From Grumpy to Grateful (A Story of Thanksgiving) Introduction

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 

I have recently finished the manuscript for my first children’s book, which I had hoped to have published by Thanksgiving of this year. But, like many other things in this strange and unpredictable year, From Grumpy to Grateful has been on the back burner. Still, I thought my followers might like a sneak preview, especially those with children or grandchildren who like to read or be read to. God willing, the book will be out, complete with illustrations, by next fall.

From Grumpy to Grateful will be posted in five brief posts for the next five days. Meanwhile, a note to the adults:

We can take many things for granted, from food and clothes to our freedom, to the people in our lives. It’s easy to look at what God is doing for other people and feel a twinge of envy, not realizing that these people probably aren’t blessed with many of the things we enjoy every day. These people might, in fact, be envying us at the same time! This cycle of ingratitude happens to adults as well as children. Sometimes it takes a crisis, a loss, or a journey into someone else’s world to give us an appreciation for what we have.

Jackson, the little boy in this story, has been hearing about Jesus and the miracles He did – walking on water, feeding five thousand, healing the sick, and raising the dead. Jackson wonders why Jesus isn’t doing impressive things like that for him, and he complains about it to his sister Charlotte.

You may know someone who has gone on a missionary trip to an impoverished region and come back a different person – a very grateful person. Jackson has the privilege of taking that journey in one night, as he dreams about what it would be like to be without most of the things he takes for granted. When he wakes up, Jackson realizes that he is one very blessed boy!

Before reading this story with your child, ask what he or she is grateful for. You might want to write down the response. Then after reading about Jackson’s adventure, ask your child if he or she has anything else to thank God for. I suspect the second list will be longer than the first.

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You might want to hang your gratitude list on the wall, refrigerator, or bulletin board and add to it each night. Ask your child (and yourself) “Do you know someone who doesn’t have these things?” then pray together for that person, and watch for changes that come from a life of gratitude and caring.

                                    Ann Aschauer

Prayer: Father in heaven, You take such good care of us, and so often we don’t take notice of what You’ve given us, nor do we thank You as much as we should. Help us to be more aware of our blessings and to thank You continually for Your goodness to us. May we set an example of thankfulness to the children in our lives each and every day, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

37 thoughts on “From Grumpy to Grateful (A Story of Thanksgiving) Introduction

    1. I was thinking about the age kids start reading their first “chapter books.” (They’re always so proud of that step. 😉 ❤ ) I am working on a vocabulary list to include – although it's so hard to define some of the words I've used all my life!

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      1. Yup it’s tough. I once wrote a series of short children’s stories based that was considered for a while by Group publishing. The sticking point was it didn’t quite fit between chapter books and the next step up. So I ended up privately publishing a few copies for our grandchildren. Don’t give up. It will be worth it in the end!

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  1. Well….This comment is concerning your post Accidental Fast, Spiritual Feast, but it kept telling me the page could not be found when I tried to comment.
    Let me say, that was a beautiful post. I both loved it and related in ways. Secondly, how wonderfully brave you are to reveal your vulnerability, openness, in such an inspiring way. Lovely, lovely post. Thank you so much for sharing it and yourself with us. -Laura

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    1. Wow, Laura, you found that quickly! I had just written it and was trying to schedule it for close to Christmas, and it disappeared! I then realized I had “scheduled” it for November 13 (which has passed) instead of December, so I moved it over. You should be able to find it the second Friday in December. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement! ❤

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  2. When I was growing up my dad would tell us “gratitude will change your attitude.” I never paid much attention to that until I was an adult. One day my two young teen daughters were having a fight over a scarf that they both wanted to wear. I couldn’t believe how selfish and mean they were being to each other. It was very upsetting. I took the scarf away from both of them. Then I told them that they each needed to write me a list of 20 things they were grateful for. Interestingly neither list included the scarf or any of their other possessions. I also don’t remember either of them ever asking for that scarf back. It really wasn’t that important. Dad’s words rang true.
    P.S. My Grandson’s name is Jackson. 🙂

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