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by Barbara Rainey
It is good to give thanks to the LORD and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High. PSALM 92:1
As Psalm 92 tells us, "It is good to give thanks to the LORD . . . to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night." With a little effort, you can make Thanksgiving a cherished family time devoted to thanking God for what He has done in your lives.
One tradition we've kept for years is to have each family member write five things for which he or she is thankful. On our plates are five kernels of corn—a reminder of the Pilgrims' daily ration during one of their first difficult winters. Before we eat, we pass a basket around the table five times, and each person places one kernel of corn at a time into the basket and tells one thing he or she is thankful for.
Here are some of the things our children wrote one year:
•"I'm thankful for being able to have a family."
•"I'm thankful Ashley got to come home from college for Thanksgiving."
•"I'm thankful for God in my life."
•"I'm thankful for my ministry at my high school."
•"I'm thankful for my sisters and all they've taught me about relationships."
•"I'm thankful I got to shoot a deer!"
•"I'm thankful for a great brother."
Dennis and I were thrilled to hear the kids actually thank God for each other!
After so many years of sibling rivalry, they were finally beginning to show each other the affection we hoped would continue throughout their lives.
That year we also were touched by something our son Samuel wrote: "I'm thankful for my muscular dystrophy." He had been diagnosed with the disease earlier in the year, and we had been through some wrenching months.
Thanking God was a big step of faith for him. And it provided another sign that our children were learning the true spirit of Thanksgiving—a heart of gratitude that gives thanks in all things.
How has God worked in your lives this past year?
Spend time thanking God for His love, His provision and His work in your lives.