I’ve loved tea ever since I can remember. It was the go-to remedy for childhood ills. Even today a cup of tea takes me back to my childhood home. My dad serving hot tea and toast to settle an upset tummy. Tea is still my soothing staple.
It was natural to introduce my granddaughters to tea parties. A wooden table with tapestry stools was our special place in the corner of our dining room. A miniature cabinet held various teapots and cups the perfect size for tiny hands. My girls enjoyed choosing a different set every time we sat down for tea.
They loved learning to pour often missing the mark. But spills and cookie crumbs didn’t matter. We were together sipping watery tea and wearing big hats. A chest full of dress-up clothes added to the pizzaz. From boas to high heel shoes, we were rocking our own High Tea. Good conversation was the bonus. And lots of giggles!
It was during tea time, I introduced them to an imaginary lady named Miss Manners. She set the rules for proper etiquette. Her laws were simple. Don’t talk with your mouth full. Never slurp your drink. Use your napkin. And my all-time favorite, daintily extend your pinky while sipping!
Miss Manners also stressed the importance of gratitude. The finest manners are squelched if a please and thank you aren’t present. Snippets of formality became an integral part of our silly conversation. If one got out of line, we’d remind each other, “What Would Miss Manners Say?” Please and thank you were a must during our tea parties.
My grandchildren were also taught gratitude at home. They know the importance of a simple thank you. I’ve heard them thank their mom for a good meal, for new clothes, and for fun activities. It’s music to my ears to hear them thank me at the end of a day together. It means they appreciate what I do for them. That they realize I chose being with them over anything else. And their gratitude makes me want to do even more for them!
Isn’t God like that? He longs to hear our gratefulness. It doesn’t take much effort to say thank you. It means I appreciate what He does for me. And I acknowledge He is the Source of everything good in my life. Could it be that our gratitude also opens the way for God to bless us even more?
We take the blessings of life for granted. We expect certain things to be there every morning. The beat of our heart. The breath in our lungs. The ability to see and hear. The mobility of our frame and the strength in our bones. All of this comes from the Creator and Maker of all things. How sad that we often don’t appreciate good health until it’s taken away. And we forget the Provider who stands by waiting for a few morsels of gratitude.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above.” James 1:17
“He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven
and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food
and fills your hearts with joy.” Acts 14:17
Stopping to give thanks is a habit we can develop. Even the smaller more trivial blessings deserve a big thank you. A hug that warms the heart. A smile that lights up the room. A word of encouragement. A simple pleasure. All gifts from God.
“God richly provides us with everything
for our enjoyment…” I Timothy 6:17
We don’t always consider that God provides the things that give us pleasure and joy. He is our Source of abundant life. How can we not thank him? There’s a warning when we don’t.
“Although they knew God, they neither glorified him
or gave thanks to him, their thinking became futile
and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Romans 1:21
Don’t neglect gratitude. A lack of response to the works of God is dangerous. By not praising or honoring him, we open ourselves up to idolatry, putting our trust in people or things. Ingratitude darkens the heart, turning our thoughts toward worthless things. I don’t want my thinking to become futile just because I forget good manners!
What heavy consequences for those who fail to give God thanks! He won’t demand it but desires we choose it. To glorify God for who he is and to return thanks for what he has done is vital to our spiritual health.
Give thanks and reap the benefits.
Withhold thanks and bear the consequences.
Aren’t you glad there’s a solution?