Cultivating the soil

Spring is coming! It will soon be time to plant seeds! I’ve been enthusiastically planning my garden; dreaming of lush lettuce and tasty tomatoes. I love growing veggies and flowers!
Packages of seeds - flowers & herbs

Spring is a great time to talk about sowing seeds, so this month the 1st – 6th graders (the Cool Disciples) at First United Methodist Church (FUMC in Ann Arbor, MI), are studying a Rotation on the Parable of the Sower.
You can read this parable in Mark 4:1-9.

Time Out. Talk about…What is needed for a seed to grow? A speech bubble

Soil, sun, water, love… Did you know that there is something else that needs growing, that takes just as much care and attention?

Cultivating the soil of a thankful heart.

How does one nurture such a garden? Here’s one idea: Keep a list. Take up a notebook and start a list of the things for which your family is grateful. Jot a thankful every day, perhaps at the family dinner table. (Make putting out the journal be a part of setting the table!)

Time Out. Talk about…What are you thankful for today? A speech bubble

Here are a few from my gratitude journal.

590. Chickadees, waiting for the feeder to be filled.
594. Friends, both old and new.
597. Sunshine (after several days of gray.)
601. Drawer dividers for organizing.
605. Textures on tree bark.
607. A husband who is a great cook.
613. Opportunities for my children that allow them to stretch their wings.

How does your garden gratitude grow?

Where did my list making start? Click on this button…

Button to access the web site: A Holy Experience.

Photo credits:
Click here for info on banner photo (not visible in readers or email).
Seed packages by LollyKnit from Flickr, licensed under: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic
Button from A Holy Experience.

Daniel’s prayers: Giving thanks

Let’s say a law gets passed that says you can’t pray. How would you feel about such a statute? Last week a 4th grader answered this question with…

'Not being able to pray would be like not being able to eat.

I never thought of it like that!

Here’s what Daniel did when he heard about the decree…

'Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Daniel 6:10

Daniel was having a bad day, and yet he chose to be thankful.

Always showing gratitude, regardless of your circumstances, isn’t easy. You know what helps: practice.

The best way to practice is to keep a list.

A page from my gratitude listStart a gratitude journal with your family. Talk about what you’d add to your list over the family dinner table.

I’ve been recording thankfuls. Yes I am counting them. I’m going for one thousand, but now that I’ve started, I probably won’t stop.

(Update for Feb. 2017: I’m up to #4,853!)

 

Here are samples from my gratitude journal:

Skating around the lake541. Sunshine.

549. Riding-in-the-car games.

551. Ice skating on the lake.

557. Chocolate mousse pie.

568. The crunch of boots on snow.

 
a sunrise is seen through the trees576. Kindhearted health care providers.

581. A flock of robins in February!

588. The frosty sparkle of morning light.

 
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Photo credits:
Photos are from my archives.