When Gratitude Governs Your Attitude


The lyrics rang out from our family’s well-used and well-loved tape player. It was 1980-somethin’ and I was listening to one of my very favorite cassettes of all time: Joni Earekson Tada – I’ve Got Wheels.

I’d spend hour after hour lying on the lovely pea-soup-green shag carpet, pressing my ear to the tall black speakers in our living room, singing as loudly as I could without being scolded.

Although it’s been decades since I’ve heard that particular song, those compelling words have stuck with me through the years. Let’s have an attitude of gratitude.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, that particular phrase has been rolling around my heart and mind. A lot.

How can I live today with thankfulness?

And what does a life of gratitude look like anyway?

Sounds easier to sing than to realistically put it into practice. Especially for a mom.

More often than not, my attitude is closer to a Mad-i-tude of Platitude. Or as my son refers to stinky attitudes, a Bad-i-tude.

Does this mean we should be thankful for dirty dishes, laundry piles and whiny children? How about flat tires, juice spills, and exploding diapers. (I know, such first world problems, huh.) But the precious child behind those dishes and those laundry piles? Oh yes! We are thankful! The refining of our hearts as we learn to serve our families, reflecting His love through our words and actions? It can be tough, but Yes Please! We want them to SEE LOVE: His perfect love shining through our imperfect mama efforts.

As we look toward celebrating Thanksgiving this week, may we pause for a moment and ponder what that really looks like. How does gratefulness in action affect our everyday?

For our family, we’ve decided to start this season of giving and thanks a bit early. We have been cutting out paper leaves and writing things we’re thankful for several weeks now, creating a family Thankfulness Tree. We add a little string to each leaf, hang them on some branches I have on our living room mantel, and Voila! Instant Tree of Gratitude. A visual reminder God’s faithfulness; what He has done, and what He continues to do in our lives.

Truth be told, I’m not the crafty type. (Please don’t ask me to use a hot glue gun. I’d get tangled up in all those clear clingy strings. Not to mention severely irritated.) But I promise that as you contemplate the BLESSINGS and write down areas you’re thankful for, your heart will soon be singing this truth:

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:1

Notice that our thankfulness is not contingent upon our circumstances. We are to give thanks simply because of the reality of His goodness.

For in the good and in the bad, in the easy and the hard, in the yes and in the no, His love remains. May our heart of thankfulness do the same.

Happy Thanksgiving, dearest of dear Masterpiece Mommers!

We are so thankful for YOU!


Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.

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