I am thankful for so many things – although sometimes I get a little selfish and yes, I start thinking of all that’s wrong with the world or the things wrong with “my world” – problems that are so incredibly minor in comparison to all that God has given me. Just today, I was lamenting the fact that I don’t yet quite have the money to replace my very old, outdated and almost non-functional kitchen cabinets and of course, I wish Covid were non-existent, I wish that more people knew how much God loves them and I wish that in spite of our differences, our nation and our world could be more at peace. Well, I guess not all of those things that steal my joy are minor – world peace is not exactly minor, but my kitchen cabinets are. What I’m trying to say here is that for just a moment, I let things steal my joy and my gratitude. (Ever been there?) But when I started thinking of all that God has done for me and also all the people I have to be thankful for … Yes, I am blessed – incredibly blessed. So I want to take a moment and just say, “Thank you!”
Thank you to my readers who have encouraged me and have faithfully read my musings each week. I feel like you are all family.
Yes, as you might have noticed from the picture above, I am incredibly thankful for my large, unique creative and helpful family. They have helped me with so many things – such as home projects or helping when my hubby was in the hospital a couple of years ago, but mostly they love me in spite of those occasional lapses of gratitude.
I am thankful for my church, my faith and a God who is with me no matter what and who loves me more than I ever will realize.
I’m thankful for neighbors and friends.
I’m thankful for teachers – because of teachers I have learned so much. I’m glad that I was able to go to school and that I can read and write. Some kids don’t get that opportunity.
I’m thankful for my students and for the preschoolers that I teach Chapel too each week.
The list could go on and on, but I don’t want to bore you. Suffice it to say, there is much to give thanks for if we stop for a moment and look for it and while you are giving thanks, how about blessing someone else’s life by writing a note of thanks or giving away some of your blessings. One way I like to give this time of year is to fill a shoebox with items for a disadvantaged child through Operation Christmas Child. It’s simple, easy, fun, something the whole family can get involved in and it makes a difference. For more information check out:
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER
Thank you for reminding me of all that I have to be thankful for and forgive me for focusing on the minor stuff. In all actuality when I stop to think about it, I am incredibly rich and blessed. I have more than enough to give and share with others. I have friends, family, a home, plenty of food to eat and so much more. Lord, help me to change my thinking. I want to think less about things and more about you, more about the people around me, more about how I can share and make this world a better place. Show me how and when to give. There are so many ways to give that sometimes, I feel a little overwhelmed, yet I know that you will give me opportunities that are right for me and that you will help me to be wise in how I give. Also, remind me this week to be grateful and to remember to say, “Thank you!” to friends, family and others who help me. Most of all, God, thank you for giving me Jesus. Thank you that you are so good and kind and thank you that you are my friend always and forever. Amen
* Yes, sometimes it’s hard to find the time to stop and be thankful in the midst of our busy lives. When we do stop long enough to give thanks, not only will we bless someone else, but we also will raise our own joy factor. Did you know that giving thanks is healthy? Research shows that it is.
* Take a moment to write out an old-fashioned thank you card to someone who has made a difference in your life and mail it. Even kids can get involved – ask your child to draw or color a thankful picture.
* No time for a card? What about a quick e-mail or text message?
* Gratitude helps people feel more positive, deal with adversity and can improve your health.
* Being grateful involves giving. When we are truly grateful for what we have, we want to share and bless others. This can be done without spending a lot of money and the opportunities abound this time of year. One opportunity is to round up what you spend when you go to the store – often there are charities that will benefit from that small amount and over time, it adds up.
* Give a gift of your time – even something as simple as taking the time to give your full attention and focus to a friend who is going through hard time means a lot (or maybe that’s your toddler that needs your full attention at the moment.) Listening is a gift.
* Smile – Yes, you can tell if someone is smiling behind a face mask and we need more smiles for sure. A smile eases tension, is friendly and can disarm a tense or stressful situation so go ahead and smile!
* Give the gift of empathy. Slow down, focus on the people around you. Extend grace. You will gain by slowing down too.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH YOUR CHILD THIS WEEK?
THE MAIN IDEA: Let’s Praise God – Psalm 34, 65, 95
KNOW: God is good.
TALK ABOUT: I am thankful for…
ASK: Who made you? God made me.
MEMORIZE: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Ps.150:6 NIRV
SHARE A STORY: A Psalm is like a song to God.
In Psalm34 it says:
1 “I will praise the Lord at all times.” – (Day or night we can praise God. Say, “Yeah God!”)
“I will never stop singing His praises.” – (Say in a singsong way, “I love you God. You are good!”)
5 “.. Look to Him for help, He will put a smile on your face.” – (Smile and say, “Yeah God!”)
7 “God’s angels camp around His followers and protect us.”
8 “Give God a chance to show you how good He is. Great blessings belong to those who depend on Him.” – (Say, “God is good! Yeah God!”)
11 “Children, come and listen to me;” – (Hand by ear as though listening.12 “Do you want to enjoy life and have many happy days?” – (BIG smiles.)
13 “Don’t say anything hurtful, and never lie.”- (Say, “I will watch what I say.”)
17 “Pray to the Lord and He will hear you” – (Fold hands in prayer.)
3 “You wipe our sins away.”- (Say, “Thank you God!”)
5 “You do amazing things to save us. ” – (Say, “Yeah God!”)
6 “You made the mountains.” – (Reach up high.)
8 “People all around the world are amazed at the wonderful things you do.” – (Show globe.)
9 “You take care of the land…” – (God 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.” (Sing)
3 “For the Lord is a great God!” – (“Yeah God”!)
4 & 5 “The deepest caves, highest mountains and the ocean belong to Him … He created it all.” (Squat down low and then reach up as high as you can. Say, “Yeah God!”)
6 “Come, let us bow down and worship Him! Let us kneel before the Lord who made us.” (Kneel and whisper, “Yeah God!”)
7 “He is our God and we are the people He cares for, His sheep that walk by His side.” – (God loves us like a shepherd loves His sheep. Hug.)
We have a lot of things to thank God for – His help and protection, the good things that He gives us, He hears us when we pray, all the things He made, He loves us and even the rain. 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….)
Thank you for loving meThank you for all the good things that you give me. I love you. Amen
AND DO:Say thank you – to 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.