How to nurture gratitude in the hearts of our children

Growing up as a missionary kid in France had its perks, and the local bakery (or boulangerie) was one of them. In the front counter space of our nearest boulangerie were pastries of all sorts—elegant creations low on sugar and high on butter. Bins lining the wall boasted candy you could purchase by the gram—my favorite after-school indulgence.

One day, my dad and I walked hand in hand to the boulangerie to pick up an afternoon treat. I froze in front of the window as I noticed a giant chocolate castle on display. It had several chocolate turrets with arched doorways. Miniature bricks etched its walls and chocolate vines creeped over the sides. Intricate details in contrasting colors were made with milk chocolate and dark chocolate. It was wider than the wingspan of my outstretched arms. Upon entering, I realized that it was not just a work of art, it was a piece of heaven. 

While my dad made small talk with the lady behind the counter, I continued to stare at the drool-worthy castle. I couldn’t believe how big it was. I fantasized about biting off the tip of a turret. The woman at the cash register interrupted my reverie. “Would you like a chance to win the castle? We’re giving it away!” My dad laughed good naturedly. “Sure! Why not?” He picked a number—17—and dropped it into a clear bowl. 


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Sarah K. Butterfield is an author, speaker, and ministry leader who has a heart for empowering women to grow in their faith and be intentional with their time. She and her husband and two boys live in San Diego, where she writes about pursuing a deeper relationship with God in the midst of motherhood.

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