Thanksgiving

Day 18: Making a Thanksgiving List

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and we have arrived at the end of another Thanksgiving season. We've spent the month being thankful for the different people in our lives. I hope you've had the opportunity to let some important people in your life know how thankful you are for them. Today, though, I want us to make a Thanksgiving list of all the things we have to be thankful for.

Even though sometimes it seems a little cheesy or a little trite to make a list of all the things we have to be thankful for, it's an important thing for us to do because it reminds us of all that God has done for us. You see, sometimes life gets rough. Things happen that make us sad or frustrated. Circumstances are sometimes beyond our control. Sometimes the world seams like a dark and dreary place. And it's in those moments that having made a Thanksgiving list is important because that list reminds us that God loves us. It reminds us that God has been faithful in the past and will be faithful again. It reminds us that God is always there.

When God did something for the Israelites, they made an altar -- a pile of stones -- to remind themselves that at that place God did something amazing. Your Thanksgiving list is just like the Israelites altar -- a reminder of God's ability to handle any situation.

So, grab a pen, grab the Thanksgiving list printable, and let's get started. When you're done put your Thanksgiving list somewhere that you can see it every day as a reminder of God's love and faithfulness. When things get tough, read it and use it as a reminder of all that God has already done for you.

Here's my Thanksgiving list:

I'm thankful for:

My family

My home

My church

The quiet in the morning before everyone gets up

The beauty of a sunset

That there's enough food in my pantry that no one in my house goes hungry

My friends

Laughter

The wet snout of my dog as he tries to climb in the chair with me

Long summer nights with family and friends

Vacation

Books

Dates with my husband

My Bible

Freedom

Jesus

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for joining me in this month-long journey of Thanksgiving.

 Thanksgiving list

Action step: Make your own Thanksgiving list (you can use the printable above by clicking on it.)

Day 17: Thankful for the People with Beautiful Feet

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

Who told you about Jesus? Was it your mom or dad? Maybe it was your Sunday School teacher or a friend. It might have been a grandparent or a pastor. Whoever it was, that person gave you the best gift you can have. Knowing Jesus, understanding that He died on the cross and rose again because we did things wrong,  is the most important thing that we can know. Asking Jesus to come into our lives and choosing to follow Him is the most important decision we can make.

Choosing to follow Jesus doesn't just change who we are today, it changes our lives forever. It means that we get to spend forever with God in heaven. And that's something for which we can be thankful.

Did you know that the Bible tells us that the people who tell other people about Jesus have beautiful feet? Isaiah 52:7 says, "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation."

Unless someone had told you about Jesus, you wouldn't know that He died so you wouldn't be separated from God forever. You wouldn't be able to choose to follow Jesus. You wouldn't know that you can spend forever in heaven with Him.

That's why it's so important to be thankful for the people with beautiful feet. We should be thankful for the person who told us about Jesus, but we should also be thankful for the men and women who are telling their neighbors and friends about Jesus today. We should be thankful for the people who have chosen to put their lives in danger to tell people about Jesus in countries where that's not allowed. We should be thankful for the people who choose to go into countries without things as simple as running water, so they can share the good news of Jesus with the people who live there.

Be thankful for the people you know who have beautiful feet, and choose to be like them. Because we are all called to share the good news about Jesus. We are all called to have beautiful feet.

Feet

Action step: Think about the person who told you about Jesus. Be sure to thank God for that person today. If you can, thank that person with a phone call or a note today. Then, honor that person by telling someone else about Jesus today.

Day 16: Thankful for the Truth Tellers

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

Your parents have probably told you over and over again how important it is to tell the truth. When we consistently tell the truth, we become known as trustworthy. People will seek out our opinions because they know we will be honest with them. They know that they don't have to worry about trying to figure out whether what we say is true or not.

Sometimes, it's not easy to tell the truth. We might get in trouble. We might hurt someone's feelings. We might cause something to happen that we don't like. But telling the truth is important -- even when we don't like it.

Having people in our lives who will tell us the truth is something for which we can be thankful. Those trustworthy people who tell us the truth even when the truth doesn't make us feel good make us better people. They help us to grow. They give us a push when we need it and wrap their arms around us in encouragement when we need that.

Finding friends who will tell you the truth isn't as easy you might think. We all want to be liked, and sometimes telling a friend the truth can be hard -- because the truth isn't always what others want to hear. Think about it like this: Say you think you're ready for your math test tomorrow. You studied with your friend, and your friend knows you should study more because you keep missing certain problems. You had planned to go to the movies after you finished studying. A good friend, one who speaks the truth, would tell you that you need to study more -- even if it means you have to miss the movie. That information probably won't make you happy, but it will help you pass your math test.

Be thankful for the people in your life who tell you the truth -- even when the truth isn't pleasant. Those people love you. They care about you. They want to see you grow and succeed. While it might be nice to have friends who always agree with you, that's not always what you need. Sometimes you need someone who will push you to be better, someone who will encourage you to seek the path that God wants you to follow.

