"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name."
There are a lot of Bible verses about giving thanks to God. Obviously, God's trying to tell us something - He wants us to be thankful. This year we started implementing a tree of thanks in our house. Being grateful for our blessings is something that we want to teach our kids early on and we believe this is a tangible way to do that. We want to have thankful hearts year round but especially this time of year. So, in the month of November, everyone is assigned a color leaf. We each fill out our color leaf at dinnertime with something that we're thankful for. Collin is yellow, I am orange, and Cayden is red. The leaves vary greatly from things like Mickey Mouse to a loving & supportive family and Christ's blood shed for us. We tape the leaves up on the tree and thank God for everything He has done for us. Having the tree up on our backdoor (which happens to be a central location in our house) has been a great visual reminder of the faithfulness of our God. It's a meaningful tradition that I hope our children will one day look forward to each November.
I thought this would be a good idea for the whole family but really had the idea in mind for our kids over the next several years. I thought this would be a great tool to use to foster thankfulness in their little hearts. God used it more to speak to me this year, though. We had a crazy week last week. It was one of those weeks where I just felt hammered. We were both trying to get over being sick. We were trying to prepare to go out of town on top of our normal busy schedule and we received several bouts of bad news from people that we love. One cancer diagnosis, one major financial struggle, one hurting friend, one possible miscarriage. Yucky stuff. I felt heartbroken for these people that I care about. I found myself sitting at dinner one night, struggling to think of something to write on my leaf. I feel ashamed to even type that but it's truth. So many people around me were hurting and I was feeling desperate and overwhelmed. God used our tree of thanks to slap some sense into me and to renew my hope. I have so much to be thankful for and I have a back door full of leaves to prove it! Even amidst trials, I am so thankful for the hope we have in Jesus, my blessed Redeemer!!
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."