For this Thanksgiving, I wanted to do something all month in our family devotions about being thankful to God for all He has given us–and not just in a superficial way such as, “I’m thankful for our house.” or “I’m thankful that we have food.” I do want my children to be thankful for those things, but I want them to think about how we should be thankful for ALL things, and how that God has given us so much!
To reinforce the attitude of thankfulness all month, I thought we could meditate on verses in the Bible that deal with thankfulness towards God. I made up four printables with different verses on each one. You might think of totally different ideas that could be done with these printables, but here are a couple of the ideas I had:
- Copy these verses on cardstock, laminate them, and use them as placemats. Talk about the verses over breakfast or dinner.
- I took a clear plastic vinyl tablecover, printed out the 4 main printables, taped them to the underside of the tablecover, and put it on top of my other Thanksgiving tablecoloth. It would have been okay if I put it right on my table, but I liked it on the pretty tablecloth. Now we can see those verses all month, but they won’t get wet or dirty. (I bought my clear vinyl tablecover at Hobby Lobby off a roll. I could buy it by the yard.) I laid out the verses the way I wanted them. Then I turned them over and put them in the opposite order. I put one piece of tape on the sides of the paper–I spaced the papers so that one piece of tape could hold the sides of 2 papers (see bottom right picture. When it was all taped, I turned the table cloth over, and it was in the right order.
We plan on using one printable each week for the four weeks of November. For each week, there is the one printable that we will discuss at devotions. There is also a printable that can be copied for each child where they can fill in some blanks. Here are a few things that could be done with the worksheet for each printable:
- The child could could keep their printable and put it in their room, in a folder, or on their wall. We will probably keep our kids’ sheets for their keepsake box.
- You could cut each worksheet into sections (between each question and verse.) They could use the strips as bookmarks or make a big paper chain all month to see how long your family’s chain get the month of November.
- If you only had a couple of children, you could probably tape their strips to the underside of the tablecloth all month. Or you could tape a couple of strips per child.
To print the printables (there are 13 in total), click on the printable (the pictures below), and it will take you to my google docs where you can print them out. I included a black and white version for those who do not have color printers.
There are many ways that you could use these printables, but here is what we are planning to do:
For the first week of November, we would discuss the verses Psalm 95:2-3:
Every night we read the verses, and discuss one of these questions each night. This could be done in the morning with breakfast, with your Bible lesson if your homeschool, or over dinner.
The second week we will discuss different attributes of God for which we can be thankful.
Each night, we will take one of the four attributes listed on the printable, explain what that attribute means, and apply it to their lives. One night I will let the kids think of other attributes of God that we can be thankful for that are not included on our printable.
- Click HERE to read more about the goodness of God with one more printable.
- Click HERE to read more on the mercy of God with five more printables.
- Click HERE to read more on the righteousness of God with two more printables.
- Click HERE to read more on the lovingkindess of God with four more printables.
The third week, we will look at the verses in the Bible which are commandments from God to be thankful.
There are four verses, so we’ll discuss one each night. Maybe the last night, we will read some verses where people are praising God in the Bible or we will spend time singing praises to God.
Each night, the children would answer the question that goes with each verse.
The fourth week we will discuss what we should do when we do not feel like being thankful. How do we keep from complaining?
Discuss the verses:
What does 2 Corinthians 9:15 mean by “His unspeakable gift?”
How do we get into God’s presence? Psalm 16:11
What does 1 John 5:14-15 mean by “ask anything according to His will?”
Even though we are studying these verses, in my family’s case, some of their grumbling and complaining is now a bad habit. So we are going to try an extra incentive this whole month and see if we can retrain our bad habit into a good habit. Or I am praying that the incentive will at least make us realize how much complaining we really do.
I have made a printable of the first half of Psalm 34:8.
On top of the printable, I have placed eight little containers–one for all of us plus one for the extra candy I used empty plastic baby food containers. Inside each container, I put 5 pieces of candy like M & M’s. Every time they grumble or complain, a piece of candy comes out. Every time they are thankful or have a good attitude, they can put a piece of candy in the container. The next morning, they can eat the candy in the container, and start over again. I’ll let you know how it goes!
In 2014, we are continuing our paper chain from last year!
This year, we have printables on why we should give thanks for others and we will make cards for others that we know.
- Go HERE to see the first set of printables made so far for devotions.
- Go HERE for the printable Thank You notes.
- Go HERE for a printable on being thankful for the family of God.