We should be thankful for the people in our lives who fulfill the words of Ephesians 4:14: "Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church." Friends who are willing to speak truth -- kindly and gently -- are people who make our lives better. They are people who deserve our thanks.

Truth

Action step: Take a minute to think about a person in your life who speaks the truth in love to you. Thank God for them today, then pick up the phone, send them a text or write them a note telling them how much you appreciate the fact that they aren't afraid to tell you the truth when you need to hear it.

Day 15: Thankful for the Difficult People

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

We all have them, people in our lives who rub us the wrong way. People who, for whatever reason, are just hard for us to get along with. It might be a personality thing. It might be the way that person has treated us in the past. It might be that we don't really know them well enough. Whatever the reason we have a difficult relationship with another person, we can still be thankful for them.

That sounds weird, doesn't it? Why would we be thankful for people who make our lives difficult? Why would we be thankful for the people in our lives who are hard for us to love?

We should be thankful for the those people because they teach us the most about dealing with others. When we're dealing with a difficult relationship, we learn to be patient. We learn to offer grace. We learn to speak the truth in love. We learn how to be kind when circumstances are not ideal. We learn to love unconditionally.

Jesus said, "But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:44-45). When we deal with difficult relationships with love and grace, we act as children of God. Those people who rub us the wrong way give us an opportunity to act like true children of God. They give us the opportunity to choose to show love even when we don't want to.

Being thankful for the difficult people in our lives is a challenge. It's much easier to want to have those relationships just fade away. But remember this: You may be the only person in that person's life who can be a picture of Jesus to them. You may never see the results of treating that person kindly, but it will make a difference, and you will be changed for the better.

So, today, be thankful for the difficult relationships in your life because they are the relationships that allow God to shine through you.

Difficult

Action step: Choose a person that you have a difficult time getting along with. Pray for that person all day today. Find some way to be kind to them today that you don't normally do. It can be as simple as talking to them or as difficult as asking them to sit with you at lunch. Find a way to be a picture of Jesus to that person today.

Day 14: Thankful for the Organizers

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

Do you ever think about the people who organize the things you like to do? There are probably a lot of them. Your mom may organize your family's schedule. Someone organizes your soccer league, your dance classes or the school newspaper club. Your teachers organize the day in the classroom. Someone organizes your children's program or youth group at church. And those are the obvious ones, the people you might think about.

There are less obvious organizers in your life. Did you ever think about the fact that someone has to organize the grocery store shelves? Someone has to design the layout of every store you enter. An engineer designed the system of roads you drive on so they get you where you want to go. An architect organized the layout of your house so it looks good and is a good use of space.

Without people who are good at organizing things, our world would be a messy place. We wouldn't know where we needed to be at the right time. We'd have a hard time getting where we wanted to go. We might have to walk through a bedroom to get to the kitchen. Without the organizers, our world would be pretty chaotic.

Did you know that God gives some people the gift of organizing? It's called the gift of administration. Jesus demonstrated the gift of administration when he chose, organized and sent his disciples out to share the good news about Him. If Jesus had just left the sharing of the gospel up to chance, those 12 disciples wouldn't have been nearly as effective. Those 12 men ended up taking the message about Jesus to all of the world after Jesus' death. They were able to do that because Jesus had a plan and was able to organize it effectively.

Today, we can be thankful for the people in our lives who are the organizers. We can enjoy the fact that our lives run more smoothly because of these people. And we can be thankful that God is the ultimate organizer. His plan to send Jesus to die for us is the best example of organization that we have.

Organizers

Action step: Be aware of how much organization goes into making your day run smoothly. Identify the people who are responsible for organizing part of your day. Write them a note letting them know how much you appreciate their effort.

Day 13: Thankful for Those Who Serve Others

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

One of my favorite things to do is go to a restaurant for dinner. I think I like it because I'm the one who usually cooks dinner in our house. I love having someone else do all the work and bring it to me at my table. I love having someone else be the server.

There are people all throughout our day who serve us. They are the cashiers at the grocery store, the person who brings our mail, the people who repair our cars, the receptionist at the doctor's office and the person who prepares our food when we go through the drive-through. All of these people are people who serve others. People who serve also include the people who take care of us when we're sick, the people who drive our school buses, and the people who check us in at a hotel when we go on vacation.

Most of the time, we don't think about the fact that these people are serving us. Sure, many of them get paid to do their job, but think about how hard some of those jobs are. Many of these people spend the whole day on their feet. They deal with all sorts of people: happy people, sad people, grumpy people, and sick people. Through it all, they are expected to treat each person with kindness, courtesy, and friendliness -- even when they're having a bad day of their own. In addition, many of these "service" jobs don't pay that well.

Galatians 5:13 tells us to "serve one another humbly in love." That means that we should all be interested in serving each other. Whether it's holding the door open for the person behind you, setting the table for your mom, or taking the time to help out a friend when you'd rather be watching your favorite TV show, you can be a person who serves others, too.

