Make This the Best Thanksgiving Ever

Make This the Best Thanksgiving Ever

DaySpring Cards

Didn’t you just love Thanksgiving as a kid? For me, this holiday meant the excitement of time with my cousins – running and jumping in huge mounds of leaves, hanging from trees until we were red-faced, playing in the garden, and eating my grandmother’s amazing (and I mean amazing), cooked-from-scratch Thanksgiving dinner.

At the time, it was just plain fun, but as an adult, I now know it was more. There was a warmth there – an indescribable feeling of love, joy, peace and belonging. I can just picture God smiling down on us as we sat around that dark wood table, holding hands and bowing our heads.  You see, He designed families to hold onto one another – encouraging one another, building each other up.

Nowadays, I make the 8-hour round trip to my parents’ house with my two little girls, who can’t wait to see their cousins, to roll around in the leaves, and to eat my sort-of amazing (and I mean sort-of amazing) chocolate pecan pie. Because if I can pass that indescribable warmth on to my children, nieces and nephews, then this might just be the best Thanksgiving ever.

Here are four simple ways I plan to accomplish this hefty task…

1. I’m going to start talking to my children now about what it truly means to give thanks. I’ll surround them with thankful, thought-provoking messages, using décor such as the Give Thanks Wood & Metal Wall Art and the Give Thanks to the Lord Throw Pillow to remind them of God’s unfailing love. These are conversation starters that help guide these conversations. Maybe we’ll pass the pillow as we sit in the living room, each of us naming the top three things for which we are thankful.

2. By allowing my kids to help me write Thanksgiving cards to my friends and family, I will teach them the value of gratitude, while also reminding those long-lost cousins of God’s goodness in our lives.

3. I will reserve time to connect with my kids and the whole family. Instead of spending the whole holiday in the kitchen, I will cook what I can ahead of time, put it in inspirational paper bakeware, then heat it up when the big day comes. And I’ll spend the time I save jumping in the leaves with the kids.

4. I’ll manage my expectations. Thanksgiving can be overwhelming, such as when you’re pulling hot rolls out of the oven while little ones are running underfoot, everyone is talking at the same time, and your niece has been banging on the piano for the last half hour – you catch my drift. This year, I’m going to rest in the Lord, and when things get a little out of control, I plan to sit down with a hot cup of tea, take a deep breath, and enjoy the scenery.

Whatever you do, be sure to take time to breathe in God’s blessings this holiday season. Take some time to enjoy the family, share some joy and encouragement and gratitude with others, be good to yourself, and invite your family and friends to do the same!

 

When It’s Hard To Be Grateful On Thanksgiving

When It’s Hard To Be Grateful On Thanksgiving

DaySpring Cards

DaySpring.com

When It’s Hard to be Grateful on Thanksgiving

It’s a story of sacrifice and survival; partnership and progress.

It was our country’s very first Thanksgiving.

Imagine the challenges the first settlers endured in 1620. They left everyone they knew and everything that was familiar. The Mayflower carried 102 voyagers across the Atlantic on a 66-day journey full of sickness and storms. That winter, nearly half of the voyagers died from disease and lack of shelter.

Yet, when the harvest season arrived, they set aside three full days to give thanks. In spite of the hardships, there was still much to be grateful for. They were alive. They were welcomed as strangers into a new land. The natives taught them how to grow their own crops. They had food to eat and friends to share it with. And…they had religious freedom, which is the very reason they came.

The settlers’ simple decision to be intentionally grateful led to centuries of Americans doing the same every November.

Let’s be real though. In some seasons of life, being grateful is just plain hard. We find ourselves overwhelmed with circumstances and underwhelmed with relationships. With preoccupied minds and aching hearts, it goes against our nature to give thanks anyway. But that’s exactly what the Lord asks of us.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

But…

How can we give thanks if we lost our job?

How can we give thanks if we’ve been diagnosed with a disease?

How can we give thanks if we can’t conceive?

How can we give thanks if our friend refuses to talk to us?

How can we give thanks if we are spending the holidays alone…again?

How can we give thanks if our marriage is falling apart?

How can we give thanks if our child is suffering?

How can we give thanks if we lost a loved one?

How can we give thanks if we don’t know what the future holds?

Because even though we are struggling, our God is still sacred.

In each difficult situation, our Creator gives us glimpses of hope in a sacred silver lining. It’s the place where God is working all things together for good. It’s where the hidden blessings are stored. They aren’t always easy to find, but they’re always there.

The secret to giving thanks in all circumstances is to find His sacred lining.

We will find His sacred lining when we give thanks for what we do have, instead of complaining about what we don’t have.
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13 NLT

We will find His sacred lining when we give thanks for what is right instead of worrying about what is wrong.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

We will find His sacred lining when we give thanks for the process instead of grumbling about the problem.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 NLT

We will find His sacred lining when we give thanks to God first.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1 NIV

Before we gather around the table this year, gobbling up turkey and a slice of pumpkin pie, let’s be intentional about giving thanks no matter what. We can be personal about it by starting a gratitude journal, or we can share it with others in a prayer before dinner. Yes, circumstances can be challenging. Yes, relationships can be broken. But we serve a God who is for us, not against us. There is a holy gift waiting for us amidst the hardship. Let’s look hard for His sacred lining and give thanks to God when we find it, not just on Thanksgiving, but every day.


Know someone who is having a difficult holiday? Send them 
a handwritten greeting cardencouraging Ecard or check out our Difficult Times section to find just the right gift to lift their spirits this season.  

