When was the last time you expressed thankfulness to your husband? Has it been a while?
If you find it difficult to express gratitude toward your husband, take some time to jot down things you are thankful for. Review this list often so that you can express your gratitude regularly. Include things like:
- Taking out the trash.
- Financial care for the family.
- Listening to you when you are sad/upset/overwhelmed.
- Being a Godly man.
At the bottom of this post, I have a small collection of things you can be thankful for. I also have these love notes you can leave for your hubby to help cultivate thankfulness.
Expressing gratitude toward your husband will help to cultivate thankfulness in your home.
6. Thank Your Kids
What about being thankful for your kids? It doesn’t matter how old they are, your kids will never tire of hearing how thankful you are for them.
In my own family, I noticed a positive change in the hearts of my kids when I expressed gratitude towards them.
It is my responsibility to ensure the tone of my home is peaceful and loving. I know what it is like to feel unwelcome in my own home, in my family. Believing that I was unappreciated and unwanted was a lie that was deeply rooted within my heart and soul. This was not something I wanted for my kids. I wanted them to know, with fierce confidence, that they are welcome and wanted in my home…and in my heart. And that had to start with my own attitude.
Communicating appreciation for your children will help to cultivate thankfulness in your home.
7. Express Genuine Gratitude
There seems to be a link between peace and being thankful. Ungratefulness breeds discontent, which brings chaos and upheaval to the heart and soul.
Who can you express genuine gratitude to today? The restaurant server who might be having a rough day (because of ungrateful patrons???). Your spouse – even if they don’t ‘deserve’ it (hmmm…another topic for another day). Your kids?
Sometimes…many times…we need to actually work to find the things we can choose to be thankful for.
I’ve created some printables for you to help you cultivate a spirit of thankfulness.