Today, be thankful for the people throughout your day who serve you. Thank them for what they do. Be kind if they make a mistake. Be encouraging if it seems like they're having a bad day. Serve them as they serve you.

Serve

Action step: Go to a local grocery store or discount retailer and buy a bouquet of flowers. When you get to the checkout line, pay for the flowers, then hand them to the cashier and tell her they are for her. Thank her for doing her job well. You'll make her day and express your gratitude in a fun way.

Day 12: Why Be Thankful?

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

Why should we be thankful? Why should we tell others that we're thankful for them?

We're about halfway through our month of being thankful for others, and I wanted to take a minute to reflect on why it's important to practice gratitude.

You see, thanksgiving isn't just a day in November when we eat turkey. It's an action. And like any action, if we don't practice it, then we can forget how to do it or we can be really bad at it.

Think about it this way. If you want to be a really good basketball player, what do you do? You get out on the driveway and practice your dribbling, your jump shot, and your layup. You join a team and go to practice. Then, when game time comes, you can dribble past the opposing player and make the basket.

The same is true for learning to be thankful. When we make an effort to practice being thankful, like we're doing this month, we learn how to express thanks. We change our perspective on the world. We start to look for things we can be thankful for. We start to treasure the little things, the unnoticed people. We create a habit of thanksgiving.

When a basketball player who has been practicing goes to shoot a layup, he doesn't have to think about what he needs to do. His muscles remember the repetition and do the work almost automatically. He doesn't have to consciously think, "I need to put my foot here, lift my leg, raise my hand and shoot the ball." It just happens.

When we practice being thankful, we create "muscle memory" for our hearts and brains. We become thankful people without conscious effort. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to "give thanks in all circumstances." Learning to do that is hard. There are some circumstances when thanksgiving doesn't come easy. But if we've practiced being thankful when things are going well, then we can find reasons to be thankful when things aren't going as well.

Remember that being thankful is an action that requires practice. Practice it today.

Why

Action step: As you go about your day today, think about all the people we've chosen to be thankful for already this month. Remember that those days have been practice for when it's not as easy to be thankful. When someone rubs you the wrong way today or frustrates you, practice being thankful for them. Find something about that person to be thankful for.

Day 11: Thankful for the Music-Makers

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

Can you imagine the world without music? It would be a pretty silent place. There would only be talk shows to listen to on the radio in the car. Church wouldn't include praise songs or hymns. And there would be no singing in the shower. A lack of music would make our world a quieter, less joyful place.

That's why today, I'm thankful for the music-makers in the world -- people who make beautiful music with an instrument or their voices. You see, I can't carry a tune, and I have so little rhythm that clapping on the beat is difficult. Yet, I love to hear music, and I love to sing along with the songs that I know.

Did you know that listening to and participating in music actually makes us smarter? Music helps our brains be better at math, and it can help calm our emotions when we're upset. Babies love to hear lullabies when they're going to sleep.

People who write, sing and play music add to our world in ways that we can't measure. They simply make our world a more beautiful place.

Did you know God loves music -- and it doesn't even have to be beautiful? Psalm 98:4 (ESV) says, "Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!" God doesn't say we have to sing well to make music. He simply says we should make a joyful noise.

When we sing songs of praise to God, it's one way to worship Him. The people who lead worship at your church are probably wonderful music-makers, but so is the lady standing next to you who can't sing at all. God loves to hear both voices as they sing songs of praise to Him.

So, today, be thankful for the music-makers -- the people who lift their voices in joy. They make our world a more joyful, less silent place.

Music

Action step: Choose someone you know who loves to sing (whether they do it well or not) and write them a note thanking them for the music that they make. Let them know you've notice their "joyful noise." Consider giving them a music note Christmas ornament to remind them how much their music brightens your world.

Day 10: Thankful for the Mess Cleaners

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

When your mom or dad asks you to clean your room, what's the first thing you do? Do you joyfully jump up to get the job done or do you moan and groan about how you have to clean up your room? Do you enjoy cleaning up after yourself and other people?

Every day, though, we make messes that other people clean up. Whether it's our mom who picks up around the house, the janitor at school, or the volunteer at church who makes sure everything is clean and ready for Sunday, there are people all through our day who make sure we don't have to live in a mess.

Do you ever think about those people? A lot of times the people who clean and organize a space like your school, the grocery store, or your church are invisible. We never see them because they clean when we're not around. Yet every day we enjoy the benefits of their work.

Imagine what your school, your house, or a store would look like if no one ever cleaned it. It would be full of dirt, trash and germs. The people who clean up your messes are helping to keep you safe and healthy. They make your life easier because you don't have to clean every space you enter.

And these people do their jobs without being recognized. Most of us never give a second thought to the fact that the spaces we enter are clean and someone has to clean them. We might notice if they're dirty, but when was the last time you walked into a store or a hospital and exclaimed, "Wow, look at how clean this is."

