Let’s roll up our sleeves and get ready to plant some seeds – seeds of thankfulness that I promise will flourish in your family’s garden. And what better time to talk about thankfulness than as we’re nestled in the season of harvest and anticipation?

Let’s be real for a moment. How often do we find ourselves caught up in the hustle and bustle, especially with the school season in full throttle? Between homework and soccer practice, it’s easy to miss those moments of pause where we can look each other in the eyes and say, “I’m thankful for you.” So, how can we intentionally cultivate gratitude in our families, especially for our sprightly elementary-aged kiddos?

1. Start and End with Praise

Let’s kick off each day with a simple, “Thank You, Lord, for this new day,” and tuck our kids in with whispers of gratitude. As we’re reminded in Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV), “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Can you think of a better bookend to our day than acknowledging His constant love?

2. The Thankful Jar

It’s hands-on, and kids love it! Find a jar, some colorful paper, and every day, encourage everyone to scribble down something they’re thankful for. It could be as simple as a sunny day or as heartfelt as a helping hand from a friend. Then, on a family night, read them aloud. What joy will bubble up when you all hear the symphony of your shared blessings!

3. Gratitude Walks

Here’s an adventure: a gratitude scavenger hunt! Go on a walk and find things in God’s creation to be thankful for. It might be the laughter of other children, the shade of a tree, or an unexpected butterfly. It’s a real-life parable of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:26 (ESV): “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

4. Serving Together

Nothing teaches gratitude quite like giving. Why not as a family volunteer at a local food pantry or make cards for those who might be lonely? It’s in these moments that our children learn to say, “I’m thankful because I can give,” just as we are taught in Acts 20:35 (ESV), “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

5. The Daily Highs and Lows

During dinner or bedtime, chat about the highs and lows of the day, but with a twist. For every low, find a high – something to be thankful for, even in the challenge. It’s a habit that builds resilient, hopeful hearts.

Friends, these are simple seeds but don’t underestimate what they can grow into: a family deeply rooted in gratitude. And as these seeds bloom, your family becomes a vibrant testimony of God’s goodness, a beacon of His love in this world.

Let’s walk this path of thankfulness together, watching these seeds sprout into beautiful expressions of God’s grace in our lives and our children’s lives. After all, the attitude of gratitude is caught more than it is taught. Let’s catch it together.

Blessings and joy,
Pastor Donivan

Parenting Resources

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Ms. Kellie's Book recommendation

Thanksgiving Activity Booklet