November is one of my favorite months of the year. In Texas, November is the month where the leaves on the trees *might* finally turn colors, if the weather has been favorable. (Not sure what kind of weather is favorable for the leaves turning colors, but it seems like if the summer is too hot or the fall is too wet, we don’t get good colors.) I also like November because it’s a natural time to focus on being thankful.
I decided that I wanted to do something to help the boys focus on gratitude during the month of November. I had two goals in mind when I wrote these devotions. The first was to help them get beyond the surface things that we can be thankful for (playing at the park, pizza, toys) and to help them be grateful for spiritual blessings as well. The second was to teach them things about God’s character, so that they would naturally be grateful for who God is and what He does for us.
Before you get started:
- Choose a time that works for your family. We’ll be doing ours at the dinner table.
- Each daily devotion contains a Bible reading (some are longer and some are short) and some questions for family discussion. Each devotion should take 10-15 minutes, although the length of time that you spend will really depend on the ages of your kids. I would encourage you, however, to include even the youngest family members in listening to the Bible verses. Our 22 month old and 4 year old will be participating with us. Even if they don’t understand every word, you are building a strong foundation for the future! The scriptures that I chose are not necessarily about giving thanks, but each passage highlights important truths about God. After reading and discussing, spend a few minutes praying and thanking God for the attribute that you learned about in the passage.
- The devotions do go in order, and they are labeled by the day. I cut ours apart, rolled them up, and tied each one with a ribbon, but you don’t necessarily need to do anything for presentation – just print and read! I did label the outside of each rolled-up devotion with the date so that we can easily find the right day.
- Don’t stress about getting behind! I included 5 review days. If you get behind (and who won’t?) do two days on the review days. Or just skip some of the days altogether. The important part is not doing every single day, but making time this month for gratitude.
- The devotions go through November 27th, which is the day before Thanksgiving. I figured that Thanksgiving Day would be a busy day, and then it feels like the Christmas season starts after that! (Update for 2015 – You will have two extra days as Thanksgiving is on the 26th this year!)
After writing these devotions, my heart is bursting with the goodness of our Lord! Just in the Psalms alone there are so many vivid descriptions of God’s goodness and faithfulness to people who don’t deserve it. It is my prayer that your family will be blessed by spending a month focusing on God’s goodness!
Please feel free to pass along this post so that others can benefit from the devotions! However, I would ask that you not copy and share the devotions – instead, share the link to this post so that people can print from this page.