It takes a lot of humility and a willingness to work for no recognition to do the dirty job of cleaning up after other people. And you know who had the biggest mess to clean up? God. When Adam and Eve sinned, they made a mess of this world. It took Jesus coming and dying to clean up the mess. The Bible even talks about how God was doing a clean-up job. Psalm 51:7 says, "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." Sin makes us dirty, but Jesus makes us clean again.

As you go places today, look around at the work the invisible mess cleaners do. Take note of the fact that you go to school in a clean building and your grocery store isn't covered with dirt. Take a minute to thank God for the people who do the dirty work of cleaning up the messes of others.

Cleaning

Action step: Find out who cleans your school or your church. Take them a small gift -- a gift card for coffee or a plate of cookies -- and write them a note telling them how much you appreciate what they do.

Day 9: Thankful for Helpers

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

Some days, you just need some help. Whether it's learning to tie your shoe, trying to master algebra, or reaching something on a tall shelf, sometimes we have to ask for help.  So many people in our lives are helpers. They help us learn, they help us grow, and they help us out of tough situations.

I bet if you made a list of all the people who help you during the day, your list would be really long. Sometimes those people who help us are friends, and sometimes they are total strangers. That guy that held the door for you and your mom or dad when your hands were full as you left the grocery story? He's a helper. The firefighters who work to keep the people in your town safe? They're helpers. Your friend who told you what the homework assignment was when you missed class? She's a helper.

Other people help us get through every day, and a lot of times we take those people for granted. We assume that if we dial 9-1-1, the police and firefighters will show up. We assume that if we need help with a chore around the house, our parents will  be there. We assume that if we're having a tough day, our friends will be there to listen to us. But do you ever stop to thank those people?

When was the last time you thanked a worker at a store for helping you? When was the last time you stopped by the fire station to offer your thanks to the men and women who work there? When was the last time you thanked the school nurse for helping you when you have a cut or you're sick?

On days when everything seems to be going wrong for us, there are always people who want to help. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up." The people in our life who act as helpers are there to pull us up when we fall down. They encourage us and help us get back on our feet.

Even in the darkest moments, there are helpers. When a house burns, the firefighters come. When someone dies, a pastor is often there to comfort the family. When a tornado hits, rescue workers come to help. When a crime is committed, the police show up. Mr. Rogers (yes, from the preschool TV show) once said, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."

So, today, look for the helpers in your life, and every time someone helps you today, thank them. Then thank God for them.

 Slide1

 

Action step: Make a list today of all the people who help you during the day. Then choose one person off that list to thank. You can use the printable sheet to make your list, then use the printable notecard to write them a note telling them how thankful you are for their help. Keep your list and pray for each person on it this week, being sure to thank God for how each person helps you.

Day 8: Thankful for Neighbors

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

Think about the people who live next door to you or the people who live across the street. We all have neighbors. Usually, we don't get to choose our neighbors. They are people that we live near and see all the time, but they might not necessarily be our friends. We might not know them very well or they might be our best friends. No matter who they are, God planted us in this neighborhood with these neighbors for a reason.

Neighbors are important because they are the people closest to us by distance. If your mom runs out of sugar when she's baking a cake, she might send you to the neighbor's house to borrow some sugar. She's probably not going to call your grandma who lives three states away to ask if she can borrow a cup of sugar. If a fire truck or ambulance shows up at your house, it's your neighbors who are going to be the first to offer help -- even if you don't know them very well. If you're home alone and you need some immediate help, you probably have the phone number of a neighbor or two that you can call.

Living in a neighborhood means we have the opportunity to meet all sorts of different people -- people who may be a lot like us or not like us at all. We can learn new things from the people who live around us. And we can sometimes learn how to love people we might not hang out with at any other time. Neighborhoods are a great mixing bowl where all types of people get thrown together in close quarters and have to learn to get along.

And don't think living in your neighborhood is a mistake. God put your family in your specific neighborhood so that you can love your neighbors. Don't believe me? Check out Galatians 5:14 says "For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" That means that everything that God wants us to do can be summed up by loving our neighbors. Now, according to Jesus, our neighbors are actually everyone we come into contact with during the day, but it also applies to the people who live around us in our neighborhood. Loving your neighbor is important to God, and it should be important to us, too.

Slide1

Action step: Take some time today to be thankful for your neighbors. Thank God for them by name. Then do something nice for your neighbors this week. Make a batch of cookies and deliver them around your neighborhood. Be the leaf-raking crew and rake the neighbors' leaves. When it snows this winter, shovel someone else's sidewalk without expecting to be paid. Be creative, but choose a way to serve your neighbors this week.

Day 7: Thankful for Coaches

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

Do you play a sport? Maybe you dance or play an instrument. If you do any of those things or many others, then you probably have an adult who is your coach or instructor. Have you ever thought about what it takes to be a coach or instructor? Most of the adults who teach kids to play a sport or do an activity like dance usually have another job. Many of them are volunteers. They choose to come help kids like you learn a new skill. And that makes them pretty special.

