Thanksgiving is on the horizon; followed by Christmas… yikes! ’Tis the season for parents to be busier than ever, stressed out, worried, and cranky. Unfortunately, this rubs off on our kids. (Hopefully my kids won’t comment with too many past details!)
It is appropriate that this month the Cool Disciples are talking about ways to calm ourselves and balance our busy lives, so as to make time to be with God.
The kids are hearing that Jesus scheduled downtime into his life. He did lots of teaching and healing, but then he took time to pray to God. He also spent time with friends. Our Bible story for this Rotation is about Jesus’ visit to Mary and Martha’s house (Luke 10: 38-42) where he taught an important lesson about our priorities.
We’ve already talked about listening for God. But how do we make time to listen? How do we spend time with God?
Here’s an easy way: Start a gratitude journal.
Recording thankfuls opens the way to God.
Use this Thanksgiving holiday to start your list of thanks. Gather a notebook and a pen and set aside a time at least once a week (but why not every day?) to write at least five things the family is thankful for—gifts from God.
Might I suggest that you start off by setting a few family ground rules: Should the entries be numbered? Should the list be signed by whomever is making an entry? Are repeats okay?
Once your family practices daily gratitude, you’ll find that it brings benefits such as:
- Better health,
- Better sleep,
- Less anxiety and less depression.
Read more about the research in The New York Times.
Best of all: Marking gratitude brings you closer to God.
Is your family keeping a gratitude list?
Here is a video of our story. (Created by the sixth graders in the Drama Workshop).
Jesus at the home of Martha and Mary, by Harold Copping, via Wikimedia Commons in the Public Domain.
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