Thanksgiving – Day One
by Deb Weakly
“Dwelling on your problems doesn’t fix them; it just makes you an expert at them.” -Tommy Newberry.
1. Call your prayer partner for your 10-minute prayer call. Keep trying to connect until you get to pray together. This tiny habit of praying with a friend regularly will truly change your life! Done:______
2. Start your day with a special quiet time of prayer, Scripture reading and listening for the Lord to speak to your heart. Ask the Lord to speak to you specifically about loving others well. Take the time to light a candle, and get something delicious to sip during your quiet time today. Done:_____
3. Read 1 Peter 4:8 and Philippians 4:8. Write both of these powerful verses in your journal. Record them on your phone recording device and/ or write them on your bathroom mirror in dry erase marker so you see them each day. Do what you can to memorize these powerful verses. Done:______
Where Do You Shine your Spotlight?
When you think about a particular friend or family member, do you see their annoying habits or the good aspects of their personality? Do they constantly agitate you or are you able to see past their faults and love them anyway?
We all have a spotlight with which we use to focus on the good or the not so good aspects of the people and situations of our lives. Our thoughts and attention go to where we focus – for better or for worse.
With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approaching, do you find yourself filled with joy or dread at the thought of spending time with certain people? Are there family members, in-laws, or friends who drive you crazy, get on your nerves, or who you honestly can’t stand to be around?
Perhaps you feel disappointed or sad because of unwanted distance with a loved one. Maybe you feel offended.
The holidays are joy-filled times indeed, but for some of us, they can be challenging. This time of year often serves as a reminder of broken relationships, unmet expectations, or just plain sadness.
What’s a Help Club for Moms Mama to do?
As usual, I believe the Lord wants us Mama’s to come to Him with our bitterness, burdens, and our sadness; He wants us to focus on His goodness and His everlasting, healing word.
When we go to God’s word, we read things like:
Love one another deeply (1 Peter 4:8)
Get rid of all bitterness (Ephesians 4:31)
Be thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
It all boils down to focusing on Jesus and the Scriptures, praying, and then doing what you can to walk by faith, ESPECIALLY in the area of relationships. Do what Philippians 4:8 says and think true, excellent, loving thoughts as much as possible. Refuse to think bitter, resentful, critical or unkind thoughts.
Pray and ask God to help you think like Jesus, love like Jesus, and forgive like Jesus. Assume the best as much as possible. Pray to see people’s hearts and ask God to help you to love them like He does, and see them the way He sees them. Spotlight the good!
Where’s YOUR spotlight? When you look at others what do you see?
4. Questions to Ponder: Write the answers to these questions in your journal. Done:_____
-Pray and ask God for three positive qualities about each person who you will see this Thanksgiving.
-Ask God to fill you with His love for each and every one of them.
-Pray for them to come to know Jesus if they don’t already, and pray for God to bring them joy this holiday season.
-Ask God to show you how to be a blessing to them this week. Write it down in your journal, and keep praying this week for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
5. Faith-Filled Ideas: Done:_____
-Buy a small bunch of flowers for your table if you are hosting the meal. Get small vases and arrange the flowers to make the table more inviting. If you are going to someone’s home for dinner, bring a lovely inexpensive bouquet of flowers as a thank-you gift for the hostess.
-Purchase a thank-you note and write a lovely note to the host and/or hostess of your Thanksgiving meal.
-Be a blessing this Thanksgiving! Offer to help clean up and do it! Stay in the kitchen until the last plate is clean.
-Make sure to say “thank-you” many times for the meal and as you are leaving. Highlight your favorite part of the meal. Be generous with your kind words!
Thanksgiving – Day Two
by Jennifer Valdois
“Thanksgiving – giving thanks in everything – prepares the way that God might show us the fullest salvation in Christ.”
1. Grab your favorite hot drink, your Bible, journal, and a pen. Light a candle and prepare your heart to meet with Jesus. Pray that He will speak to you today and give you a fresh revelation.
2. It’s time to meet with Jesus! Open your Bible and read Psalm 118:1-29. Underline the verses that stand out to you. Write verse 1 in your journal. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His Love endures forever.”
We serve a good and loving God. His love for us is unending. Why then is it such a struggle to give thanks to Him?
So often, instead of giving thanks, I compare myself to others and long for what they have, but when I make those comparisons, I lose focus on my Heavenly Father. I fail to notice the good and perfect gifts he has given ME (James 1:17).
In contrast when I focus on the things of God – His Word and His promises – I put blinders on so my eyes are fixed on Him alone.
Psalm 118 lists so many ways that the Lord is good. These are the promises we can pray and meditate on to foster our thankfulness. We can cry out to the Lord as it says in Psalm 118:5 and He will answer us and set us free! He wants to meet us right where we are and break the chains that are holding us captive.
