Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 14th - November 19th

**Since these are not long ideas I decided to lump them into one post. (and then we're almost caught up!

Disclaimer - these ideas came from a pro-Christian web article. I thought they were good ideas but I've adapted a few of them to fit a little more with our faith. Scripture references were their notes, I haven't had a chance to check them, so before you use those scriptures make sure to look them up, there was no reference to what version of the Bible they were from, and our editions might be different.**

Creative Ways to Develop an attitude of Gratitude

1. Family Thanksgiving Journal. Use a notebook or blank journal to record what your family is thankful for. Add to it all year round during family devotions, or create an annual tradition where each family member contributes one message a year. Read past entries as a reminder of God’s faithfulness.

2. Name Exchange. This is an idea for a dinner party or holiday gathering. Toss everyone’s name in a hat, then have each person draw one name. Allow some time for thought, then have everyone take a turn finishing this sentence, “I’m thankful for _[name drawn]__ because ________.”

3. Table Accents. Create easy, yet meaningful favors or place cards for guests at your holiday dinner.

  • Use a paint pen to write “Thank you, God, for family and friends,” on pressed leaves. Place one on each plate.
  • Bundle a few wrapped chocolates or unshelled nuts in little squares of netting. Tie them with fall-colored ribbon and add a Psalm 95:2 tag, “Let us come before him with thanksgiving…”

4. Thankful Notes. Writing requires us to slow down, reflect, and choose our words carefully.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to "encourage one another and build each other up…” Thoughtfully telling people what they mean to you will build up their spirit.

  • If you have a husband, write a letter detailing why you’re thankful for him. Find a nice quiet time to read it aloud to him.
  • If you have children, write a letter to each of them, separately. (Write even if they are young. They’ll treasure it some day.) If you have teens, perhaps leave the letters in their rooms to be “discovered” and read alone. Identify their strengths and encourage them with appreciative comments on those positive characteristics.
  • Keep several little note cards in supply. Then once a month, ask God to show you someone to to show gratitude for — a neighbor, bus driver, scout leader or co-worker. A simple note saying you appreciate them would be very meaningful.

5. Church Staff Appreciation. (Altered to our religion) - Many churches now celebrate a Pastor appreciation day, but just because we don't have a paid clergy doesn't mean we can't show that they are appreciated. Think about the people that especially touch your family. Your children's primary teachers, young men / young women leaders, the gospel doctrine or relief society teachers. My favorite people in the whole world the nursery leaders. Most of these callings don't get any recognition (not that they ask for it) or appreciation but none of us could enjoy church (especially with kids) or attend to our callings without their help. A note of appreciation, a treat or picture drawn by your child about what they love about primary is a great way to show that you remember and appreciate the effort these members of our ward put in every week.

6. Thankful Box. (Altered a little) Purchase a small decorative box or wrap a shoebox with pretty paper. Put a notepad and pen inside and set it on your dresser. Everytime you’re angry with a person or situation in your life, write a note to God before you go to bed that night, expressing why you’re thankful for that person or difficulty. Use these slips during future quiet times to randomly select someone or something to pray for.
** Although a good idea, I thought it would also be useful to write ideas through your days and put in the box of what you/who your grateful for (Even the ones your not angry at), and then use those ideas/people for service, just a reminder of all the ways our lives are blessed. You could do this type of thing many ways. Decide what works best for your life. **

** Give one or all of these ideas a try. If not a life changing experience at least it will brighten your day and someone else's. Remember though you never know the difference that your little act will have on someone else. What is small to you, could be a giant token to someone else. **