At our November Preschool Board meeting, we had a parent share a Thanksgiving devotion that resonated with us all. We thought our families would enjoy it as well.
And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It’s that time of year! Thanksgiving, a time to reflect and celebrate all of the things we’re thankful for from the past year and beyond. The triumphs, the joy’s, the happy moments, and the support we’ve received. As I grow, my list of things I’m thankful for looks like “family”, “good health”, and “prosperity”. I sometimes yearn for the old days of innocence when I was able to wrap my head around thankfulness of finer things, like my daughter Vivian who reports being most thankful this year that she is now old enough to chew gum. It’s easy to thank God and to celebrate all the awesome things that bring us happiness. Harder, though, is remembering the verse says to give thanks for everything, not just the good stuff. Holding an attitude of gratitude and finding light in the darkness in ALL situations is a true skill, that, similar to our faith in God, is something we have to work to cultivate every day of our lives. As a parent of young children, I feel incredibly blessed to have become a mom in what seems to be an era of enlightenment, regardless of faith, in how those who spend significant time with children cultivate the understanding of negativity. Here are a few phrases I know at this point my two children hear spoken to them or around them every day:
“It’s ok to be sad”
“It’s ok to be angry”
“I’m proud of you for calming down”
“Thank you for trusting me and telling me with your words why you are upset”
Vivian comes home from school wanting to teach me pretzel hands, and even my 2yo Delta can sniff the flower and blow out the candle.
I’m not jealous, and I don’t feel like I wasn’t given these foundational messages myself as a child, because (aside from maybe the pretzel hand thing….) God himself has spoken all those phrases to me. But, maybe I didn’t hear him as clearly or as often as our children do when we speak to them now as his vessels.
When we as parents, educators, and role models through Christ support children in autonomously navigating hard situations, we empower them to be thankful for what results from those feelings. We teach them that there are lessons to be learned and space for positivity in even the worst circumstances. As my list, and I’m sure the list of everyone in this room, of things to give thanks for in this season has changed with age, so will our children’s lists as they grow. There is much unknown about God’s plan for what the future will hold, but what I know for sure is through his grace our children will be growing into a world where adding the hard stuff to the list might not take as much effort as is does for me today. And for that, I give thanks.”