Thursday, November 26, 2015

It Happens Every November



Just as sure as the leaves change color and fall off the trees.



And then it is all undone in December.

Facebook friends begin using #30daysofthanksgiving hashtags and talk about a Thanksgiving Challenge. At churches and in homes paper turkeys and trees boast of all the things for which we are thankful.

But in December we begin to make lists--mental, written, or on Amazon--of the things we want. 

Does that strike you as incongruous? 

I did it with my kids every year, but a couple of years ago I was asked to speak to some college girls on "contentment" and it gave me a whole new perspective on thankfulness.



The world thinks we'll be content if we have a little bit more. 
Or if we learn to want a little bit less.

Is that what the Bible teaches?



Or how about:



In other words: God is enough.

How can we teach our children this? I am not sure I succeeded with being the one who taught this to my children. I'm not sure I have come to truly believe this in my own life. But I'm working on it.

I'll give you a few of my ideas of how we can teach this to our children, but I would love to hear from you and know how you are working on this. Please let me know.


  1. Be an example. Are you someone who is always talking about wanting the newest, the better, the improved? Or do you exhibit contentment? What do you talk about?
  2. Talk about contentment. If you look online you will find all kinds of quotes about contentment. Read one to your kids each night at dinner and ask if they think it's true. Is this is a clever statement or the path to contentment?
  3. Read what the Bible says. Look at the verses I have mentioned here and others. What does the Bible say is the basis for a Christian to be content? Ask who they can think of in the Bible that lived contentedly...or didn't.
  4. Look for real life examples. Talk about people who are living life content with having God in their lives. Ask your children, "What would true contentment look like in your life?"
  5. Be thankful. That year I challenged the college girls and myself to not just list things they are thankful for, but start their thanksgivings with "I'm thankful for God's presence in my life because..."
Leave me a comment and let me know your ideas for living and teaching true contentment.

P.S. I took these photos a couple of years ago while on a "leaf crunching" walk with my youngest daughter when she was a college sophomore. Today she is a senior getting ready to move overseas for her internship and then her first full time job!

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7 comments:

  1. I abruptly realized at church on Sunday that I was so caught up in the commercial aspects of the season that I was forgetting to enjoy the beauty of everything. I am determined to slow down and enjoy everything between now and Christmas.

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    1. I wish you great success! Last year I studied the Biblical story of the Nativity and wrote first person accounts of the story from the point of view of Elisabeth and a couple of others. I really enjoyed taking time to do that!

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  2. Love your pictures and your thoughts! Blessings to you! Teresa from NanaHood.com

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  3. Your photos are beautiful!

    I never thought of that before how one week we are thankful for everything in our lives and the next day really, we are making note of everything we want. Wow! That is so true!

    It seems as I've gotten older, material things don't mean as much to me as being with family, BUT I can become discontent with that due to unmet expectations. That is certainly where I need to make Jesus my all in all for EVERYTHING.

    Thanks so much for sharing such an edifying post!

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome. It is a reminder I need...often.

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  4. Thank you for your post. Loved it

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  5. We are most thankful for our family and how we get along and regardless of the time of the year our priority is and always will be that.
    However I can see what you are say.
    BTW Lovely pictures.

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