Hebrews 13:5 NIV

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

It’s easy to find gratitude in the frenzy of Christmas morning or around the pre-Covid dinner table at Thanksgiving.

It’s more difficult to find gratitude in the middle of a pandemic. It’s normal to feel emotions that aren’t grateful. Anger, resentment, and fear are gut reactions to a world flipped upside down, whatever the cause of said flipping.

Practicing gratitude begins by recognizing that God is the One God and everything we have is His. We are simply stewards of HIs blessings. When I view my home, my family, and my material possessions with the eyes of a steward, I realize that I have been blessed many times over.

I strive to live simply, with a minimalist approach. My material, essential, and emotional needs are met. I have everything I could require – and then some. So what now? How can I use my resources to help others and raise children who are good citizens and good Christians?

That’s ultimately up to each of us individually, but here’s some things I’ve tried:

Helping Others

  1. Spend time Googling charities and organizations that speak to your heart and shate the Gospel. I typically vet the charities I consider by asking myself if what they do (a) takes care of human needs (food, water, healthcare), and (b) benefits the Kingdom.
  2. Look into local community outreach programs where you can give your time, expertise, or some other tangible, non-monetary gift, if able. For example, in my hometown, you can send e-cards to kids at Cincinnati Children’s hospital.
  3. Simply ask people if they could use some help. It’s a little harder to help strangers in public thanks to Covid-restrictions, but you can still be kind.

Raising Children – Things to Ask Myself:

  1. Am I modeling Christ-like behavior?
  2. Am I spending time in the the Word and in prayer in order to prepare myself for their questions, coaching, and discipline?
  3. Is there a service project we can engage in together as a family? For example, Operation Christmas Child.
  4. Am I teaching them how to pray and how to care for others?
  5. Am I nurturing their natural penchant for curiosity and education? For example, did you know that you can sign up to receive free books in the mail every month?