Doesn’t it seem a bit ironic that Thanksgiving seems to fall at the busiest time of the year? Right in the middle of when we are planning and prepping for parties, family dinners and the shopping and decorating that we always seem to do for Christmas. The last couple of years has been a little different in that we were quarantined during one of those years because of Covid and now that the quarantine has lifted, at least for some, there are still restrictions such as showing your vaccination card when going into a restaurant or perhaps you have chosen not to get vaccinated and you are facing a layoff or maybe you have health risks and are playing it safe by continuing to quarantine at home. Wherever you may find yourself in this mad mix whether busier than ever or trying to make sense of the crazy world we live in; it’s easy to forget to be thankful.
How can you and I remember to be more thankful? Because even in the light of what has happened in our world the last couple of years, we still do have a lot to be thankful for. I think for me, being thankful is being intentional. It’s pausing to be present in each moment, stopping to consider all the things that I tend to take for granted such as a warm home, water to drink and shower in, a husband who does dishes, the checker at the store that greets me with a smile and friendly hello. It’s my family, every single one of them. It’s the hug or ‘high five’ from a child. I’m thankful for God’s love for me and that He is incredibly faithful even when my faith is wavering.
These are just a few of the things I am thankful for – for more ideas, read the bullet points below, but before you do, let me remind you to pause and say, “Thank you!” In the midst of whatever you are going through, look up and thank God. Giving thanks is one of the most important things we do. Giving thanks changes our perspective and enthuses our souls with joy. Giving thanks reminds us of what is truly important. Life is not about getting our To Do list done or accumulating more stuff, like the advertisements might indicate. Truly living is finding joy in each moment, praising God and building relationships with your family and friends.
Tomorrow when you go off to work and you have reports that need to be done, students to teach or deadlines to meet, thank God for your work. Like the one man that Jesus healed of leprosy, stop and say, “Thank you!”, because God is good and He really loves you.
PS I would love to hear what you are thankful for too. Let’s start a huge wave of thanksgiving.
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
I do get busy and I do rush through life forgetting to pause and say, “Thank you!” Remind me this week to stop and say, “Thank you!” at the store, to my hubby when he does dishes, to my kids when they help me with a project or just because of who they are. Remind me to say, “Thank you!” for all the good things that you have given me. Instead of hurrying on my way, I want to be the ‘one man’ (woman) who comes back to say, “Thanks!” Open my eyes to see all the good that is around me and then spread that joy with others. You are so good, God. No matter what tomorrow may bring, today, I choose today to give thanks and maybe, just maybe as I give thanks, my friends, family, the kids in my life also will learn the great joy of stopping to say, “Thank you!” You are amazing God! Amen
I AM THANKFUL
Did you know that being grateful is healthy? It boosts your immune system and can help combat depression as well as many other things. Here’s some of the things I am thankful for.
- YOU! Yes, you, my readers. Some of you may say, “How can you be thankful for me when you don’t even know me?” True, but still I am thankful. I am thankful that you have taken the time to read this blog and I know many of you are making a difference in this world, Yes, I am thankful for you and I pray for you too.
- Families – especially my family, but I am thankful that God made families. For those families who are broken right now and hurting, I pray for restoration for you and the peace and love would reign.
- I am thankful that I can read and write – Thank you to Mrs. Bircher, Mrs. Mills, Mrs. Konschu and others who taught me.
- I am thankful for God’s amazing grace and love each and every day.
- Opportunities to give this time of year.
- Work that I enjoy, my students and kiddos at Sunshine Learning Center where I teach chapel once a week and at church.
- I am thankful for people who have cheered me on and encouraged me when I wasn’t sure I believed in my dreams.
- I am thankful for beautiful sunsets, fall leaves and the beauty in nature.
- I am very thankful for Jesus.
STORY: One Man Says Thanks – Luke 17:11-19
Once when Jesus was walking to Jerusalem, (Walk, walk, walk.) He came to a small town. Ten sick men met Him there. They wanted Jesus to help them, but didn’t want to get too close because they had sores on their skin and might get others sick. So they shouted to Jesus, “Jesus, please help us!“ (Put hands by mouth when shouting.)
Jesus saw the men. He loved them. (Give self a hug.) and wanted to help, so He said, “Go, show yourself to the priests.” The men started walking (Walk, walk, walk.) and as they did, all their sores went away. All ten of men were healed that day. Not one man was sick any more. Jesus healed them. No more sores! The men hurried to town to let the priests know, but one man stopped, (Hold up hand for stop!) and turned around. He went back and he bowed down. (Bow down.) At Jesus’ feet, he cried out, “Thank you! My sores went away. Thank you for making me well today!”
Jesus asked, “Where are the other nine men? Are you the only one who came back to say, thank you and praise God today?” Jesus told the man to stand. (Stand up!) He was free to go and he was very thankful, Jesus loved him so. He was the only one who took the time to stop and say thanks that day. The other nine went hurriedly on their way. You can stop to say, “Thank you!“ too. You can thank those who help you each day and thank God for the blessings He gives you.
What are some of the good things God gives you? (He made you. He gives His love. Moms and dads, pets, love, good food, warm clothes, air to breathe.) Who else can we say, ’Thank you!’ to? (Moms, dad, teachers, friends, community helpers)
Dear God,Thank you for loving me and for all the good things that you give me. Thank you for mom and dad, good food to eat, my pets and for caring for me. I love you. Help me to remember to be thankful and to use my good manners too. I will take the time each day to stop and say, “Thank you!“ Amen
MEMORIZE: 1 Chron. 16:34 ERV – (Hands open as if holding a book.)
Give thanks – (Touch lips with fingers, bring down to meet other hand.)
To the Lord – (Point upwards.)
For He is good. – (Rub tummy.)
VERSE SONG: (To the tune of “Frere Jaque”)
Give thanks, give thanks,
To the Lord, to the Lord,
For He is good, for He is good,
1 Chronicles 16:34.
KNOW: Only one man came back to say, “Thank you!”
TALK ABOUT: Things we can be thankful for.
ASK: Who made you? God made me. God gave me a mouth to say, “Thank you!”
AND DO: Thank God for the good things He has done.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK:
* See how many ways you can be thankful this week. Thank the clerk at the grocery store, thank a teacher, mom, dad, a friend and especially God. Notice when your child says thank you and praise him/her.
* Gratitude encourages a giving heart and this time of year there are lots of ways to give. Pick a place where you and your child can give and share the love of Jesus. It’s one way of thanking God for all He has done for you