Day 2: My Vote

Welcome to Being Thankful for the Little Things, our annual November Thanksgiving family devotional series. This year, we’re focusing on being thankful for the little stuff, the things we often take for granted. Each devotional is meant to be read as a family. At the end of each devotional, you’ll find a journaling prompt (you can download a free journal cover and pages here) and an action step you can take to help out someone else. Thanks for joining us and be sure to share it with your friends via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Today, I'm thankful for something really small, but something that makes a big impact. The little thing I'm thankful for today is my vote. Our vote is kind of like a puzzle piece. A puzzle piece is really small, but when you get the puzzle put together if a piece is missing, it's the first thing you notice. While a puzzle piece all by itself doesn't seem like a big deal, it plays an important role in finishing the puzzle. It's the same idea with our votes. By themselves they seem really small, but put together they make a big impact.

In this country, we take voting for granted. When you turn 18, you can vote. That's it. You don't have to prove that you're smart. You don't have to be a certain color. You don't have to hold a certain job. You have the right to vote. It's been that way for a long time. As a matter of fact, you don't even have to vote. You can choose not to because we live in a free country.

But the right to vote is precious. There are people all over the world who wish they lived in countries where they could vote for their leaders. And our right to vote was paid for with the lives of people willing to defend it. From the Revolutionary War to the current conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, American soldiers have fought and died to protect our right to vote. That single check mark in a box is so precious that people have been willing to die for it for more than 200 years.

When we vote, we honor that sacrifice. We take part in a process that declares to the rest of the world that we are a free country. We should make our choices when we vote thoughtfully and prayerfully. God wants us to use our vote to honor Him, too.

Although, you probably aren't old enough to vote yet, you are old enough to understand how precious that freedom is. Our right to vote is a symbol of all the freedoms we have in this country. We can go to school, go to church, and say what's on our minds, all without being afraid. No one is going to arrest us because we get together and worship God. If we criticize the president, no one is going to throw us in jail. We can choose what to wear, where to go and which person we want to lead our country. And that's the gift of freedom.

Be thankful today for the little things your freedom allows you to do. Be thankful for the soldiers who protect it. And be thankful for your vote -- even if you're not old enough to use it yet.

Journal entry: Write down three little things you're thankful you can do because you live in a free country. Don't forget to be thankful for the soldiers who protect our freedom. If you know someone who is in the military or has been in the military, write their names in your Thanksgiving Journal.

Action step: If you can, go with your parents to vote today. Be a part of the process. If you know someone who is serving in the military, thank them for protecting your freedom. If you don't know anyone, write a thank you card and send it to your local Veterans of Foreign Wars post to thank those who have served in the past.

Linking up today with Time-Warp Wife.