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When I worked in preschool, every November we would have the kids make a little craft (usually a turkey handprint) and share about what they were thankful for. I am sure that some version of this craft can be found in preschools, elementary schools, and Sunday schools all across America this month. It’s a sweet and simple idea to help the kids remember to be thankful.   

Thoughts of thankfulness abound in the month of November. We see it in home decorations, across store aisles, and on our party plates and napkins, “Be thankful.” While I do appreciate this reminder, it’s even more important for us to remember who we are thanking — God, our Heavenly Father.   

James 1:17 says, “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. . .”  

If I were to create a turkey handprint listing everything that I am thankful to God for, it would need many more feathers than I have fingers. I won’t list every single thing, but here are just a few things that I am thankful for:  

I am thankful for my home that God chose for me, with a roof to keep my dry, warm water in the shower, electricity that keeps the lights on and the refrigerator running, delicious food to cook and eat, cozy blankets in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, and space to invite friends and family over for times of fellowship.  

I am thankful for my body that God created so intricately — for eyes that help me read His Word, for ears that hear the sounds of music and my children laughing, for my brain and the thoughts that He helps me to understand, for my feet that keep me moving throughout the day, and for my hands that I raise in worship to Him.   

I am thankful for every person and relationship that God has brought into my life — for my husband who loves me for who I am, for my precious children who help me to think like a child and experience the world anew in their eyes, for my friends and family who have taught me many life skills over the years, and for all those who are no longer in my life, but who left special memories that I hold dear.  

I am thankful for God’s comfort in times of sorrow — for being able to say good-bye to loved ones before they went home to finally rest, for my babies who weren’t meant for this world but are playing joyfully with their Father in Heaven, for the loss of experiences that I thought I might have, and especially for where God has lead me now.   

I am thankful for God’s grace when I make mistakes, for His mercy and forgiveness when I have sinned against Him, and for His love for me that is so deep and unending that He sent His only Son to suffer and die so that I will be able to experience eternity in Heaven with Him.

Each of our lists of what we’re thankful for will be different, and you may even be going through a difficult time right now that makes it hard to be thankful. Even then, there is one thing that remains the same — our thankfulness is to God. He loves us, cares for us, and blesses us, whether in trials or times of joy. We can be thankful to Him, not just in the month of November, but in every moment of every day. Take some time today to think about your life and experiences and thank God for all that He has done for you.   

Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods. He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too.” Psalms 95:1-5  

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