Grateful Giving

This little guy is thankful to be outside enjoying the beautiful fall leaves.

Happy Thanksgiving!
There are so many things to be thankful for and so many ways to give thanks if we take a little 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 and maybe for an excuse to get outside.

I am thankful for my family, friends and yes even the fall leaves that I need to rake. 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 four days left until Thanksgiving, why don’t we spend those four days being grateful; giving 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 the house, let’s give thanks.. Thank God for the weather, 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. There is so much more. How about thanking God for each breath you take? As our verse this month suggests, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”

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 daily grace, 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.

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 for their love and helpfulness. I can be grateful for friends. Maybe if we all spent a little more time being grateful and giving back from a grateful heart, we could start a grateful epidemic! As for giving back, It’s not too late to find ways to give before Christmas. A package of socks for the community sock drive, a toy to put into the Toys for Tots bin, or drop some money into the Salvation Army bucket. There are tons of ways to be grateful and give. Let’s do it! Even better, do it as a family and show your kids that they can be grateful too.

PARENT PRAYER:
God,
I have so much to be grateful for. You have given me much. I most grateful for your amazing love and care. i know you are with me and whatever I face, I am never alone. Thank you God! Thank you for Jesus who paid the price for me to free my from my sins and provide for me an eternity with you. You are amazing God! As I am think of all I am grateful for, I am reminded of people who don’t have a lot to be grateful for. People who are without a home, 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. Send someone to 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

Kid’s Section

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 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.
    • SHARE A STORY – Let’s Celebrate PSALM 100
      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 “Shout for joy to the Lord.” – (Say, “Yeah God!”)
    • 2 “Come before Him with joyful songs.” – (Sing a song together.)
    • 3 “God made us, we belong to Him like the sheep in His pasture.” –
      (Smile and say, “Yeah God!”)
    • 4 “Give thanks to Him” – (“Yeah God”!)
    • 5 “For the Lord is good and His love is forever.” –
      (Say, “God really loves you and I do too!”)
    • 17 “God hears us when we pray” – (Fold hands for prayer)

      MEMORIZE: Psalms 150:6 (Hands like holding a book.)
      Let everything – (Hands out to the side.)
      That has breath – (Take a deep breath.)
      Praise the Lord – (Wave arms above head.)

      SING AND SAY: (What is needed: Small keyboard or child’s xylophone)
    • Starting on middle C, play or sing the scale going up or down while saying the words of the verse. Your child may squat down and gradually stand up as you go up the scale and then reverse that. Also grow a little louder as you go up the scale and a little quieter as you go down.
      LET’S TALK: “Let’s start down low and sing our verse. Ready? Let every-thing that has breath praise the Lord.” (Repeat. When finished, jump up and say, “Yeah God!”)

    • THE MAIN IDEA:KNOW: God made me to thank Him.
      TALK ABOUT: I can thank God for…
      ASK: Who made you? God made me.
      AND DO: What can you do?I can thank God no matter what.

      PRAYER:
      Dear God,
      Thank you for loving me and for all the good things that you give me. Thank you for good food to eat. Thank you that I belong to you just like a little lamb belongs a shepherd. I love you. I am your little lamb. Amen