Be Thankful People

Be Thankful People

Crosswalk.com

Be Thankful for People
This devotional was written by Robin Dugall

I thank my God every time I remember you. 
—Philippians 1:3 

Thanksgiving Sunday is here, and across our country, pastors are preaching sermons pointing out the need for Christ-followers to be thankful people. As a pastor, I’ve made impassioned pleas for Christ-followers to rise above our culture… to resist the temptation for the holiday season to be simply another opportunity for us to be self-focused and self-indulgent. Thanksgiving isn’t just about eating to the brink of explosion; shopping to the brink of bankruptcy; watching television to the brink of insanity. I’ve tried to make the point that Thanksgiving for a person who loves God can be so much more.

Even so, I discovered in my own life that despite what I’ve preached, I have missed a crucial element in the process of being a thankful follower of Jesus in my own life. I found that over the years I have been mostly thankful for the THINGS in my life; for food, finances, the house I have lived in, the clothes I have worn, and so on. While there’s nothing wrong with being thankful for these things, I have missed the boat on giving thanks for the biggest blessings of God in my life… PEOPLE.

Consider how empty, purposeless, and meaningless our lives would be without relationships. Relationships have shaped who we are and who we are becoming. Without exception, everyone I know has been positively influenced by other people. While it is easy to thank God for the THINGS in our lives, we should remember to be equally thankful for the PEOPLE God has placed in our lives as well!

Let me give you just one example. I am thankful for my Aunt Patty. She had suffered a brain injury when she was a small child severe enough that by the time I was born, she had become mentally disabled. But, when I was a child, she would play games and entertain me for hours. She loved me unconditionally. We would play The Beatles records and pretend to be Paul McCartney and John Lennon. It was her love for music that infected my soul for the rest of my life. I thank God for her!

How about you? Who do you thank God for? Today, take a few moments and thank God for the relationships in your life. Truthfully, it can revolutionize your life. Happy Thanksgiving!

GOING DEEPER:

1. Make a list of the people who have shaped your life. Share the list with your friends and family.

2. How easy is it to just thank God for things in your life? How can you live a lifestyle of thankfulness more consistently?

FURTHER READING:

[Psalms 150Philemon 1]

For more information and resources please visit HomeWord.com.

Remember To Give Thanks…

Remember To Give Thanks…

Crosswalk.com

Remember to Give Thanks

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. (Luke 17:15–16 NKJV)

The Bible tells the story of ten men who had a lot to give thanks for. They were miraculously touched by Jesus. Prior to this touch, they were complete outcasts, the very scourge of society. These men had leprosy, and you couldn’t get any lower in that particular time in history with this incurable disease.

If a man was found to have leprosy, he could have no contact with others. He had to leave his house and his friends and live apart from them. So here were these men living an isolated, miserable, lonely life. But they heard about Jesus. They heard how He had touched others and healed them.

So they called out to the Lord and asked for His healing touch. Now these men were standing before Jesus in various stages of decay. Their clothing would have been ripped from perpetual mourning. Their skeletal heads would have been uncovered. They would have been required, according to the Law of Moses, to cry out, “Unclean! Unclean!” wherever they went.

But Jesus did not respond to them with special effects or even a dramatic touch. He simply said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests” (Luke 17:14 NKJV). So that is what they did. And guess what? They were healed.

We are so quick to ask for God’s help, but let’s remember to be just as quick in giving Him praise when He comes through.

Copyright © 2019 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

Fall Gratitude and Thanksgiving Bible Journaling Camp…Schedule Change November 22, 2019

Fall Gratitude and Thanksgiving Bible Journaling Camp…Schedule Change November 22, 2019

Hi Sweet Friends,

The YouTube post for Nov. 22 will be up later in the day.

For those with the kits for the camp….get ready for us to bring it home for Thanksgiving!! And also have your devotional from AllieScraps on Etsy ready to go as well. I am so excited to go through her beautiful devotional in our Bible Journaling Camp!!

Keep serving Him well….k 🙂

 

Fall Gratitude and Thanksgiving Bible Journaling Camp…Schedule Change November 21, 2019

Fall Gratitude and Thanksgiving Bible Journaling Camp…Schedule Change November 21, 2019

Hi Sweet Friends,

The YouTube post for Nov. 21 will be up later in the day. We are home and just trying to get all unpacked and caught up!! 🙂

There will be a fun haul from a Sweet Subscriber first thing…and then I will upload the 21st Camp day. After that we will be on schedule for the rest of the camp.

Please remember we will go through AllieScraps beautiful devotional in Psalms beginning Nov. 22, 2019.

See you all on YT: JosephinesDesigns.com and thank you to everyone’s sweet well wishes for our new Little One!! Our prayers were answered and you prayers have been a huge part of this journey!!

Hugs and prayers….k 🙂

Grandbaby Girl is….

Grandbaby Girl is….

Hello Dear Friends,

We are waiting ready to leave. We have had the call….now just waiting to see what the Dr. says!!

Please be in prayer with us for our Daughter’s safety and health. And prayer for our Little One’s safety and health.

I will not post the 7th Day Bible Journaling in my Bible for the #FGTBJC2019 until Day 14th. My apologies. I was working as quick as I could. The daily camp classes will continue and once all is settled in, I will begin working again at our daughter and SIL’s home after our Little One is here. In between rocking, singing and cuddling our new Little One!! 🙂

Thank you to each and everyone who has stood with us in prayer!! And for all your incredible encouragements!!!

I will post once she makes her official debute and let all of you know!! 🙂

Hugs and prayers….k 🙂