9 Ways to Remember to Give Thanks

remember to give thanks

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Col. 4:2

Life gets busy and before you know it, those thank you cards have been sitting on the shelf for 2 months. You bought them. You had great intentions. But they are still there and you occasionally feel a twinge of guilt when you pass by them.

For me, this little scenario was happening several times a year. And while I still enjoy writing out personal thank you cards whenever I can purposely do so, I’ve noticed that it is a beautiful thing to give thanks, no matter the format. I’ve also noticed that when I make room in the front seat for “giving thanks” and keep a watchful eye on opportunities to do so, then our family experiences more joy in our lives. I’m sure you’ve experienced this phenomena too. Maybe one of these points on “9 ways to remember to give thanks” will prompt a purposeful thank-you to someone who needs to hear it.

  1. Give thanks in person in the moment.

I know- it’s obvious. But sometimes it’s easier to prompt our children with “What do you say?” than it is to remember to say thanks ourselves.

  1. Send a text immediately.

Get creative and make a sign or write on a chalkboard. Then, take a photo and text it to Grandma or Aunt Susie or whomever lives at a distance and needs to know in the moment that you are ever so grateful. Then you can give the sign or a photo to her the next visit.

  1. Set up a phone reminder to send a thank you card.

Or add a sticky note to your work area.

  1. Pray and give thanks.

When a gift arrives in the mail, at dinner, our family will often give thanks for whatever arrived that day. We thank God for the person who sent the gift as well and sometimes we tell the person we prayed for them as a result of their gift.

  1. Keep thank you cards handy and write one out at the first opportunity.

When the thank you list is longer, then it takes me longer to tackle it. You too? One of the keys, for me, is to keep that list as small as possible.

  1. Send an email.

When I want to write something longer than a few sentences, I’ve found that emailing thanks is a great way to take care of the immediacy issue AND write more than a couple sentences. If you’re a fast typist, maybe this is a great option!

  1. Call your phone and leave yourself a voicemail.

If remembering to do something is critical, then voicemail is a great way to remind yourself of the importance of giving thanks.

  1. Send a social media message.

Many people love to see an Instagram or other social media photo of their gift or a tribute with a memo of thanks.

  1. Make a good old-fashioned phone call.

While social media is wonderful, making a phone call to say thanks is a beautiful thing.

Whether the gift, service or deed was small or large, remembering to give thanks produces a joyful heart. No matter the method or means, let’s encourage someone else today by remembering to give thanks for their examples and investments in our lives!

Who do you need to thank today?

Rachel at RachelWojo.com

PS: I’m thankful for my sister, Sharon. You wouldn’t believe how big her heart is!

Autumn Quotes To Print

Give-Thanks-ImageMy mom is great at making my childhood house a home.  I loved it when we were home at Easter and she had pretty Easter quotes framed in the entry.  She smiled:  “I found it on Pinterest!”

As a blogger and designer, so much of my life revolves around social media that I had forgotten the true blessing it can be, sometimes in the form of simple printables.

So, in this season of thankfulness I thought I’d make something my mom can print up and use to decorate.  I’m hoping some of you will like these images too!  These are sized as 8×10 or 4×6.  Click the links below the images to print.

Attitude-of-GrattitudeAttitude of Gratitude 8×10

Attitude of Gratitude 4×6 GIve-thanks Give Thanks 8×10

Give Thanks 4×6

Blessings to you this autumn season,

Christy

 

5 Reasons to Create Traditions in Your Family

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I LOVE family traditions.  I love to create new ones and enjoy ones from the past!  There is something wonderful recalling traditions I have celebrated as a child and/or as a mom!  They can be anything you do consistently to celebrate an event, season, or just about anything special.  Sometimes we think about the holiday traditions such as cutting down a real tree every Christmas or a fun grill out with family on the 4th of July but there are other fun things when you think outside the box you can create as well.  For example:

Your family’s favorite pot of soup cooked on the first day it snows!

A pumpkin patch visit during the month of October!

A photo session of the family in the same place every year wearing the same colors (You will see the family grow)

A themed party for a holiday – An example would be a Thanksgiving feast all done up with things from the Pilgrims and Indians.  Homemade butter and a great story by the fire!

A special DVD or CD played the same time of the year

Back to School Celebrations with a special breakfast and new school supplies

Buying a new ornament for the tree every year

I know if you brainstorm you can think of something special to do with your family for a tradition!

There are 5 great reasons to celebrate traditions in your family!

