November 2019 – A Home Filled with Gratitude

November 2019 – A Home Filled with Gratitude
Biblical gratitude is at the core of what it means to faithfully walk with Christ.
Decorations

Place a colorful fall runner or a placemat in the center of the table. Use a small basket with various colored apples as a centerpiece and scatter artificial fall leaves around it.

Refreshments

Serve pumpkin bread, apple cider and apple slices with caramel sauce.

Gratitude Activity

Give each woman a piece of paper and ask her write something about herself for which she is grateful. For example: I am grateful that my family immigrated to America. Encourage the women to answer honestly with information unique to them. Collect the papers, number them and place in a small basket. Read the statements and ask the group to write the name of the woman they think wrote the information. Discuss what they learned about the other women. Give a small prize to the one with the most correct answers.

Craft – Gratitude Journals

Prior to the meeting, purchase plain composition notebooks at the dollar store for each woman. You will also need materials to cover the books. Options might be colored duct tape, fabric (cut and measured in advance), heavy wrapping paper, sharpie markers, mailing labels with Scripture verses about gratitude. Invite each woman to cover and decorate her notebook. Instruct the women to record in the notebook something each day for which they are thankful. An alternate idea is to make a journal rather than covering composition notebooks. You can find instruction on making a journal at the following website:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Journal-cardboard-duct-tape/

Gratitude Jars

Provide each woman with a quart size jar, sharpie markers, burlap, ribbon or twine, scrapbook paper, and labels with appropriate Scripture verses. The idea is to decorate their jars, take them home, and place in a prominent place for the entire family to record gratitude thoughts all year long. Their responses can be shared weekly or monthly. The following website has a video describing the jars: YouTube

Gratitude Banner

The following is an option for a family activity. Make colorful pennants or strips of paper with the beginning words “I’m thankful for …”. Each family member should be encouraged to write on the pennants something for which they are thankful. Attach the pennants to a length of rope, string or ribbon as a reminder to be grateful. For video instructions check the following site:

http://www.somewhatsimple.com/simple-thanksgiving-craft-gratitude-garland-free-download/

Grateful for Family and Friends

Often we take family and friends for granted. Ask everyone to think of a person not present for whom they are thankful. Have small cards, envelopes and stamps available. Invite the women to write a note of thanks to that person and send it in the mail. Encourage them to include a scripture verse. Example scriptures: 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:19–20; Psalm 136:26; Philippians 4:6-7; Psalm 28:7; 2 Corinthians 9:15; 1 Corinthians 15:57.

Sharing our Thanks

Invite the women to share reports of kindness others have done for them that made them grateful—fixed a meal for their family when they were sick, got their mail while they were on vacation, asked how they were feeling, smiled at them when they were feeling down. Challenge the women to do something helpful for someone each day this week.

Learning Gratitude

When my children were younger, they went through a time when they expected to get everything they saw. Sometimes they received what they asked for, but often we would say “no.” One time, my daughter cried and said, “But Mommy, if you love me you will give me what I want!” She needed to be reminded to be grateful for what she already had. For a small child this can be a challenge.

It can be a challenge in our Christian walk as well. We may be tempted to pray, “But God, if you love me, you will give me what I am asking for.” We think we know what we need and when we need it, whether it’s an answer to prayer, something for our children, a financial need to be met, or a relationship issue. We are often quick to forget how God has always provided for us in the past and that He knows what’s best for us. When He says no, it’s because the requested thing was not good for us or in line with His will for our lives.

If I had caved in when my daughter threw her temper tantrum because she didn’t get what she wanted when she wanted it, she would never learn to be grateful for all she did have. She learned to have an attitude of gratitude, and our home was happier as a result. How much more do we need to express our gratitude to our Father in heaven who provides all that we need just when we need it.

Psalm 100 is a Psalm of thanksgiving. (Print and read this text in unison or as a litany, which can be found at (https://www.jubilate.co.uk/liturgy/psalm_100_call_to_worship.) We are reminded that there must be both a reason and an attitude behind our gratitude. It’s not just to get what we want or think we need, and it’s not just saying “thank you.” The reason behind our gratitude must always center on God. He is the creator of everything good, including us and because He loves us. Our attitude should be one of gladness and joy, not obligation and doom. If we make it a daily practice to give thanks, we will see how God constantly provides for our needs and we will become women of gratitude whose homes reflect that right attitude.

Resources:
Psalms of Gratitude – Pocket Edition
Give Thanks – Study Book

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