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Making the Most of Thanksgiving

The Importance of Giving Thanks

In this busy world that we live in, it is so easy to forget that we’re preparing for more than a delicious meal of turkey and stuffing with friends and family on that anticipated Thursday of every November. It’s so easy to get caught up in the shopping and cooking and baking and planning with our loved ones and forget that there is more to this holiday than a wonderfully full belly. While we gather around our dining room tables and say grace and thank you to the hands that prepared all that we’re about to eat, we sometimes forget the most important message of all. We forget to whom it is that we owe all our gratitude. And we forget that this thankfulness is not a practice designated to one day of the year.

In Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul writes, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Thanksgiving is not simply a one day of the year event. It is something that we must daily search for within ourselves and seek out in order to make it a part of who we are. When we are able to set aside our own worries and concerns and find those things for which to be thankful, then God is able to more greatly use us and fill us with His love; a love that can not only quell our own worried minds, but also those of others. We can become beacons of His all-encompassing peace. As James 4:8 reminds us, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” When Jesus sees in our hearts a yearning for Him, He too takes a step towards us, pulling us closer to Him. As Sarah Young writes in her wonderful devotional Jesus Calling, “When your mind is occupied with thanking Me, you have no time for worrying or complaining. If you practice thankfulness consistently, negative thought patterns will gradually grow weaker and weaker.” What a comforting image to cling to: our human negativity fading away due to the strength of God’s love and peace within us. What a wonderful chain of events our acts of thanksgiving can set in to motion!

Chain of Thanksgiving

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This simple craft will serve not only as a fun way to bring thankfulness to the forefront of everyone’s minds, but will also serve as a reminder of God’s consistent goodness in our lives. Make this year special by beginning a meaningful family tradition and start a thanksgiving paper chain to hang above the table or along the wall.

Use these pretty calligraphy print-outs or create your own custom one by cutting out strips of paper in your favorite fall shades (Link Here). Have each family member date their strip of paper and then write when they’re most thankful for before adding it to the chain. Over the years, you can pull out the previous year’s chain and reminisce over past and present blessings. Or leave it out to serve as a visual chain of blessings that you can add to all year long. It’s sure to help keep thankfulness at the forefront of this Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful, Christ-filled holiday!

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