Coaches and instructors help us learn. They teach us not just how to master a skill, but they teach us important character qualities like how to be a good sport, how to be persistent when things get tough, how to fix mistakes, and often they teach us how to win and how to lose well. Those are all important lessons that will help us in life just as much as knowing how to add 2 + 2.

Don't get me wrong, learning reading, math, science and all those other subjects at school are important. They will take you a long way in life, but the lessons we learn outside of school are often just as important. When we learn persistence as we try to master a new skill, we learn how to stick with a job -- even if it's not that much fun. When we lose at something, we learn how to fail, then pick ourselves back up and try again. When we make a mistake, we learn how to correct it and not do the same thing again.

And coaches and instructors are there for all of those lessons. We should be thankful for the coaches and instructors in our lives who invest their time and energy in helping us to learn something new. We can be thankful that they aren't just teaching us how to shoot a soccer ball or how to play the saxophone, but that they are also teaching us all those other life lessons as well.

Proverbs 15:22 says "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." That means that in order to learn something well, in order to have our plans for learning a skill work, we need help. We need advisers or coaches. You can teach yourself to play basketball or to dance ballet, but it's extremely difficult. If you have a coach who already knows how to do those things, then it's much easier. Coaches can provide wisdom and instruction because they already know how to play the game, dance the dance, or make music on the instrument.

So, if you have a coach or in instructor that's making a difference in your life, be sure to thank God for them today. Then, remember to say thank you to them as well.

Slide1

Action step: The next time you have practice, take along a thank you note for your coach. Thank him or her for giving you their time and energy. Have your whole team or group sign the card. Consider taking your coach's favorite snack to the next practice (make enough to share with the whole team). The best thanks a coach or instructor can get, though, is for you to offer your respect and best effort during every practice and event.

Day 6: Thankful for Soldiers

A Thankful Heart

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

Today is Veteran's Day, a day when we honor all the men and women who have served in our armed forces to protect our freedom. And today, we're going to look at why we're thankful for them.

John 15:13 says "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." Soldiers choose every day to live out this verse, not just for their friends, but for people whom they have never met. They choose to put their lives between us and those who would threaten our freedom, so that we don't have to.

If you live in the United States, you are blessed to live in a country where you don't have to worry about someone knocking on your door and taking you to jail because you said the wrong thing or spoke to the wrong person. You can go to church when you want to, live where you want to, and grow up to be whatever you want to be. No one can infringe on those freedoms. And every man and woman who has ever put on the uniform of the U.S. armed forces has secured those rights for you.

Today, take some time to thank God for our soldiers, especially the ones who are stationed far from home in dangerous areas. Pray for their protection and pray for their families who are waiting for them to come home.

soldier

Action step: If you know a soldier, thank them for protecting you. If you know a family who has a mom or a dad who is deployed, find a way to serve them this week. Take them a meal, help them with some yard work, or make a gift basket with fun things for the family and leave it on their doorstep. If you don't know a soldier, consider taking cookies to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post in your town. Have your friends and classmates write notes of thanks to the veterans and take them to the VFW or a local VA hospital.

Thankful for Friends

A Thankful Heart

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

Life is so much more fun with friends. Think about it. A bike ride around the block, a trip to the park, a day at the movies are all more fun when you have someone to share them with.

But friends don't just make things more fun. They also make us better. Good friends can help keep us on the right track. They can help us make good decisions. They can pick us up when we're down and encourage us to be better people than we would be otherwise.

Our friends can also support us as we try to follow God. They can pray with us and study the Bible with us. They can remind us of God's plan for us.

Good friends are important, and when we find them, we should treat that friendship with care. God tells us that good friends are valuable. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

Thankful friends

Action step: So, today, be thankful for your friends. Make a list of the friends in your life who are always there for you, the friends you love to spend time with and who make you a better person. Thank God for each of them. Choose one way to show a friend you're grateful for their friendship. Write a note. Take them some cookies. Offer to let them borrow that video game or toy of yours that they've been wanting to borrow. Let them know you're thankful for their friendship.

Day 4: Thankful for Teachers

A Thankful Heart

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

Every kid spends about 180 days every year in school. That's about half the year. Whether you go to public school, private school or you are homeschooled, you still have to go to school. That means that someone is teaching you.

The truth is that unless you're homeschooled, you will have a variety of teachers over those years. Some you might like a lot, some you might only like a little. But every one of those teachers is serving you.

That's a different way of thinking about it, isn't it? Teachers serve you every day they walk into the classroom. They are giving you their time, their attention, their compassion, and their effort. When you are in their classroom, you are their primary concern. Sure, it's their job, but it's also an act of service to show up every day and teach someone else's children.

If you're homeschooled, whichever family member teaches you is also serving you. Your family is making some sacrifices so that a parent, grandparent or other relative can teach you. And they are doing it because they love you.

Teachers do so much for us that we can be thankful for. They teach us what we need to know. They listen to us and help us solve our problems. They make sure we're having fun while we're learning. They spend hours at home planning for the next day and grading papers from the previous day.

