Practicing Gratitude

By Lynda Hojnacki

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the recent “Thrive” series, and particularly the segment on the role that Gratitude plays in our ability to thrive. The idea of daily thanksgivings such as a ‘Gratitude Journal’ really stuck with us. During the class, Fr. Chris told a story about how he is teaching his girls to pray, by asking them each night, to share what they are thankful for. We have always wanted to do more to help our grandchildren to find their way into faith, but of course, never wanted to be pushy about it. So this simple story gave us an idea: Each Wednesday night, we go to our daughter and son-in-law’s home for Wednesday night “family dinner” together. Next time we go, why not invite our grandchildren (and the adults) to go around the dinner table and share what they were thankful for that day?

So we gave it a try and to our pleasant surprise, it opened up a floodgate gate for thankfulness from all three of them! (Ages 3,6, and 9.) They all rattled off a number of thanks with no hesitancy. They chimed in with being thankful for their Mom and Dad, for their grandparents, for their aunt and uncle, for their friends, and each other. And it struck me that what they named wasn’t their things or their toys or their video games, it was the overwhelmingly for the people in their lives. I cannot tell you how good that made us feel as grandparents! And for our part, we were thankful that they all got along at the dinner table and that they ALL liked the meal, which doesn’t always happen! But most of all, we were thankful for taking the risk and creating the space to hear what is going on in their lives and what’s most meaningful to them – and from WHOM all these blessings flow. Thanks be to God!

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