We are reminded in Psalm 118:7 we are never alone and God will help us. Before we reach our wits end, let us pray and ask God for help and thank Him for his constant care. No problem is too small or too big for God!
Psalm 118:8 assures us the Lord is trustworthy and we can take refuge in Him. We do this by spending time in prayer and reading His Word. We escape the craziness of our lives when we set aside time with our Savior. When we are in His presence we experience peace because He is the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
From this Psalm we learn that we need not lose hope when we face trials (Psalm 118:17). Our trials will make us stronger so we can proclaim what the Lord has done. Once we walk through a hardship, we can relate to others’ suffering. We can comfort and encourage others with our testimony, sharing how God worked on our behalf.
When we wake up each morning and believe, “This is the day the Lord has made, [I will] rejoice and be glad in it,” (Psalm 118: 24) our outlook improves. Our eyes open to the blessings that surround us. What happens in our hearts and minds when we give thanks–when we focus on what we have, rather than what we lack? We take our eyes off our circumstances and fix our eyes on Jesus. We are no longer concerned with the worries of this world. When we give thanks, our countenance lifts and we are filled with HOPE.
3. Questions to ponder: Answer these questions in your journal. Done: _____
– In what areas do you struggle to be thankful?
-What are the obstacles for thankfulness in your life? Do you find yourself complaining? Do you compare yourself to others, do you worry or is it something else?
4. Thanksgiving Faith Filled Idea – Done: _____
– Write Psalm 118:24 on your bathroom mirror to remind you to give thanks for each new day.
-Would you like to embrace a lifestyle of gratitude and make thankfulness a discipline? Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Did you realize God’s will for you in Christ Jesus is to give thanks in all circumstances? Let’s begin today! Think of three things you are thankful for each day. Write them in your journal before you go to sleep each night and note how it changes your outlook!
Thanksgiving – Day Three
by Mary Frieg
“The Best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
1. It’s time to meet with your precious Savior! He is the Light of the world, the Lamb of God, and loves you more than you could ever comprehend!
2. Read Psalm 92: 1- 15. Write verses one and two in your journal. Pray and give thanks to God for His unfailing love and faithfulness to you and your family. Ask Him to help you to focus your heart on Christ and not get caught up in the what the world says is important at Christmas. Pray for the Lord to help you to be loving and kind.
Happy Holy Days!!
With the Lord’s help, we can keep the holy days that are upon us from being just holidays.
The word “Holiday” originally meant “holy day.” Sadly, the term “holidays” now simply means the time period from November to New Year’s, and has become a blur of the materialistic call to “celebrate the holidays.”
While there is nothing wrong with making our homes festive and cheerful, we must be careful not to exhaust our time, resources and energy on the less important things.
Proverbs 17:1 says, “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.”
Last Christmas, my wonderful brother visited our family during an unusually busy season. In the month of December alone, my husband and I traveled out-of-town, our youngest son got married, and we hosted many family members and friends staying in our home.
Needless to day there was much stress and busyness!
There was one particular incident which stands out in my mind that I would like to share with you. My brother was helping me around the house and asked me where to put various items in an effort to help me tidy up. (I have a great brother!) I was feeling unusually stressed out and burdened with all of my workload that I snapped at my dear, sweet brother. I felt terrible!
I realized later that when I snapped at him, I allowed myself to become overwhelmed with details which needed to be accomplished rather than focusing on showing love to my family.
Showing love and being like Jesus to our loved ones is much more important than having “House Beautiful!” Have you ever been to a perfectly decorated home that was lovely to look at but the fruit of the Spirt was not in it?
Your family cares more about having a happy mom than they do about having a perfect house. This Christmas, while the magazines and catalogs call upon us to try to do everything perfectly, may we do fewer and simpler things, with love and kindness.
As Jesus said to Martha “You are worried about so many things, but Mary has chosen the better part.”
May we all choose the better part of focusing on the love of Jesus this holy day season!
3. Questions to ponder: Write the answer to these questions in your journal.
-What do I need to give up to the Lord in order to be fully present to my family during the holidays? In what areas am I tempted to overdo and shortchange my family’s spiritual benefit?
-What spiritual components can I provide to my holiday celebrations to make them truly holy days that draw my children to the Lord?
4. Faith-Filled Ideas:
-Keep Thanksgiving from being squeezed out by not putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. Keep Thanksgiving day a priority as a separate day to focus on being thankful to the Lord.
– This Thanksgiving, let everyone around your table have an opportunity to express something they are thankful for before or after saying grace. This will help them be participants rather than spectators. Some families do this by dropping a kernel of corn into a basket and mentioning something they are thankful for.
-When Thanksgiving is over, let the first Christmas decoration you bring out be the nativity scene symbolizing the priority of Jesus in the Christmas season.