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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Family Focus Friday: Thanksgiving

Quite awhile ago I found this "Week of Thanksgiving" challenge (or whatever you call it) at the Revive Our Hearts website, and I know you can do it any time, but I've been excited for Thanksgiving week to come so I could share it with you then! It guides you in thankful things to focus on for each day (7 days). I'll be doing this on my own or with my family, and I encourage you to do it as well, whether this week or any time! Because we should have grateful hearts ALWAYS!

And while we're on the topic of Thanksgiving, I'd love to hear about your family traditions. We are in the military and aren't around any family for the holiday, so the last two years we've celebrated with our close military friends Shawn and Lisa who don't have family here either. And I'm looking forward to another of sharing the holiday with them this year too!

As I was researching for today's post I found some good articles and picked up some good ideas. One tradition I liked was to make the Friday after Thanksgiving something really special, something NOT involving Christmas shopping on the busiest day of the year, something just for the family, something that's your own. "Rather than rush off from Thanksgiving, extend the holiday and spend it truly enjoying one of the things for which you are most thankful – your family." Like hanging out in jammies all day, playing games, or watching a movie. So we'll see. We don't have anything planned for the day, no traditions established yet. What do you do the Friday after Thanksgiving??

Now let's get to the heart of the matter.... having a thankful heart and showing our gratitude. The Week of Thanksgiving challenge will encourage you in how to show gratitude. But also this article offers other suggestions as well:
1. Start a family thanksgiving journal to record what your family is thankful for
2. Do a name exchange and during dinner share "I am thankful for _____ because_____."
3. Make table accents with either a scripture verse (ie Psalm 95:2) or a simple phrase like "Thank you, God, for family and friends."
4. Write thankful notes to show appreciation for your husband, children, friends, neighbor, etc. (1 Thes. 5:11)
5. Do something to show appreciation to church staff.
6. Make a thankful box and on days that you're feeling angry towards someone, challenge yourself to write a note for why you're thankful for that person.

Closing Verses:

Psalm 95:2 "Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song."

Colossians 3:15-16 "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."

Colossians 4:2 "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."

Hebrews 12:28-29 "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire.'"

1 Corinthians 15:57 "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

A Week of Thanksgiving
Things to Be Thankful For
Family Thanksgiving Traditions
Are You Raising a Grateful Child?
6 Creative Ways to Develop Gratitude
Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude
The Thanks and Giving Tree

Alright, I know this week was kind of mish-mosh of things all related to Thanksgiving. Here's what I'd love to hear from you... What are your traditions for Thanksgiving weekend? What do you do to teach thankfulness and gratitude to your children? What ideas do you have for showing appreciation to others (husband, children)? Or if you'd like, share a list of thankfuls! Have a blessed holiday!

P.S. I won't be posting next Friday. Have fun with your families!

Previous Family Focus topics: (it's never too late to comment)
* Bible Reading
* Fun Fall Activities
* Nutrition
* Meal Times
* Halloween
* Your Neighbors
* Family Worship
* TV Time

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