Teachers

Teachers encourage us. They challenge us. And they love us. They do everything from help us tie our shoes to help us choose which college we want to go to. They give up lunch hours and after school hours to help us succeed. If there's anyone in our lives we should be thankful for, it's our teachers.

Remember the account in the Bible of Jesus washing his disciples' feet? Jesus talked about how we all need to serve one another. Many teachers are a picture of Jesus every day because they serve you and all the kids in your class each and every day of the school year.

Action step: Take the time to write your teacher a note or draw him a picture, telling him how thankful you are for all that he does. Bring your teacher a small treat -- they're favorite candy bar or maybe their favorite hot beverage in the morning. Encourage your classmates to write notes or draw pictures as well. Consider bringing your teacher a bouquet of flowers on a day that isn't her birthday or a holiday. Choose one way to let your teacher know she is appreciated today.

Day 3: Thankful for Siblings

A Thankful Heart

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you've missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

Brothers and sisters. We love them, but sometimes we don't like them very much. Sometimes our brothers and sisters get on our nerves. They take our stuff. They pick on us. They bother us when we have friends over.

But the truth is that as much as our brothers and sisters can annoy us, they are some of the few people in this world who will also stick up for us and love us no matter what. Brothers and sisters are actually a wonderful gift. Think of all the fun stuff you've ever done with your brother or sister. Think about the laughter you've shared and the times your sibling has encouraged you when you were down. When we really stop to think about it, most of us are going to find that our brothers and sisters really do make our lives better.

I think God gives us brothers and sisters so we learn how to work together with others, so we learn how to share, and so we don't have to feel alone. Siblings give us the opportunity to live out the words of Romans 12:18, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." But siblings also make life easier. Scary moments are easier to get through when there's someone there to walk beside us. Jokes are funnier when we can share them with someone else. Tough problems are easier to solve when we have someone to help us think them through.

And that's why we should be thankful for our brothers and sisters. Because they are a gift from God. As hard as it is to remember sometimes, our brothers and sisters are a gift. They should be the person who has our back when things go wrong, the person who will stick up for us and help us out when times are tough. No matter how much they like to pick on us, when it's important, our brothers and sisters will be there for us.

Thankful because Action step:  Take turns telling your brothers and sisters the things that you like about them. You can do this out loud or everyone can write it down. You can use the free printable "Why I'm Thankful for You" cards (click on the picture). Use this time to remind yourself why you like to spend time with your siblings. Pray together as a family, thanking God for each person in your family. One way to do this is to have everyone thank God for the person on their left. Then, find one way to show your sibling your thankful for him or her today. You could do their chore. You could leave them a little note. You could make them a gift. You could give up the TV remote so they can watch their favorite show. Choose what works for you, but find a way to honor your siblings today.

Day 2: Being Thankful for Parents

A Thankful Heart

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the first day here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

Parents. We all have them, those people whose job it is to help us grow. Take a minute and think about all the things your parents do for you. They love you. They make sure you get fed. They make sure you have clothes. They help you learn. They do fun things with you. They make rules to keep you safe and to help you grow.

Parents have a big job. From the time you were born, they have been responsible not just for keeping you safe but for making sure you learn everything you need to know, from walking and talking to getting to know God. It's a big responsibility to know that you're the one in charge of another person.

Sometimes, though, we take our parents for granted. We don't appreciate everything they do for us. We don't appreciate how much they love us. We really don't appreciate it when they try to teach us something through discipline or punishment.

So, today, we're going to be thankful for our parents. We're going to look at the job our parents have and find ways to let them know we're thankful for all that they do.

Think about your day. Did you have clean clothes to put on this morning? Did your mom or dad wash them for you? Did a parent take you to school or sports practice or an activity today? Did a parent cook a meal for you today? Did your mom or dad teach you something today? Did one of your parents help you with your homework? Did you get a hug from a parent today? Were there clean dishes for you to eat off of? Did your mom or dad correct your behavior at some point today?

All of those things are things that we can be thankful for. You see, God gave us parents to love us and protect us. He gave us parents so that they can help us learn and grow. And God tells us to obey and honor (Ephesians 6:1-3) them because they do so much for us. He wants us to be thankful for them.

Action step: When was the last time you told your parents "thank you"? Do you take all that stuff they do for you for granted? Today, be sure to thank God for your parents, then write your parents a little note thanking them for everything they have done for you. (You can use the free printable thank you note or your own paper.) Be specific. List things that they did today or yesterday. Let them know how thankful you are for them.

After you write them a note, look for ways that you can serve your parents today. Maybe you can do an extra chore or bring them a tasty treat. If you're older, you could offer to cook dinner or give your parents a night out while you watch the younger kids. Find one way to serve your mom and dad today.

Don't forget to join me tomorrow as we look at being thankful for our siblings.

Day 1: Don't Take Others for Granted

A Thankful Heart

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It's a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. Read today's intro post with your family, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family's life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It's going to be a great month.

Thank you. It's two simple words that we say all the time. Think about the last time you said those words. Who did you say them to? Why did you say them? Did you mean them?

