Monday, November 24, 2014

10 Simple Ways to Show Thanks: Say Grace


We've made it to Thanksgiving week!

Here's our ninth simple way to show thanks.
Say a meaningful prayer before a meal.
Many of us were taught as children to "say grace" before a meal.  It's often a routine we rush through - me included.  Yet even the brief moment before we eat each meal can be a time that we pause in our day to acknowledge the blessings of God.

Today, let's take time to really thank God for the food He's provided.  Rather than rote phrases, let's use meaningful words and praise our Father for meeting our every need.

Let's also teach our children to pray over their meals.  This is one habit they can begin practicing at an early age when they usually enjoy the privilege of praying for the family.

May we continue to carry a grateful heart throughout the week!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Salutes

Laura has 10 Indoor Boredom Busters for Toddlers.

Cheryl's Reindeer Wreath is so cute - and simple enough that even I could probably make it!

Caroline has Cold Weather Outfit Ideas for the Feminine Woman as well as her Favorite Christmas Music.

Toni shares Why I Spend $9 a Month on Amazon Prime.  I haven't tried this service, but am wondering if the 30-day free trial might be worth it.  Are you an Amazon Prime member?

I bought this pretty ribbon tree for $3 at a Christmas craft fair at our daughter's school yesterday.  I set it on top of the bookcase in our living room so I can say I've already started decorating for Christmas. :)

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2014

10 Simple Ways to Show Thanks: A Picture


Our eighth simple way to show thanks is a visual one. 
Post a picture of something for which you're thankful.
This can be in a public forum or just in your home.  If you're on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or other social media, you can post a picture there - or you can just use a magnet to stick a photo up on the front of your refrigerator!  Every time you see it, take a minute to thank God specifically for what's pictured.

So here's my picture.


Why a gas pump, you ask?  Because I'm thankful for the little blessings God places in our path each day.

Yesterday I stopped at the gas station to fill up our car.  Evidently someone had prepaid $10 on the pump, so I was the recipient of unanticipated savings on gas.  I talked to the attendant about it and she said, "Well, I guess it was your lucky day!"  However, I believe it was one of those totally unexpected blessings on a day when it was so encouraging to be reminded that God cares for me!

A fun craft project would be to make a collage with your kids; cut pictures out of magazines or print out pictures from the computer of things they're thankful for and glue them on poster board or a large piece of construction paper.

Hope you're looking forward to Thanksgiving next week!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

10 Simple Ways to Show Thanks: Give


Today we'll take action with our seventh simple way to show thanks.

Give something away.

Here are a few basic giving ideas to help get you thinking.
Give monetarily by leaving a slightly larger tip at the restaurant, paying for a stranger's coffee, or setting aside extra funds for a missionary family or a needy family in your church.

Give things like baked goods to a neighbor, clothes in good condition to a shelter, or canned goods to a local food bank.  (Or pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, a project we're doing this week.)

Give your time by letting someone who's in a hurry step in front of you in line, making a phone call to a person who could use encouragement, or sitting still and just listening to your spouse and/or your children.

Remember, giving helps cultivate a more Christ-like spirit in us.  We know God is the ultimate giver; John 3:16 shows us the depth of His love in the priceless gift He gave to us.

What are other ways we can give to others?

Monday, November 17, 2014

10 Simple Ways to Show Thanks: Meditate


I'm enjoying focusing on thankfulness for the month of November.  We've made it to number six of our ten simple ways to show thanks.

Today, let's focus on God's Word.
Meditate on a Bible verse of praise and thanksgiving.
Here's a list of ten verses to get you started.
  1. I Thessalonians 5:18, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 
  2. Psalm 95:2, "Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms." 
  3. Ephesians 5:20, "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"
  4. Psalm 69:30, "I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving."
  5. James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
  6. Psalm 30:12, "To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever."
  7. I Chronicles 29:13, "Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name."
  8. Psalm 7:17, "I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high."
  9. Hebrews 13:15, "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name."
  10. Psalm 28:7, "The LORD [is] my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him."
Whatever verse you choose, make a concerted effort to think about it throughout the day.  Maybe you could write the verse out and post it where you'll see it often or lay your open Bible in a central spot and stop to read the verse every time you pass by.

What's your favorite verse of praise or thanksgiving?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday Salutes


If you're still looking for Thanksgiving Craft ideas, Amy at The Idea Room showcases a great collection of them.

I appreciated this list of 20 Stores That Refuse to Open on Thanksgiving.

Lisa-Jo tells us How to Get Over Cliques and Get Real Community.

Caroline shares her Gift Guide for Girls Ages 2-10.

I made these Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies to take to a church cookout last weekend and they were delicious!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 14, 2014

10 Simple Ways to Show Thanks: Pray It


On Wednesday, we made a list of ten things for which we're thankful.

For our fifth simple way to show thanks, we're going to use that list again today.
Pray your list of thankfulness to God, expressing gratitude to Him for each of those ten things.
Psalm 100:4 tells us to "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."  I like to think that each morning, as I begin my prayer time, I'm entering into His gates and coming into His courts, so I want to start that process with thanksgiving and praise.

We want to cultivate a grateful heart throughout the year.  Beginning our personal prayer time by giving thanks for several blessings is a great way to do that!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

10 Simple Ways to Show Thanks: List It


I hope you were encouraged to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving on Monday!

This fourth simple way to show thanks is one of my favorites and I try to do it daily.
Write a list of 10 things you can thank God for today.
I keep a gratitude journal in which I try to write 3-5 things I'm thankful for every morning.  Here's part of my list today.

1.  My family's health.

2.  Words my husband said on Sunday:  "God is always so much more faithful to us than we are to Him."  How thankful I am that His faithfulness doesn't depend on mine!

3.  The group of Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students that I get to work with on Wednesday nights.

4.  Family and friends that I know pray for me.

5.  Apples that a sweet friend brought me from North Carolina.

Keep your list 'cause we're going to use it again on Friday.

So what's one thing that you'd put on your list today?