#thirtydaysofthankfulness

I have been reflecting on how the world seems to leave Thanksgiving behind, with the manic energy of Halloween skipping right to 24/7 carols about snowmen and reindeer. To counteract this trend, my family and I have been working on thankfulness in the 30 days between Halloween and December 1. We are calling it #thirtydaysofthankfulness and it shows up in a concrete way on our picture window:

Each night at supper, we each take turns saying something new that we are thankful for that day. It doesn’t happen every day, and we put up all the leaves at once so that it felt more like a celebration than a failed obligation. I am hoping that our Thanksgiving Day prayers will be much more full because of this practice, and I have noticed that it is helping to expand my own thinking about naming blessings in the ordinary and every day.

We have also been singing our thanks in the evenings. Depending on your singers, you can have one leader who gathers all of the thanks in advance, or each person can lead their own verse. Here is an example of how to do this:

May your Thanksgiving celebrations be blessed, this year and always.

In Christ, Pastor Breen

The ABCs of God’s Blessings

 

abc by matthew parker.jpg

photo by matthewparker on flickr.com

For the last few years, I have tried to think of a way to include the entire family in an exercise of thanksgiving for God’s gifts.  Two years ago, I spread a long sheet of butcher paper on the table while I was cooking along with markers and asked our family to write or draw things they were thankful for in the past year.  It was so beautiful that my oldest daughter asked me to attach it to her bedroom door so that she could remember to always be thankful.  It just finally ripped to the point where we had to take it down last week.

Last year, we did a jar of blessings, and practiced thanking God for different things each time we sat down to a meal during November and December.  You can find the blog about this one here:

https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/thankfulness-i-chronicles-1634/

This jar still sits on our sideboard, and, every once in a while, our girls bring it out for family prayers.  It is the thankfulness gift that keeps on giving!

This year, I am doing an adaptation of a game we play in the car on trips.  We call it the “ABC” Game.  Each person in the car takes turns naming something in alphabetical order until we reach Z.  As they got better at the game, we have added categories, like “Food,” or “Animals” or “Verbs.”  For our Thanksgiving version, we will be listing blessings given to us by God.  I have made a coloring book 2 page version, and a 1 page version that might be better for the grown-ups in the house:

Thanksgiving ABCs

Thanksgiving ABCs 1 page

The idea is to go around the Thanksgiving table and list our ABC blessings as a prayer of thanks, and then end by saying the verse from the Psalm together and a resounding “Amen!”

I plan to frame the one that our family comes up with and put it in the dining room so that we can be reminded of what we are thankful for during this whole upcoming season.

Send me a picture of your blessings on Facebook…I would love to see them!

p.s.  Here is a link to some other great family resources for Thanksgiving from Jelly Telly.  Enjoy!  http://whatsinthebible.com/ten-best-thanksgiving-coloring-pages/