I think most kids probably have a hard time with the concepts of appreciation and gratitude. Children become accustomed to having their needs met and often take for granted the many things we, as parents, do for them.

My own children are no exception. On my daughter’s most recent birthday, we were strapped for cash. One of the ways I helped to trim expenses was by making cupcakes for her class instead of buying them….Gasp! Betty Crocker I am not. And as a busy mom, just finding time on a hectic Monday night to make the cupcakes was a challenge.

As I was preparing the cupcakes, my daughter asked, “Did you get sprinkles?” I answered, “No…you didn’t tell me you wanted sprinkles”. “Awww…I really like sprinkles”, she responded with great disappointment. It was too late for me to go to the store, and honestly, I was a little irritated that, instead of being thankful for the cupcakes, she was griping about the lack of sprinkles. Then, the next day when I brought a Happy Meal and the now-sprinkled cupcakes to her at school (her new-best-friend Darren supplied me with sprinkles before I made my delivery) she griped at me for being 10 minutes late.

Needless to say, I left her school feeling pretty unappreciated. Before long though, I realized that I treat my own Father the same way. When I gripe about my house being too small, my kids being too difficult, my job being too hard or my wallet being too empty, I’m really saying to God that I don’t appreciate his blessings. I’m choosing to focus on what God hasn’t given me and not the many things that He has. Fortunately, God offers far more grace to His children than I am often willing to offer mine.

If you recognize a lack of gratitude in your own life, then let’s commit today to turn our attention to what we have and not what we lack. And, let’s remember to regularly express our appreciation for the wealth of blessings that God has showered on each of us.

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