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Friday, November 4, 2011

Teaching ThanksGiving

     Several years ago, before Thanksgiving, we were having a rough time.  We couldn't travel to grandma's house for Thanksgiving, we didn't have gas ...much less the money to buy gas.  We were likely to have hot dogs or hamburgers for Thanksgiving because we couldn't buy a turkey or any of the fixin's. Christmas was around the corner and for another year there would be nothing under the Christmas tree unless it came from the grandparents.  The children had gotten used to getting nothing from us and it broke my heart.  When you go without for so long it's so easy to become jealous of what others have and ungrateful for what you have.  This was my greatest fear that because of the lack of material things... because my children had to watch other kids year after year enjoy what we could never give them ... they would become ungrateful.  I wanted so badly to touch my children's hearts in a lasting way and God came through for me.  He gave me an idea....
I called it a "God idea."  

     Without saying a word I strung a string in the doorway between our living room and our kitchen.  The kids watched bewildered as I started cutting printing paper into strips. When I had everyone's full attention on me and what I was doing I explained that though we didn't' have what others had that we have more than enough to be thankful for.  All I ask of them was that every time they walked thru the doorway they would pause for a moment and ask themselves what they were thankful for.  If something came to mind they were to write it down and add a link to the chain I was about to start.  If they couldn't think of anything, it was alright, they could walk on and no one would think anything about it.  

     The excitement in the kids stunned me.  They wanted to start writing what they were thankful for immediately.  In half an hour, between all five kids they had already added 30 links.  I didn't have to say another word of encouragement to follow through with this.... it had caught fire in their hearts and they were excited about it.   We left the "Chains of Thanksgiving" up for 5 weeks and over that time 117 individual links were added.  Though we had so very little compared to so many that year I felt that we were to be envied..... we had learned to have a thankful heart.

     I would like to encourage each of you to do your own "Chains of Thanksgiving."  It doesn't matter your situation, how much or how little you have, each and everyone of us have something to be thankful for and sometimes we just need a reminder.  It's time we take to heart the words of the old hymn.... 

Count your many blessings see what God has done.

So what are you Thankful for?

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