Last week to put together Operation Christmas Child boxes.
Recently we had some unexpected expenses which left us scrambling to figure out what to do. Thankfully we still had a little money in savings and yes, we did use our line of credit although we prefer not to. In the midst of this minor emergency, I found my mind going to all the ways I had hoped to spend my money this year at Christmas time. I was hoping to spend money on grandkids and a few other items as well as give more and put more in savings. I’ve been saving for a car for seven months. Guess what? I’m starting over. For a moment, I found my hope dwindling by the added stress of this unexpected expense. In
fact, this verse from Proverbs popped into my head.
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
But then God reminded me that He is good and He is faithful and my heart began to sing, even though I did have a moment of panic and tears. He reminded me that He was faithful in that our van, the reason for our unexpected expense, didn’t break down when I was out on the highway alone, but rather just a few minutes away from our home. He reminded me that I still had resources to draw on – limited resources yes, but I still had resources. He reminded me that He is good and that He knows what I am going through. He hasn’t left me to flounder on my own, but will be with me every step of the way. God is good!
What are some ways that God is good? He is good in that He loves us immensely and forgives us. He gives us grace and strength every day. He is always with us. He is our refuge, our safe place. He protects us. He gives us good things such as families, good things to eat, sunshine, air to breathe and if you live in Seattle, coffee. He made the earth. He hears us when we pray and He is our Father God. God is good!
When I started listing all the ways that God is good, I felt like God whispered to my heart, “Child, it is true that hope deferred makes the heart sick, but what my child are you placing your hope in? Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but hope in Me makes the heart sing.” I’m singing today because God is with me and He is good.
By the way, when I called on the Lord for wisdom and strength, He brought some other good things my way. I have a new piano student and I’ve been able to sell few more copies of my book, “God Made Me”. I don’t want this blog to be an advertisement, but if anyone is interested in a good book to read to your children, perhaps a stocking stuffer at Christmas, you can buy my book on Amazon, Lulu, Kindle Direct and Barnes and Noble – online only from Barnes and Noble.
I hope that all of you are experiencing God’s love and faithfulness this month and I hope that you find lots to be thankful for, but if you are feeling a little stressed remember, God is good. Life rarely happens exactly as we think it will, but when those unexpected things come up, I pray that you draw deep from the well of God’s love and grace. Seek Him in prayer and know that He is for you. We may not understand why life happens the way it does, but we can take comfort
in knowing that we have a God who is for us not against us, a God who is there every step of the way and who is able to meet our every need. I pray that you find your heart singing with gratitude as Thanksgiving approaches.
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
Thank you for your love and grace. Thank you God for hearing my prayer. I am still a little scared of what the outcome may be, but I am so very thankful that you are walking with me. I know that you will show me the way and give me strength little by little. I can depend on you and lean on you when I am weary. Lord, I am not proud of the fact that sometimes when I am stressed, I default to complaining and even becoming angry. Please forgive me. Help me to take all these things to you instead of venting. I know deep in my heart that it’s in your hands, yet somehow I try to figure these problems out in my own strength which doesn’t work. I so need you and your strength. Teach me to rest in your peace. Thank you , Jesus, that you are good. Thank you for your forgiveness, your mercy, grace, grandkids, an abundance of tomatoes and tomatillos from my garden. Thank you for beautiful autumn leaves, warm coffee and especially for your presence. Thank you for opportunities to give. I will be strong and take heart because I have placed my hope in you. Your love makes my heart sing. Amen
THANKSGIVING ART PROJECT
One of my favorite things to do with young kids is to make the handprint turkey. Whether you trace around their hand and let them color it in or use paint and then press their hand onto paper, it’s a fun, cute idea. When your child is finished with his turkey handprint, ask what he is thankful for and write it on the turkey or on each fingerprint. (Sorry I don’t have a picture, I think I must have deleted it.)
THANKSGIVING SNACK MIX
Make this with your child to share with a friend
Combine the following ingredients and give thanks.
2 cups pretzels – represents arms folded in prayer.
2 cups Cheerios- God’s circle of love never ends.
1 cup candy corn – represents all the good things God gives us.
1 cup raisins or other dried fruits – “Thank you God, for good food.”
1 cup M & M’s – represents memories. “Thank you, God, for Good things to remember.”
Hershey’s Kiss to top it off – represents love. Thank you, God, for your love
and for my family.
SHARE A STORY: Psalm 34, 65, 95 Paraphrased for Preschoolers
God Is Good
Psalm34 says:1 “I will praise the Lord all the time.”
Day or night we can praise God. – (Say, “Yeah God!”)
5 “Look to Him for help, He puts a smile on your face.” –
(Smile and say, “Yeah God!”)
7 “God’s angels camp around His followers and protect us.” – (“Yeah God”!)
8 “Give God a chance to show you how good He is.” –
(Say, “God is good! Yeah God!”)
17 “Talk to the Lord and He will hear you” –
(Fold hands as though praying and then say, “Yeah God!”)
Psalm 65 says:6 “God made the mountains.” –
(Reach up high and say, “Yeah God!”)
7 “People all around the world are amazed at the wonderful things God does.” – (Show globe and say, “Yeah God!”)
9 “God takes care of the land…” –
God sends the 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. Say, “Yeah God!”)
13 “The pastures are covered with sheep.” –
(Say, “Baa, baa. You are God’s little lamb.”)
“Everything is singing and shouting for joy.” –
(Sing, “La, la, la!” and shout, “Yeah God!”)
3 “The Lord is a great God!” – (“Yeah God”!)
6 “Come worship Him! Let us kneel before the Lord who made us.”
(Kneel and whisper, “Yeah God!”)
God is good! What would you like to thank God for? (He loves me. He is good. He made me. He gave me a family. He made everything. He is strong and powerful. My kitty….)
MEMORIZE: Psalms 150:6 – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
Let everything – (Spread hands out to the side.)
That has breath – (Take a deep breath.)
Praise the Lord – (Wave arms above head.)
It’s fun to sing the verse with a toy xylophone starting at C and going up the scale.
Thank you for loving me. Thank you for all the good things that you give me. I love you. Amen
KNOW: I can give thanks because God is good.
TALK ABOUT: I am thankful for…
ASK: Who made you? God made me. God made me to praise Him.What can you do? I can thank God and others.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK
- Think of something everyday to be thankful for this week. Write a thankful prayer to God with your child.
- Don’t forget to thank the people around you too. Thankfulness helps us to be happier, healthier people and will put a smile on someone else’s face too.