We say "thank you" a lot. I bet your parents make it mandatory for you to say them after someone does something nice for you. But we don't always think about the words when we say them. Sometimes it's just a habit. We say them because we're supposed to, even when we don't feel super thankful. Think about it, how thankful are you when someone hands you a plate full of food that you don't really like. Do you feel thankful when you say "thank you"?

The month of November is when we often focus on being thankful. We spend the whole month leading up to Thanksgiving -- a day where we focus on all that we have to be thankful for. This month, on Everyday Truth, we're going to focus on being thankful for all the people we have in our lives and the things that they do for us. But we're not just going to say we're thankful for them; we're going to tell those people how thankful we are for the specific things they do.

It's really easy to take all those people in our lives for granted. It's easy to not appreciate the things that they do for us. From the mailman to our parents, people serve us every day. And, for that, we should be grateful.

So, all this month, we're going to focus on making sure other people know that we're thankful for them. I'm going to give you quick, easy ways to show your appreciation. It's up to you to carry it out. Just think about how many people you can thank in the next month.

Too often, we take the people in our lives for granted. When was the last time you thanked your mom for washing your clothes? Did you thank the cashier the last time she checked you out at the store? What about your brother or sister? Have you thanked them lately for being your friend?

God puts people in our lives for a reason, and He wants us to be thankful for them. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says "give thanks in all circumstances." That includes being thankful for all the people in our lives.

Thankful list

We're going to dive into thanking specific people tomorrow, but today, I want you to make a list of all the people for whom you are thankful. You can use the free printable (just click on the picture) I've created or you can just use a plain sheet of paper. Take a minute to share your lists as a family and to thank God for each of those people.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow when we start by thanking God for our parents.

 

A Month of Learning to Be Thankful

A Thankful Heart

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Too often, though, Thanksgiving gets glossed over in the hustle and bustle and rush to Christmas. We sit down on the fourth Thursday of November, eat some turkey, mention a few blessings in our lives, watch some football, then move on to Christmas.

This year, though, I want to encourage you to spend the month of November focused on Thanksgiving. The past few years, this space has become a family Thanksgiving devotional in November, and I'm continuing that tradition this year. We'll kick off our series on Monday, and it will run through the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year, we'll be focusing on being thankful for the people in our lives. We'll not only thank God for them, but we'll find creative ways to thank those people, too.

I'm so excited about this series, and I hope you'll join me. We have so much in our lives for which to be thankful, and Thanksgiving is a great time to point all of those things out to our kids. It's a great time to teach our kids what thanksgiving is, why it's important to both God and other people, and how to thank others.

We'll have freebies and giveaways all month long. You won't want to miss it, so take this opportunity to get Everyday Truth in your inbox every morning by entering your e-mail in that box up in the right-hand corner of this page that says "Subscribe by email" or come like the Everyday Truth Facebook page.

I'm excited about this new series, and I hope you'll help me spread the word by sharing it with your friends.

Tricia Ellen is the winner of our Kids in the Word family Bible study giveaway. Tricia, look for your prize in your inbox soon.

  Inspired Holiday Bundle - 25 products for holiday inspiration at only $25 #InspiredBN

Inspired Holiday Bundle

Inspired Holiday Bundle - 25 products for holiday inspiration at only $25 #InspiredBN Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Believe it or not, the holidays are almost here. This week we turn the calendar page from October to November and enter the craziest time of the year for most of us. On top of everything we already do, we'll add parties and celebrations, gift exchanges, cookie exchanges, holiday band concerts and rounds of Christmas caroling.

It can often be difficult to keep our focus on the important parts of the season. If you're wanting to make the most of both the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, check out this Inspired Holiday Bundle. You get 25 e-books, printables and webinars for $25 -- that's just $1 per resource, and you save more than $125 if you bought them each separately. My e-book Everyday Christmas, which retails for $4.99 is included in this bundle.

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In this bundle, you will receive the following ebooks, printables, and webinars available for only $25:

Put more ho-ho-ho in your holdiay without more dough. Includes a 17-page printable holiday planner system. [Read More]

A perfect stocking stuffer! Your children can have hours of creative fun acting out farm stories with this downloadable pdf paper farm set! Simply print the pictures out on cardstock then cut them out to create your own paper farm! You can print as many copies as you’d like to make your farm as big as you want! [Read More]

  • Be Thankful: Cultivating Year-Round Thankfulness by Amanda Pelser from Kids in the Word

The Bible is full of references to thankfulness that we can use to teach our kids the whys and hows of developing an attitude of gratitude. Be Thankful: Cultivating Year-Round Thankfulness is a Bible study written for all ages to help you in your pursuit of instilling thankfulness in your kids. [Read More]

  • Celebrate Jesus: An Advent Celebration for Families by Amy Blevins from Bow of Bronze

