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Cultivating Thankful Hearts

As we reflect upon Thanksgiving, we remember that it is a special time to focus on giving thanks. Today, Thanksgiving is getting eclipsed with all the stores opening earlier so Black Friday can now descend upon our sweet time with family. With commercials bombarding our children, they begin to focus on what they want for Christmas and miss the importance of the profound gift that God gave to us.

If someone allowed me to create the ‘perfect’ calendar, I would provide more time in November to savor the traditions of Thanksgiving. It is the quiet, reflective holiday tucked in between two very hectic ones. After the fun, yet often crazy time of the Fall Festivals and trick or treating, we turn our calendar to find beautiful November. Just as we are relaxing into the smells, anticipating family time together, enjoying the richness of the colors, and reflecting upon its many messages…the malls and the media begin to bombard us with the gift getting and giving at Christmas. Let us cherish this time in November when our focus is on Thanksgiving—giving thanks- as we thank God for our many blessings.

At Logos Christian School, our focus this month is on cultivating the habit of thankfulness in the hearts of our students. We will be learning about Colonial times and these activities culminate in our Colonial Day. The children will participate in the following activities: Colonial games, Colonial crafts, Colonial cooking, and music followed by a Colonial Feast. What a happy day to focus on what is important this month!

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks. Thanksgiving provides a perfect opportunity to teach our children about the rich heritage of our country. The lessons are innumerable! As an educator, I love teaching students about our country’s rich heritage.

Thanksgiving affords us as parents and teachers valuable opportunities to cultivate Christ-like character in our children because the focus is not upon them; it is on God and others. Thanksgiving is a time to train their tender hearts as you…

♥ Focus on the rich heritage of our country.

You may want to take time to read books and cultivate a love for history (HIS story) in your children. Act out stories together.

♥ Focus on being thankful for our many blessings.

Make a BLESSING BOX for your home. At dinner or bedtime, have family members share some that they are thankful for. For young children you could say, “You are on a mission today to find things, people, and events that show how God is blessing you!” You may take a 3 x 5 index card, write short 1-3 words reminders of their answers to put in your BLESSING BOX with the family member’s name. Cultivating this attitude of gratitude can become a habit of the heart, not only for Thanksgiving, but for a lifetime.

♥Focus on giving to others. A thankful heart over-flows and wants to give to others.

Thanksgiving time provides many opportunities to serve and give to others. Participate as a family. As we know, more is caught than taught. Thanksgiving is our time to focus on being thankful and giving to others.

♥Cultivate Christ-like character traits such as contentment.

Before the holiday ‘gimmies’ descend and children begin to focus on what they want, train their hearts to be content with what they already have.

Select scriptures that capture the message of Thanksgiving. Talk about the words, their message and how you can live them out each day with your family.

“…give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

Colossians 4:2

May God bless each of you this Thanksgiving as you cultivate attitudes of gratitude in your children!


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