Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankfulness, a Gift, a Tree and the Best Birthday Present

I was determined to make a 'Thankful Tree' this year for my children.  The idea is to put out some 'leaves' and have the children write what they are thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving.
 I used a jumbo leaf hole punch for the smaller leaves, and a friend cut some extra-large leaves for me at school using a Cri-cut.
We have really enjoyed this project of counting our blessings, so I made extra leaves for friends and put some simmering potpourri from Michael's in a little bag... 
 ...from Pottery Barn Kids.  Attach a little note to your friends telling why you are thankful for them!
Today, I count my blessings for the gift of children. (I hung this leaf on the tree!)
My birthday was last week, and I received the best gift any mom could ever ask for...lots of hugs and sweet, sweet notes.  I am sharing this one from my son, because he has such a heart of gratitude. Mason has had some difficulties in his little life of eight years, but the beauty has been seeing him come through strife with a deeper faith!
Lest you think I will get a big head from his words, I know that I fail miserably at all the sweet things he says. Actually, I struggle to keep on top of the laundry and to read my Bible everyday, but don't tell him! 
Here is my laundry room...usually, it is 'Mt. Everest!'  I am thankful for a washer and a dryer and do not take this luxury lightly!  (I hung that on the tree, too!)  I confess that I do tend to grumble about laundry (note that it is the first thing he comments about!) but somehow, those sweet words of kindness from a child, make folding and washing a little bit easier! 

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

Teach your children to have hearts of gratitude.  Our society seems to have an entitlement mentality which doesn't nurture thankful hearts.  Be watchful and careful with all the things you give to your children, teaching them always to give thanks.  During prayer, I give thanks and remind the children that everything we have comes from the Lord.  I will often include thankfulness for our 'eyes to see, ears to hear, noses to smell, mouths to eat and hands to feel.'  I thank the Lord each night for their daddy's job, reminding them how hard he works for all of us.  I really believe that if they see parents with thankful hearts, they will humbly give thanks, as well.  Praise Him and give thanks always!

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
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Jocelyn said...

Christie, my friend calls her laundry pile Mount Never Rest :-) It is most appropriate.

Jocelyn @

Christie Jones Ray said...

If your birthday was on the 13th, then I don't know whether to be surprised or not...for that is my birthday! And I am now 50! We celebrated quietly, and I, too was happy to have the sweet notes and hugs and kisses from my children and a full weekend with our grandson, Xavier, who makes the world a better place;)
So happy birthday blessings, little bit younger Christie,
Little bit older Christie:))

Sunflowers With Smiles said...

Love the idea of your thankful tree. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Coastal Cottage Dreams

Brandi said...

Oh my goodness, Mason is sooooooo sweet! That's the sweetest letter! Did you cry as you read it? I did! :) Thank you for sharing and Happy belated birthday, Christie!!

Haven said...

What a beautiful post! Your son's birthday card to you is so sweet! I am sure that you will hang on to that forever! Laundry seems never ending. I always want to take a picture of our empty laundry but am never quick enough. I especially love the last of your post. We do not have children yet, but when we do I want to raise them with kind, thoughtful, and thankful hearts!

Kelly said...

I love that idea for a thankful tree! your tree is so cute in that glass container with the wicker around it and checked ribbon. Happy Belated Birthday! My neice's birthday is on Thanksgiving this year! Since Thanksgiving falls on a different day each year, we never know if her birthday will be on the holiday or not. I'm sure you will treasure your birthday card from your son for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

Wow, how timely...Raising Kids w/ Gratitude/Thankful hearts was our topic in adult Sunday School today...I do many of the same things (Dad's job, all comes from the Lord,gratitude journals,prayers, etc...but still worry that my kids just dont truly get how "lucky" they are...we live a privilaged life but most standards and it my prayer that they see all that they have...:) Happy Thanksgiving!

Jackie said...

Happy belated Birthday! I too get those handwritten cards from my kids. I recently had a BIG talk with my daughter as she was struggling a little at college. I told her to talk to God as that is who gave her the gift of music (I didn't) and she called the next day with great news. I told her to just talk to God as she would with me, but also to listen for his answer. I believe it called her fears and helped her with her struggles.

At The Picket Fence said...

Belated Happy Birthday wishes to you my friend! That card was just about the sweetest thing ever and I love your thankful tree. I shared on our blog today about our hope and prayer for our kids to understand that the things we have aren't really "ours" and how we need to be praying for hearts which will be filled with gratitude. We want to be a reflection of Him to those around us and it certainly does start with us as pressure! :-) You have been an encouragement to me today!

Sarah said...

Your son reminds me a lot of my daughter; Very sincere and thoughtful. I have gotten letters like that too and cherish each one. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a wonderful Thankgiving!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Christine, All I can think of is "her children will rise up and call her blessed, her husband too" Pro 31
What a high calling you have. God has truly blessed you my friend!
You are way too hard on yourself!
Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

We do have so much to be thankful for! I love pulling out the hand written cards the children gave me when they were little...priceless treasures! Time flies by tooo fast! Such a precious time in your life and that of your little ones...enjoy every second!

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

This was a wonderful post to read, Christie. Your son's note to you is a priceless treasure. Hold onto it; you'll want to remember it when the teenage hormones kick in.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Gail said...

What a precious note from your son! It made my heart melt so I can imagine you are just OVER the moon! I love your thankful tree too! I made one as well about a month ago and when I get a chance to, I'm gonna blog about it!


Jules said...

I love your tree idea! Usually I draw a tree and leaves for everyone to put what they are thankful for. I really love that you used actual little tree branches! Also, what a sweet note from your son! Nothing like sweet reminders to refresh our days. :)

Sarah said...

Christie, I agree, we need to instill gratitude in our youth. I try to keep myself grounded with the thought that we all have so much in life and try not to let little things overshadow all the blessings I live with. Thanks for the reminder.
Happy Thanksgiving! ~Sarah

Suzanne said...

That's pretty much my dream laundry room. Yes, something to be thankful for!

Crystal @ Ordinary Days said...

You have such a sweet, sweet spirit. :)

Heather @CommonplaceBeauty said...

You are right, your "thankful" tree is so like the guest book tree for the shower! That note from your son is the sweetest thing ever!!

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