Sunday, November 3, 2013

Giving Thanks - FREE Printable - Family Thankful Jar

once you click on the above button, then click on the upper right blue Download button for Dropbox.
As Thanksgiving approaches and we are fully in the swing of November, it causes my heart to reflect upon what I really want this month to be about for my family.  It's a time to be thankful for what we have and an extended opportunity to give to those around us in both our communities and the world.  However, for me the focus goes inward - right to the heart...

I want my children to be thankful in adversity as well as comfort.  To view the difficult things in their lives as opportunities - where God is molding them and training them.  I don't want them to shrink from adversity, but rather, give thanks in the midst of it.  Let's face it, most of life is filled with some level of adversity, not many get a free pass.  The great discontent is in waiting for the world to be "fair" and everything to be "good" so you can be "thankful".  I look to the Scriptures in Acts 16 and I see Paul suffering, yet rejoicing and trying to teach us the same.  I see Silas joining in the refrain.  I see a Jailer moved to salvation, I see a whole household saved - it's supernatural to rejoice in such adversity, it's a strong testament.  Thankfulness is a mindset, not a set of favorable circumstances.  The unregenerate heart is drawn to despair - not rejoice - during trial.  This gives us a beautiful opportunity to show Christ to an unsaved world when we too meet with difficulties.

Teaching our children to give thanks in difficulty is a gift you can give them.  Whether that difficulty is simple like a disappointing experience with a sports team or complex like a newly diagnosed parent with cancer or life long, like a father that has left a family or a special needs sibling.  Regardless, we can teach our children what we know to be true in order to be able to give thanks in the midst of any and all circumstances...that God is good, He loves us, we were made to bring Him glory and He has a plan for our lives.  God commands us to "Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."   So don't just give thanks this Thanksgiving with your children on November 28th, teach them the principles of thankfulness everyday and in every circumstance - especially those circumstances that cause our flesh to recoil and not naturally want to give thanks.

A great way to begin teaching your children to be thankful in all things is to teach them the Character of God.  We are doing the November Devotion by Katherine Loop:
We are also doing something that I made this year and have done in years past, called a Thankful Jar.  I have provided the link to download and do a Thankful Jar with your own children/family if you would like to join us this year.  Perhaps you can even encourage your children to write down some difficulties that they have encountered, to add to the Thankful Jar this year.  

included in above download are instructions for making your own Thankful Jar.

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