November traditions. Turkey. Leaves. Pumpkins. Thankfulness. Right? So many of us do gratitude prompts or devotionals either with ourselves or our kids. Do the lists start to look like this: My LEGOs, food, cars, toys, books. Don’t get me wrong: I like things. Pretty things, cozy things, yummy things. Most of us are blessed with a comfortable life, and it’s good to recognize that. But I want to be thankful beyond the tangible. I want to deepen my thankfulness. I want my kids to be thankful for more than things. So I’ve been collecting gratitude prompts to deepen our thankfulness.
Be thankful for more than just things
In everything give thanks… The “in” caught my eye. It’s a tiny preposition, showing positional relationships. (Yes, English teacher here!). It doesn’t say “For all the things give thanks…” but IN everything… Clearly, we are meant to give thanks for more than “things” in life.
When my kids list all the toys and objects, I am concerned they’ll think it’s only when we have nice “things” that we are blessed.
So I have been collecting ideas for how to be thankful for more than just things.
Gratitude Prompts for Deepen Thankfulness
We can be thankful for places: our neighborhood, a specific aspect of the city or town we live in, a favorite spot you enjoy (in your home, on a vacation, or otherwise).
We can be thankful for people: friendships, loved ones, people who have taught us something.
We can be thankful for situations: difficulties, hard lessons, answered prayers. Yes, we can even be thankful for situations we have not necessarily enjoyed! “In everything!”
And, yes, we can be thankful for material things too, but perhaps in a more thoughtful way. Instead of being thankful for just “toys,” how about being thankful for a hobby we enjoy, a book that has touched us, or a household tool that makes life easier. When we talk about physical things, we can deepen our thankfulness by getting more specific.
Make a Gratitude Tree
Many families have the tradition of a Gratitude Tree. Just get some branches from the yard, and cut out paper leaves. Then write gratitudes on the leaves and attach to the branches. You could do this all at once, or day-by-day in November.
Last year, I was encouraged by how these prompts helped my kids look a little closer at their richly blessed life. Naming is such an important developmental learning tool for young kids. Maybe that’s why there are so many references in Psalms where David encourages us to speak, proclaim, tell, and praise God for His many benefits.
After Thanksgiving, I’ll take the leaves and put them on a binder ring, or in a photo album to save and re-read the following year. It’s important to reflect on past blessings, as well as count the current ones!
If you’d like join our family in going deeper with gratitdue, I’ve created a printable checklist of gratitude prompts to deepen our thankfulness. Use these for your own personal devotions or family discussions with your kids. If you’d like to create your own gratitude tree, the second page has leaf shapes you can print in multiple and cut out to write your answers on. I tried printing on white paper and colorful paper to get different leaf styles. Of course, you could also use leaf cutouts from the store, or just make your own!
I have discovered that I have some forgetfulness issues. Both real issues with recall, and heart issues with ungratefulness! It’s too easy for me to forget how God daily “loadeth us with benefits.” So using these gratitude prompts to name all the many ways God has blessed me and our family helps me go deeper. I hope it helps you too.
Download your FREE Gratitude Prompts Printable
Click the picture to download your copy of these gratitude prompts to deepen your thankfulness. (Or click here).
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