Celebrate Jesus: Light of the World is an Advent Celebration for Families. Included in the Advent Celebration are daily readings from God's Word, a daily Christmas carol selection, crafts, recipes, and suggested activities for each day, and a more in depth devotional study guide for teens and parents. We also include links to coloring pages, books, and complimentary products. All the information you need to make Jesus the heart of your Christmas celebration is found in the pages of this book. [Read More]

Help your children remember that right before Christmas many Americans faced a tragedy at Pearl Harbor that should not be forgotten. [Read More]

You will find this a delightful set of 25 pages to help your children record their Family Christmas Celebration Memories through writing, art, coloring and more. [Read More]

You will appreciate these thoughts on end of year holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas from a Christian homeschooling mom. Unconventional gifts, keeping Christ in Christmas, giving thanks in all seasons of life, and more. [Read More]

Join our wonderful expo panel and listen to moms who have survived the holidays with flying colors and share their scheduling, baking, praising and joyful tips and techniques with you! STRESS BUSTERS! What fun your children will have celebrating the different seasons of the year as they continue to learn. [Read More]

Help develop a spirit of Thanksgiving in your kids with this fun, 29-page printable keepsake book where they can express their gratitude through journaling. [Read More]

This cute set can help keep your kids busy and learning on holiday breaks, rainy days, or even car trips. Start with the included e-book for the nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Doc and follow with the story mat for acting out the story. [Read More]

A simple, but effective Christmas Planner that will help you stay sane, budget, and fully enjoy the true reason for the season. [Read More]

A little encouragement for the busiest time of year. Slow down, remember, why you're celebrating. Find God's true joy. Let this be a Christmas worth remembering. Let this be a Christmas where you celebrate God's love, grace, joy, and greatest gift of all. [Read More]

  • Loving You Long Distance: Tips for Strengthening Long Distance Family Relationships by Katie Hornor from Paradise Praises

Loving You Long Distance is an easy to read, 25 page ebook that gives you practical tips and fun activities that we use, and that anyone can use, to keep your family close in spite of the great distances that may separate you. [Read More]

  • WriteShop Christmas StoryBuilders Writing Prompts by Kim Kautzer | WriteShop from In Our Write Minds

WriteShop® StoryBuilders card decks help to jump start a creative writing project by providing students with the basic elements of a story—character, character trait, setting, and plot—laying a foundation for a joyful writing experience with some clever surprises thrown in along the way. [Read More]

This CHRISTmas season have fun with this activity book and remember that God loved you before you were even born! That’s why he sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth as a baby. So He could be your best friend and Savior and live in your heart. Here’s some fun activities for you to do that remind us of the REAL meaning of CHRISTmas. Print off the pages and have FUN! [Read More]

  • Everyday Christmas: Helping your kids find Jesus in the everyday moments of the season by Lori Fairchild from Everyday Truth

Take a moment and enjoy this Christmas devotional packed full of great ideas for helping your kids find Jesus in the everyday things of Christmas. You can make an object lesson of Christmas lights, cookies and even decorating the tree. Refresh your own soul with the devotion and share the ideas and conversation tips with your kids. [Read More]

Thank You Notes kids can use for Teachers, Pastors, Military, and many others. There are two different note options, and each note includes fun graphics specific for the note to be given and penmanship lines. [Read More]

A precious bundle of ideas to keep your preschooler delighted during the Christmas season. [Read More]

You don’t have to spend all kinds of time scouring the internet for the perfect crafts to do. They’re all right here in my handy little Christmas Crafts e-book, including 25 crafts! [Read More]

A separate Halloween pack that shows Grinn N’ Giggles counting 10 different spooky items together. From one haunted house to 10 pieces of candy, this cute pack reinforces the theme of the book. [Read More]

S short, but cute story of these two best buds and some of their favorite things they like to do while hanging out together and having fun. This is a book of counting from 1-10. [Read More]

Sensory bins are a simple and inexpensive learning tool that can benefit all children. Whether you are interested in incorporating sensory bins into your home, classroom, preschool, Day Care, or homeschool, this guide will provide you the necessary knowledge and ideas to get started. [Read More]

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The November Planning Pack for Children is full of fun and engaging planning pages for your children. This pack is perfect for K and up. It includes a calendar, daily agenda, writing prompts, and much more. [Read More]

A collaborative effort of all six Weekend Potluck hostesses, the Weekend Potluck Fall Favorites eCookbook contains over 60 recipes found on our blogs (as well as a few unpublished dishes) that will make your tummy smile. From breakfast through dessert, these recipes are simple but full of Fall flavor. [Read More]

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Terms: Sale ends November 3rd at 11:59 PM Eastern. All sales are final. You will receive the encrypted download links by email after purchase. You will have 24 hours to download the links before they will expire. We will not offer refunds for items not downloaded before the links expiration. Downloads are contained in SIX zipped folders. Please verify that you are able to save the files before downloading as you can only download the links twice before they expire.
Each product is copyrighted to the author as mentioned above and may not be copied unless otherwise noted in the individual product. Additional terms and conditions may apply to individual products. Please read the copyright information contained in each file.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.