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.
I don't really like pancakes. I know. That's weird. But I'm thankful for pancakes even though I don't like them. Do you know why? Because everyone else in my family loves pancakes. My girls can eat an entire batch of pancakes all by themselves. They think it's a huge treat when I make them for breakfast, so about once a month, I make them even though I don't like them.
Do you know why I make pancakes even though I don't like them? I make them because I love my kids. I make them because I like to see my girls happy. I make them as a gift to my daughters.
Your mom and dad probably have things that they don't like but they make or do for you anyway because you like them. Can you think of one of those things? Take a minute for each member of your family to share something that they don't like but that they make or do because someone else in the family likes it.
Did you know that God loves to give us good things, too? James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." Everything good in our lives comes from God. He gives us gifts every day. From our families to our sneakers, God provides everything we need in His good and perfect way.
God giving us good and perfect gifts is a lot like when your mom and dad give you something that makes you happy. Your mom and dad do it because they love you. God provides for us and gives us gifts because He loves us.
Just think about my pancakes. I don't like them but I make them because I love my family. I don't think God really liked sending Jesus to earth to die for us, but He did it because He loves us. Jesus is the most good and perfect gift God could give us, and He sent Him because He loves us.
The next time you do something that you don't like because someone else in your family likes it, remember that God gives us every good and perfect gift because He loves us.
Journal entry: Write down three things in your journal that your thankful for that you don't really like. Be thankful for them because they make someone else in your family happy.
Action step: Make it a point to do something with another member of your family or a friend today that you don't necessarily like. Let your participation be a gift to the other person.