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From Attitude to Gratitude

It was Saturday morning. And then it happened. You know this sound. It is the sound of little people feet who like to get up early and like your company as well. **Sigh**  I decide to fake sound sleep. Little feet stop. Little feet turn around. Little hands close door. Yes! I did it. I go back to sleeping…

…not faking it this time.

Twenty minutes later, scenario repeats. Only this time, little big voice announces that he has made me breakfast in bed. I am foggy. He continues to tell me that his daddy taught him that this was the way you make your wife happy.

Wait! What kind of breakfast did he make me all. by. himself?   Daddy is gone to work. Tween sister is at a sleepover. Yikes.

I am wide awake now. And then he presents. Slightly burnt crunchy yummy toast with four ounces ample squeezable grape jelly and nine manhandled lightly washed blueberries. Yes, there were nine…

…I counted them.

Wow. He is thrilled to serve me. I am proud to be his mom. He is so proud of himself. I am…in desperate need of coffee. (Especially with the sugar high I am feeling from the jelly right now.)

It was a beautiful moment. My almost eight year old is growing up. We relish in the moment together. I drink my coffee and eat my lovingly prepared breakfast in bed.

Twenty minutes later, it happens. You know “it.” —  ”It” is the attitude that creeps in after we have done something nice for someone. “It” is the attitude of reciprocity. And “it” came on with a vengeance in my son.

He wants to know if I will take him to Toys-R-Us to get a toy because he made breakfast for me. Whaaaa?

My motherly instinct of teaching life lessons in the middle of life crises kicks in. “Son, you made breakfast for me because you wanted to do something nice for me, to show your love for me, right? Not to get something in return. We do things for people because we love them and want to serve them, not to gain leverage for purposes of negotiation.” (Ok, so I didn’t say that last part, but I wanted to!)

He makes a sour face. He leaves the room.

Twenty minutes later, he returns. (He kind of works in 20 minute shifts.) He is now fixated on the idea of going to TRU and getting a prize. He has now positioned himself firmly…

…with a sense of entitlement.

Patience wavering. Life lesson #2. I give him a sheet of paper and write at the top, “What I am thankful for…” I tell him it is hard to have this “attitude” of entitlement if we take time to think about and be grateful for what we already have.

Gratitude: When we realize the amazing ways in which God has blessed us. When we realize we have everything we need and a lot of what we want as well. When we gain perspective.

Gratitude has an uncanny habit of replacing “attitude.” Because it is really hard to have a sense of entitlement and need of reciprocity when you realize that the Ultimate Giver has lavished His love, grace and mercy on you…

…Undeservedly.

Lord, I know that I am so often like a child desiring recognition and reciprocity for my service. I can also be very needy and “wanty” not realizing what I have already been blessed with. Give me an attitude of gratitude that I might see the amazing gifts that You have graciously given me. Amen

“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” 1 Thess. 5: 16 – 18 (Msg)

Question:  Do you need an attitude change? What would your gratitude list look like?  Share your comment by clicking here.

Photo Creadit:  Look To The North

AboutKelli Wommack

As a motivational speaker and writer, Kelli loves helping people discover who they are in Christ and what they are living for. (Ephesians 1:11 MSG) She writes about this regularly on her blog, Living for ONE. In addition, she is blessed to serve on ministry staff at Christ Community Church in Columbus, Georgia where she coaches individuals to find their own ministry niche. Kelli enjoys life with her loving, funny, yet quiet husband, and her two loving, funny, and not so quiet daughter and son. In her abundant spare time (ha!), she enjoys frappacinos, fro yo, and friends.
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Comments

  1. Funny, but this is about the 5th blog I’ve read today that deals with gratitude. God must be telling me something!

    I tend to think that I am a person who expresses gratitude, but I also know there are plenty of times when I haven’t or haven’t expressed it quite enough. As a Christian, gratitude should be one of the prevailing marks of my character.

    I need to work on that…

  2. Charles,
    We all could use some more gratitude! Our society breeds a sense of entitlement within us all… yet, everything we have is a gift from the Ultimate Giver.

    1. diane says:

      I have so much to be thankful for but I found myself angry with God for years after the death of my grandson. I tried to live a good Christian life and felt we didn’t deserve to have this happen. I know my feelings were faulty. No one deserves bad things to happen but that is a part of life. I am trying to get back my faith but am having a hard time getting back in the habit of going to church. I really like this website and it is helping me get back on track. Thank you for your wisdom and insight.

      1. Diane, I am praying for you right now. I am grateful that you found this site and that it is helping you work through some of your feelings and deepen your faith. Life is hard and at times, just seems unfair. But we serve a God who is faithful, who is always with us, who loves us, and who has a plan for our lives. It is in the difficult times of our lives that we learn to depend on Him more than ever. Blessings to you, my friend.

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