Friday, January 15, 2016

Learning Gratitude through Chronic Illness

I will never forget the first time I visited my dear friend, Arlene, a few years ago. Arlene was a godly woman who was homebound and living with a terminal illness. She and I sat in her living room in the comfortable recliners, and our husbands served us lunch. I remember Arlene thanking her husband so sweetly and sincerely as he served her that afternoon. She was mostly confined to her recliner, but her heart was filled with gratitude. She told me, “I can’t imagine not being thankful. When someone does so much for you, you have to be thankful.”

I have been thinking of Arlene and her example often in recent months. My body is still recovering from the summer, and I spend a lot of time confined to bed. As I lie in bed and thank my husband for bringing food and water to me, I remember Arlene lying in her recliner, thanking her husband for serving her. She was a godly example to me of gratitude in the midst of illness.

Chronic illness is not something I would have chosen, but it has been a gift of grace because it teaches me hard lessons of gratitude. It is hard to humble myself and let others serve me. It is hard to see my husband’s workload increase as he has to do more physical tasks to take care of me each day. But I am learning humility and gratitude through it all, and that is a good thing.

I want to raise grateful children, and that starts right here at home, right here in the midst of life with a chronic illness. I need to model a life of gratitude not just on my good days, but on my bad days too.

We live in a society where it is easy to feel that we are entitled to good health, a big house, the latest technology, and a life of ease. But we are not entitled to those things. I want to teach my children to see the many blessings they have and to be grateful for what the Lord has given them. Modeling a grateful life in the midst of chronic illness is one of the ways that I can do that.

I am currently reading a new book by Kristen Welch called Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. It is an excellent book, and it is giving me a lot to think about. I hope to share more about this book with you next week. Stay tuned! :)

How are you currently learning or practicing gratitude? Are there hard things in your life that are helping you learn to be thankful?

Raising Grateful Kids Blog Hop

Today I am co-hosting a Raising Grateful Kids blog hop. A group of bloggers has teamed up to share about what gratefulness looks like in our homes. You are welcome to read any or all of the blog posts linked up below! Let's encourage one another to be grateful in whatever circumstances God has placed us, and let us seek to teach our children to be grateful.

Inspiring an Attitude of Gratitude - by Alison
Rasisng Grateful Kids - by amanda
Why You Can't Buy Gratitude At The Dollar Store - by Andrea
Missing - Gratefulness in our home - by Ange
Choosing Gratitude - by Angela
Gratefullness - by chaley
5 Steps to Gratitude-Fille Family - by Christa
Practicing Grateful Parenting - by Dana
Sing a Song - by Hannah
Cultivating gratitude in our family - by Jamie
Gratefulness In Our Home - by Jana
Gratefulness In Our Home - by Jana
Let It Begin With Me - by Jen
Choosing Gratefulness - by Jennifer
Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World - The Book - by jeri
Eradicating Entitlement - What are you rooted in? - by Jessica
Gratefulness in our home - by Kate
The Problem With Entitlement is that it begins with us - by Katelyn
7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful - by Kathryn
Raising Grateful Kids - by Keri
How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude - by Kishona
Grateful - by Kristy
Entitlement:  The Ugly Truth of a Beautiful Lie - by Leigha
The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Raise Grateful Kids - by Lindsey
Dear Son: How Do I Teach You To Be Grateful Without Guilt? - by Marie Osborne
Gratitude, A Practical Definition - by Mia
Cultivating Gratitude in Our Home - by Nancy
Learning Gratitude through Chronic Illness - by Rachel
Being Grateful - by Rebecca
I've Found Something I Can't Live Without - by Sarah
The Power of Naming our Gifts - by Sarah
Outfitted - by Sarah Jo
Growing Gratitude in our Family - by Sondra
Teaching Gratefulness - by Stephanie
How Grateful Looks From Here - by Alison
Fighting Entitlement in Children and All of us - by Leah
Entitlement Problem - by Karrie
Grateful Today - by Krystal

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