  1. Traditions create wonderful memories – Traditions can create very memorable memories.  I know growing up as a little girl, there was nothing that excited me more than a family tradition that was coming up.  I would get the calendar out and mark all my special days that would be coming up on The New Year! I know my children also get excited when we are about to celebrate a tradition in the family, I know they will remember them always.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. Charles R. Swindoll

  1. Intentional parenting at its best – Traditions cause you to be intentional.  You spend quality time on making them happen and while you are making the special memory with your kids, you can’t help but give them quality time.
  2. Helps you connect with your family on a deeper level – Traditions help bring out great conversations, food, laughter and a lot of togetherness!  Many memories your kids will have about aunts, uncles and cousins come from traditions.  The family usually bonds during these times like no other!
  3. Helps you pass down family values and your legacy – Traditions are a great way to pass down what is important to you.  An Advent Tree, thankful jar, church traditions, and sharing your faith often come from these special times and days. The Old Testament often talks about traditions and passing on a heritage to their children.
  4. It gives Your Family a Sense of Belonging – It is wonderful to have a sense of belonging somewhere. There are too many people in our world that have no one to love them, no one to belong to and we are very blessed to have family(even if sometimes it don’t feel like it) Children need this sense of belonging, especially as they go out into their world and face hardships!

What are some traditions that you celebrate? The holiday season is coming up and the perfect time to start a new one!

This is part of a 31 Days of Intentional Parenting Series I’m doing on my blog Together with Family!  You can sign up for the 31 Days Series to come straight to your email box daily HERE!

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Blessings,

Angela, Together with Family

The Day I Became THAT Mom

mother

Many of my friends are 10 years younger than me with no church background.

I worked with Young Life for five years and these kids now have kids and recently, I piled my boys into a van with a gift bag and handmade cards and we drove two hours to the city for one of the kids’ birthdays.

And it was there, surrounded by toddlers in Toms’ shoes and seven-year-olds in high-tops and low-riding jeans that I realized I’d become one of THOSE moms.

Yup.

I was the mom with the kids who wore matching knitted sweaters that said “Jesus loves (followed by their name).”

Granted, I hadn’t chosen those sweaters for them to wear that day. Goodness, I’d tried to find them the “coolest” second-hand clothes we had but they’d INSISTED on wearing their matching knitted sweaters–to my chagrin. “I am not ashamed of the gospel,” I kept whispering to myself as I begged God not to let my precious boys be beaten up.

Every time I asked Aiden if he was getting too hot and wanted me to take his sweater off, he sweetly said, “No thank you.”

I was also the mom who brought homemade-bread sandwiches and homemade cookies and who listened to Wee Sing Bible songs with the boys in our dented mini-van on the way to the party.

But it was there, in the backyard surrounded by my hip, gangster friends with their brand-name clothes and their top-end phones, that I realized–children equalize us.

Even as I ran with Kasher through the throng of parents claiming he “had to poo and now they were all laughing because they got it. Every kid has to “poo”, and NOW.

We were all cautioning our kids–in their high tops and matching sweaters–not to climb too high on the tree house and not to eat too much sugar and kissing them when they fell down and bumped their heads. We were all groaning as we talked about things like time-outs and punishments and defiance and tattling and by the end of the day, we weren’t different social classes or different religions or different ages. We were all moms and dads trying desperately not to mess up the future generation.

At one point, my friend–the one whose boys I watched for a year while she became strong again, the one whose kid was having a birthday party–she touched my back and looked into my eyes and said, “Thank you–for coming. It means so much to me.”

It’s so easy to get caught up in the appearance of things.

It’s so easy for me to get embarrassed by things like matching knitted sweaters. Yeah, I was the reverend’s daughter who begged God to make me cool. I would douse myself in Exclamation! perfume and spend all of my allowance on Thrifty’s jeans and Roots sweaters.

But then one day I found myself driving a mini-van singing Wee Sing Bible Songs with my four and three year old.

Deep down, I don’t want my kids to ever be cool. I want them to be kind.

I don’t want them to have to have the “new” things. I want them to give their things away.

I don’t want them to EVER stop wearing sweaters that say Jesus loves them… well, okay, I do, because I really don’t want them to be beat up… but I don’t EVER want them to be ashamed of the gospel, because it is the POWER of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.

And I don’t ever want to stop being THAT mom–but the key is? To be THAT mom who goes to THOSE parties. The ones where people who don’t know Jesus are. Because we are lights, friends. And how BRIGHT our light when it shines in the darkness.

Blessings today,

Emily

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