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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cultivating a Thankful Heart

      In a world consumed with consumerism, where marketing genius's convince us we need the best and latest gadget, how to we cultivate those little hearts to be thankful? While I certainly don't have the answer, I'm convinced that if you aren't intentional it won't just happen on its own.
      Here are a few ways that we have been intentional with our kids. We should probably do these things more often but we especially emphasize them during the month of November.  I would love for you to comment and share your ideas too!

  •   Memorize Psalm 100 as a family. This is something we try to work on each night as we finish supper.
  •   On a chalkboard or list you keep out, write out things you are thankful for. Have the kids add to it each day. This encourages them to think beyond the basics and challenges them to be thankful for even the minute things in their life.
  •    Every time a child complains about something, have them stop and express something that they are thankful for.
  •   Make a gratitude tree. This is the same idea as the list but in a more creative format. Each day, everyone in the family writes something down that they are thankful for on a tag, tie the tag to branches put in an urn or bucket filled with stones.
  •   Take your family to a local shelter to help volunteer to serve a meal. (This we haven't done yet, but I would like to)
  •   Challenge your kids to go through their toys and pick out items that they no longer use but might be useful to someone else and take these toys to a shelter or donation center.
   Teaching your children gratitude and thankfulness starts with good manners brings about godly character. Kids need our example.

May God bless you and your family this Thanksgiving season.

                      - Jody



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