If my G&C 700 class is any measure for the rest of the students in the school, then our students are excited for Thanksgiving Break. First on the list — no homework! Next is family. Food is not too far down the list. May I recommend that we cultivate another highlight for the week?
Since the holiday is for Thanksgiving Day, why not train our children in thanksgiving? One tradition we have in our family is to pause before the feast to go around the circle and say what we are thankful for. Though we wish it to be a meaningful time, it is often somewhat superficial. Though no one says, “Ditto!”, you can tell that they are mimicking what someone has already said. Why is that?
I think it is because we don’t take time alone before God to ponder our blessings and the richness of His love and goodness.
What if we used part of the TBreak to allow for quietness before the Lord? What if we each took the time to prepare a list for our Thanksgiving dinner; a list that we could use during our conversation over the meal? Many of us truly have significant things to celebrate and give thanks for. Over the last year or so, there were some intense times of prayer when loved ones were in crisis — Teressa Finch ‘s battle with COVID, Linda’s sister Kathy almost dying from her stroke last December, Michelle Wohlford’s long battle against headaches, Kylah’s brain surgery, Dee Hull’s torn ACL and surgery, Paul Opecensky’s cancer battle, little Aiden Alexander’s battle against RSV when only six months old (by the way, this is something he still battles with off and on), and the list goes on.
Whether you ask your children to go to their room and make a list or have a gratitude walk during one of our days off, training our kids to be quiet before the Lord would create a great lifetime habit. And it may transform your family get together on the big day.
Years ago there was a song people sang, even those who were not Christians believe it or not: Count Your Blessings. One line is very true — “Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done!”
Have a great TBreak and a wonderful time around the table(s), Christopher