GameJayla led us in a game that is a fun little twist on Scattergories. The premise is that you choose one letter of the alphabet and list as many things as possible that you are thankful for that begin with that letter. This might be an activity you could do with kids once they start learning letter sounds. Our group played with the letter "R" and let's such say that some of the answers were Rather Ridiculous! My favorite was when someone said, "Romantic husband... just kidding!"
here to read her devotional.
Thanks for sharing Kelly!
As she addressed Noticing Goodness, Nancy first shared with us an important definition.
- affirmation of goodness
- recognition that the source of goodness is outside of ourselves
Noticing goodness and gratitude go hand-in-hand, and when we recognize that the source of goodness is outside of ourselves it enables us to be grateful in any situation.
The Bible tells us that God is good. Therefore, when we notice goodness we are noticing God. We are seeing the divine in our everyday lives. Not only does Scripture tell us that God is good, it also instructs us to "give thanks IN all things." It is important to distinguish that we are not told to give thanks FOR all things, because really terrible things happen, but we can be thankful IN all things because God is with us when good or bad things happen.
Nancy identified two barriers to noticing goodness: distraction and discontentment. Because we live in a society addicted to distractions (electronics/social media), we often do not pay attention to our reality... we are distracted and cannot fully notice the goodness in our lives. The other barrier, discontentment, comes from not being okay with our reality. It takes a fierce guarding of your thought life to notice goodness.
One of the best ways to notice goodness is to write it down! And get your kids involved too! Nancy shared several ideas to help us (and our kiddos) do this...
- Write thank you notes for non-gift items. Teach our kids that anything is something to be thankful for... the smile that greets us from the lady at the library, the dedication of the crossing guard who stands out in the cold every morning, the hard work of the sanitation workers each week.
- Gratitude journals. You can number it to really see how much you have to be thankful for, and can look back and refer to the goodness you've previously recorded when thankfulness is a struggle! It even helps to write down your crazy... you can go back later to find the goodness in it. Sometimes we have to sift through the ordinary to find goodness and that's okay.
- Thankful Fours. Nancy has each of her girls decorate a big paper cut-out of the number 4 and then each day in November the girls write something they are thankful for on a strip of paper. The paper strips are taped together to make links in a chain attached to the 4, and when completed they hang the paper strip links on their Christmas tree for a garland. Super cute idea and a great way to prepare for the Christmas season!
Thank you to all who contributed to the Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes! Our group was able to put together 20 boxes which will bring smiles to 20 little ones around the globe! If you're interested in more information about Samaritan's Purse (the ministry that created Operation Christmas Child) please click here.
(for Psalm 136:1 photo source, click here)