PHOTO CAPTION: This little girl is thankful to be outside enjoying the beautiful fall leaves.
PARENT OR TEACHER SECTION:
There are so many things to be thankful for and so many ways to give thanks if we take the time to look for them. What are you thankful for? Your family? Friends? Fall leaves? Except when you have to rake them up of course, but even then, you can be thankful for the strength to rake them up and maybe for an excuse to get outside.
I am thankful for my family, friends and yes even the fall leaves I raked on Saturday and probably will need to rake again soon. I’m thankful for neighbors, for relatively good health, for warm tea, grandkids, food to eat, our country and most of all for God’s amazing grace. Yes, I have much to be thankful for but how often do I stop to give thanks? How often do I stop just to be grateful and give God praise? Not often enough!
We have nine days left until the Thanksgiving holiday, why don’t we make those nine days a time of being grateful and giving our grateful thanks to God and others? Instead of complaining about the weather, who cut you off on the highway, how much you have to do before Christmas and why your kids leave things lying all around, how about giving thanks for the rain, the courteous driver who let you in when you needed to get over quickly, the opportunities you have to give back at this time of year and that you have happy healthy kids. That’s just a few things to get you started.
I also want to thank God because He loves me and knows exactly what I need. He forgives me and is with me no matter what I may be walking through right now. I want to thank Him for His grace daily and His goodness and faithfulness to me. I want to thank others too. My friend who listens and helps me when I need it. Those who have encouraged me to blog. Teachers because I can read and write. Dorothy who often checks me out at the grocery store and always with smile on her face. The list could go on and on.
I think I will sit down and do some grateful giving by writing a few thank you notes or
e-mails. I can thank the Children’s Director at our church for taking time to make sure things are well covered and for her encouragement. I can thank my family simply for lovi ng me and so many others. I want to be grateful and let others know. Maybe if we all spend time being grateful and giving back from that grateful heart, we could start a grateful epidemic! As for giving back, It’s not too late to fill a box for Operation Christmas Child and I think I will buy a package of socks to give to our community sock drive for the homeless. There are tons of ways to be grateful and give. Let’s do it! Even better, do it as a family and show our kids how to be grateful too because grateful giving leads to grateful living!
I am grateful. I have so much to be grateful for. You have given me much. I most grateful for you amazing love and care. I know you are with me and whatever I face, I am never alone because you are with me. Thank you God! Thank you for Jesus who paid the price for me to free me from my sins and provide for me an eternity with you. You are amazing God! As I am thinking of all I am grateful for, I am reminded of people who don’t have a lot to be grateful for. People who are homeless, who don’t have enough food to eat, who are sick, hurting, bound by their addictions or just going through a rough spot in life. I ask Lord, that you would open my heart and my family’s heart to share what you have so generously given us with others. I also ask, Lord, that you give those who are hurting, sick, broken, depressed, without food and shelter – give them hope. I can give socks, food, practical things, but only you, God, can give them what they truly need. Give them hope and joy as they look to you. May someone share your love with them. Show me too, Lord, ways that I can encourage my kids to be grateful and to give to others. Amen.
What Can You Do With Your Child?
* Talk about what you are thankful for. Make it a game – try to think of something for every letter of the alphabet. Then see if your kids can remember all the the things you thought of together from A-Z.
* Say, “Thank you!” to your kids when they are helpful and encourage your kids to use their words to say, “Thank you!” to others. Write a thank you note to someone – a teacher or a friend.
* Decorate a jar and put it on your table for everyone in your family to write what they are thankful for during the week. When you need encouragement or at dinner time, take a few of the notes out and read them. Preschoolers can draw pictures.
THE MAIN IDEA IS:
TO KNOW: God made me to thank Him.
TO TALK ABOUT: I can thank God for…
TO ASK: Who made you? God made me.
AND TO DO: What can you do? I can thank God no matter what.
SHARE A STORY:
There is a book in the Bible called Psalms. It’s a book of songs to God. When we sing songs, we can thank God. Let read this psalm and think of some good things to thank God for.
1 “I will praise the Lord all the time.” – (Say, “Yeah God!”)
3 “Praise the Lord with me.” – (Say, “Yeah God!”)
5 “Look to Him for help, He will put a smile on your face.” – (Smile and say, “Yeah God!”)
7 “God’s angels protect us.” – (“Yeah God”!)
10 “Even strong lions (Rrroar..) get hungry and weak, but people who go to God for help, have everything they need.” – (Say, “Yeah God!”)
17 “God hears us when we pray” – (Fold hands for prayer)
6 “God made the mountains.” – (Reach up high and say, “Yeah God!”)
9 “God takes care of the land…” – He sends rain and sun so that plants grow and we can have good food to eat. (Wiggle fingers for rain and make circle above head with arms for sun.)
13 “Everything is singing and shouting for joy.” – (Say, “Yeah God!”)
3 “The Lord is a great God!” – (“Yeah God!)
6 “Come, worship, Kneel before the Lord who made us.” – (Kneel and whisper, “Yeah God!”)
We have lots of things to thank God for. We can thank Him that He keeps us safe, for the good things that He gives us,He hears us when we pray, all the things He made and even the rain. God is good! He really loves you! What do you want to thank God for? –
(2’s may not answer, be ready to make suggestions – He loves me. He is good. He made me. He gave me a family. My kitty….)
Dear God, Thank you for loving me and for all the good things that you give me. Thank you for good food to eat. I love you. Amen.
MEMORIZE: 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIRV – (Hold hands open.)
Give thanks – (Extend hands out as though giving a gift.)
No matter – (Clap hands and shake head for no.)
What happens – (Push hands outwards to the sides.)