At SNICK, St. Nicholas’ kids program on Wednesday nights, the children are learning about what it means to have grateful hearts. I think this is a foundational proponent of faith for children to learn. If, at an early age, we can learn to be grateful for all that God has given us, then we’re likely to live a pretty sweet life. We’ll see the abundance God gives us, which will help us see that God provides our most important needs, and therefore there is not much we lack.

As a parent, I want my kids to have a happy life. I want them to have the opportunities, experiences, and yes, even “stuff,” that I didn’t have as a child. But if I fail to teach them to be grateful for these things, then I find that it’s like tossing all of those things down a deep, dark well. If I give them what they want every time they ask, then they will always take for granted that they will receive it. If I can teach them to be grateful, as if everything I give them is a surprise, then I find they will come and hug me and say, “Thank you, Da.”

I believe all kids have grateful hearts inside of them. We just have to teach them how to use them. At SNICK, we introduced the idea of having a grateful heart with a conversation and an activity where the kids complete poems about their grateful hearts. The words in the poem didn’t have to rhyme, they just had to express what they felt about their grateful heart. Here’s what they came up with:

My heart is good.
I give thanks for you.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is grateful.
I give thanks for all the wonderful people in my life.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is happy, thankful, loving.
I give thanks for music, friends, family.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is blood red.
I give thanks for video games and God.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is good.
I give thanks for my lungs.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is good.
I give thanks for everyone.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is thankful.
I give thanks for God & life.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is thankful.
I give thanks for Holy Jesus.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is great.
I give thanks for my mate.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is lovable.
I give thanks for life and family.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is full of joy and love.
I give thanks for my heart of love.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is loving.
I give thanks for children.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is big and explosive.
I give thanks for my Xbox and A Ball.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is cool.
I give thanks for my life.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is great.
I give thanks for God.
My Grateful Heart.

My heart is beating with a love for theatre.
I give thanks for parents who do everything they can to support me.
My Grateful Heart.

Pretty good, huh? Perhaps if we took this poetry form and just once a week filled it out with new answers, it would go a long way to making us happier and more grateful for all our many blessings.

Jeff signature