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Guest Blogger: Susie Larson | Growing Grateful Kids

Susie Larson | Sep 04, 2014

I sat on the edge of a pool behind a friend’s house in North Carolina. We watched our kids jump off the diving board while discussing our plans for the remainder of the summer. Our conversation steered to our own hobbies and what we hoped to personally accomplish before the fall. We both agreed that reading a good book was at the top of both of our lists. So, we both started sharing our favorite reads. I recommended some mindless fiction options – just nonsense that had no spiritual nor educational benefit. No enrichment. Just sad.

My friend is kind. She indulged my suggestions and acted interested.

Then, as if to get me back on track, she told me one of her favorites – the one that if I read nothing else all summer I must get my hands on – Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson.

I was immediately intrigued.

Aren’t you?

So, the next day, I ordered a copy for me – and a mindless, fiction novel for her. I’m pretty sure I got the better end of the deal because I’ve loved every page of Susie’s book. Every chapter has helped me figure out how to rear my little boys into the kind of men I’d like to see them become.

Susie’s book and ministry are a lifeline to women like me – women who are trying to figure out the delicate balance of letting your children enjoy the blessings that God has given while simultaneously maturing into generous, servant-hearted and grateful individuals.

If you haven’t noticed . . . in our materialistic and self-serving culture, it’s difficult.

No worries. Susie is here to help. She is an author, radio host, wife and mother who has raised three children into grateful, well-adjusted adults.

Today, Susie is giving away 7 copies of her extraordinary book. I cannot wait for you to have it.

To enter:

Enjoy Susie’s blog post below.
Copy the link to this post and send to another mother who you know will be encouraged or challenged by it. You can even post to your social media pages.
Leave a comment sharing some things you have implemented in your parenting to rear grateful children. Don’t forget to leave your email address so that we may contact you.

We will randomly select 7 of you on Monday, September 8th, and send you a copy of this incredible book!

Susie, thank you for your commitment to strengthen women in their faith and family. We are all so blessed by you!


Susie Larson

Adapted from “Growing Grateful Kids” (Moody Publishers, 2010)

My nest is now empty. My kids are grown and married and though it sounds cliché, I marvel at how quickly those years have come and gone. Looking back, I must say I believe—like never before—that one of the best things we can do for our children is to personally walk intimately with the Lord and become more like Him with each passing day.

It’s true that when our kids are young, we can get them to obey no matter how dysfunctional we ourselves may be. But it doesn’t take long before our kids are quick to spot hypocrisy and double standards. Our words will no longer ring true if they see us do one thing and say another.

We cannot impart what we do not possess. So may we show our children, give them a front row seat of what it looks like to entrust ourselves to God and to follow Him wholeheartedly.

If our kids see us shake our fists at people more than pray for them, they’ll learn that people shouldn’t get in the way of what we want.

If our kids see us responding humbly to the rude person in line at the grocery store, they’ll learn that we are alive to reflect the character of Christ.

If our kids see us grumble, gripe, and complain about our circumstances and unfulfilled desires, they’ll come to believe that we deserve more than God is giving us at the moment.

If our kids see us regularly open our hands, thank God, and entrust our hearts’ desires to Him, they’ll learn that God is good, He cares about us, and He moves when we pray.

If our kids see us dissect others’ flaws more than they hear us honor them in their absence, they’ll acquire an exaggerated view of their own importance and the idea that it’s okay to gossip.

If our kids see us speak well of others, give people the benefit of the doubt, and believe the best about others’ motives, they’ll not be quick to judge or assign motives; they’ll learn to believe and hope for the best in others.

If our kids see us strive and strain in our own strength and neglect to give Jesus the credit He deserves, they’ll learn that more rests on our shoulders than on His.

If our kids see us humbly commit each new day to Jesus and turn our worries over to Him, they’ll learn that He truly loves and cares about every detail of our lives.

If our kids see us disrespect authority, criticize our pastor, and nitpick our neighbor, they’ll learn that it doesn’t matter if Jesus told us to respect authority and to love our neighbor, because our opinions matter more than the things He has asked of us.

If our kids see us admit when we’re wrong, ask forgiveness, and apply ourselves to the pursuit of holiness, they’ll learn to follow in our footsteps. They’ll have a visual example of what it means to admit when they’re wrong, to ask forgiveness, and to apply themselves to the pursuit of holiness.

girl looking on

What a lofty responsibility we have in raising our children! Lord, help us to live what we believe!

This parenting thing is hard and calls so much out of us. And we won’t do it all perfectly. In fact, we’ll make plenty of mistakes along the way. That’s why Jesus offers us grace for every step and sends fresh, new mercies to our door each and every morning. He is with us, here to help us, and He won’t let us go.

To live what we believe puts feet to our faith. Nothing will teach our kids about hope, gratitude, and the transforming power of Jesus Christ like parents whose daily choices flow from a thriving, intimate walk with Jesus Himself.

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day (Proverbs 4:18 NIV).