Gratitude & Preparation

Spent lots of time today out running errands and tying up last minute preparations for Thanksgiving. Still not done. (Naturally, being the last minute kind of person I usually am ;)

But I’ve also been struck today by how thankful I am for all that we have and all that I can so easily take for granted.

 Family.

Friends.

God’s Word.

Running water (after spending a little time on the mission field, believe me, this is something I appreciate much more –when I remember!).

Boundless information and instant communication that our great grandparents never dreamed of.

A home to go home to.

I want to make sure that I don’t let this Thanksgiving speed by in the rush of preparation and to-do lists. That I don’t miss the reason for the day. To remember. To thank the One who has given us everything.

Several years ago, when my now 9 and 10 year olds were much younger, barely able to print words, we made a Thankful Tree on Thanksgiving. We painted an inexpensive canvas with whatever paints we could find, and then cut out some leaves from green cardstock. On the leaves, they printed different things that they were thankful for. I loved seeing what they came up with. Trucks were at the top of the list, but thankfully Mom and Daddy made the list too :)

 

Thanksgiving Thankful Tree Canvas

 

So, I’m thinking we need to make another Thankful Tree this year. To reflect on what we’ve already been given –and ultimately, the Giver of all good gifts. Such appropriate preparation for the Christmas season we’re entering.

And speaking of Christmas, lately I’ve been pondering about how to stretch out the celebration, to dwell on Jesus, rather than on all the stuff that can overshadow Him. Today, after all my hectic running around, I came home to this in the mail – sent unexpectedly from a sweet, faraway friend.

 

Christmas Advent Book

 

Perfect. Listen to what it says on the back:

Between purchasing presents and planning travel, enjoying holiday pageants and attending parties, it is all too easy for the bustle of Christmas to silence the sacredness and crowd out a quiet anticipation of the season’s truths …. With it’s high view of Scripture and its focus on the gift of Jesus, this lovely book is sure to ready your heart and mind for a fresh experience of “Immanuel, God with us” this and every Advent season.

- Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus, edited by Nancy Guthrie

I’m so looking forward to getting into it.

I also really want to do some special activities, books, projects, etc. with the kids and as a family that will underline the true meaning of this Season. What are some things that you’ve done or plan to do?

Share away – I need ideas!

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