It's hard to believe that November is nearly halfway over! As I sit and think about what I'm grateful for, where do I even begin?
Maybe that's the answer-begin with Thanksgiving. Every Thursday morning as I pray with my kids, we focus specifically on what we're thankful for. You've probably guessed it: we call it Thankful Thursday. And while there's a small part of me that wonders about this becoming too routine, I am spurred more and more to make sure that my kids see it as an outflow of an authentic heart of gratefulness. There may often be mentions of the beautiful day, family, friends, our home, etc., but there is also genuine reflection about His provision, His protection, and always His redemption.
As with their older siblings, I am mindful that one day they might roll their eyes because Mama is always praying, talking about Jesus-and I'm ok with that :)
I have fond memories of my older kids saying, "mommmmmm, not everything is about Jesus!" I also have present ones of these same older kids saying how they will never forget any of it (maybe not quite so fondly haha)-and I'm ok with that, too :)
I often reflect on the story of Joshua[ch 4] and the people of Israel crossing the Jordan, especially this time of the year. The setting up of the (2) sets of memorial stones were intentional for the purpose of remembering and retelling. Twice, scripture says, "so that this may be a sign among you; when your children ask later, 'what do these stones mean to you?' then you shall say to them.." (:6) and "He said to the sons of Israel, "when your children ask their fathers in time to come, 'what do these stones mean?' then you shall let your children know.." (:21-22)
Not only do these stones remind us of what God had done in the midst of His people, but also made it clear that as parents, it is our duty to tell of God's goodness, to remember and remind our children of what God has done. MacLaren's Expositions says this, "Unless we make distinct and frequent efforts to recall, we shall certainly forget 'all His benefits'."
Sisterhood, I am challenged today to not grow weary or caught up in the throws of everyday life, so much, that I forget to cultivate thankful remembrance in my children's lives. When my kids ask, "mom, why do you always say this.. or why do we always thank God for that.. or even, mom, what does this mean.." that I don't shirk that responsibility off on someone else to answer them. Their routine reminder to thank God on Thursdays won't be so routine, when it comes from an authentic heart of gratitude that they see modeled by ME. So my prayer is this: God, help me live a life of gratitude. And on days I struggle, fix my attitude. Let my mind remember what you've done in the past, my eyes intentionally see what you are doing NOW in the present and let my mouth TELL my children about it. In Jesus' Name. Amen.