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Burst Out in Songs of Thanksgiving

Burst Out in Songs of Thanksgiving

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. Psalm 28:7 NLT

Finally, some gorgeous, autumn-like weather here in south Georgia! Fall seems to take its time getting to us in the south, but that makes us appreciate the season even more. Wherever you live, make sure to enjoy everything that this time of the year offers, from the beautiful color changes to the crisp temperatures, to the anticipation of Thanksgiving festivities with family and friends. It’s a month to celebrate and give thanks, but use this month to cultivate a heart of gratefulness all year long.

Add these holidays – real holidays from the zany to the serious to the delicious – to the calendar this month and make it a blessed month with those you love.

Family Stories Month – Take time this month to share memories each time you gather for a family meal. Reminisce with loved ones about family vacations, hysterical moments, favorite movies, grandparent stories, great-grandparent stories, old homes, new homes, wildlife encounters, holiday happenings, favorite teachers, parents’ childhood, parent’s courtship and wedding, family pets, scary family moments, challenging obstacles of days gone by and God’s faithfulness, faith journey for each family member, favorite chapter book as a child for each person, favorite picture book, favorite author, and any other story that conjures family memories.

Military Family Appreciation Month – Give thanks for those who serve in the armed forces. Reach out to extended family members or friends who serve in the military or served in the past. Give them a chance to share some of their stories, and be sure to thank him or her for their service. Take some time this month to learn about the different branches of the military and find YouTube videos with the lyrics of each branch’s anthem. See if you can memorize the words to each song, or at least learn the choruses.

Picture Book Month – Read, read, and read some more this month. Find lots of new picture books to read aloud. Get creative with reading, too. One day, read on the front porch or on a blanket in the front yard. On another day, fashion a fort in the dent with a blanket stretched over two chairs and read inside the fort. Read by flashlight under the covers just before bedtime with the bedroom light turned off. Read in a different room of the house each night. Turn reading into an adventure that will grow even more passionately as each child grows older and reads on their own. Make sure to read some of these seasonal picture books to the kids: God Bless Our Fall by Hannah C. Hall; Snuggle Time Fall Blessings by Glenys Nellist; What Is Thanksgiving by Michelle Medlock Adams, and God Made You Just Right by Jill Roman Lord.

National Fig Week – Try this oven-roasted fig recipe. Wash five fresh figs and slice lengthwise to yield wedges about the size of steak-fries.  Place in a baking dish. Stir together in a small bowl one tablespoon of brown sugar and one-half teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over the figs. Bake for forty minutes in a 350 degree oven. When the figs have cooled slightly, drizzle one and a half tablespoons of honey over the top. Serve warm.

National Bible Week – Encourage the kids to read their own personal Bible every day, but point out that a special week is set aside as a reminder of the importance of reading the Bible. As a family, purchase a Bible to donate to your church or to a women’s shelter or homeless shelter for someone who maybe can’t afford to purchase their own Bible. Before delivering the Bible, pray together for the person or family who will receive the Bible, that God will speak to that person or family through His written word.

Remind family members often how thankful you are for each person and be sure to give thanks to God for knitting your family together in just the way He planned. Make sure to count your blessings all month long and create hearts of thanksgiving that carry over into the days and months ahead.

By: Julie loves celebrating the month of gratefulness with her family, and she is especially thankful for the recent release of her newest book, 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories, published by Revell. She prays daily for the families who’ll be impacted by the book. If you’re one of the families who is touched by her book, she’d love to hear from you at Julie@julielavenderwrites.com or on social media.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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