While I absolutely love this season of the year, it is easy to get caught up in all the chaos that surrounds the preparation of a Thanksgiving gathering. I find it very ironic that in the midst of a time of gratitude and praise for all that our Creator has bestowed upon us in the past year I tend to become ungrateful and at times grumpy.
One of the best ways that I have found to stay focused on the meaning of our celebration is to take time each day to read books that center on giving thanks. In our home we love to curl up and read so for this season I have tried to fill our reading time with books that will remind us to give thanks.
If you would like to add a few books to your reading list that center on being grateful I've compiled a list of my current favorites for parents and children.
Giving Thanks Through Books for Parents
One Thousand Gifts Devotional by Ann Voskamp
I must admit that I was a bit late to the party on this one. I'd heard the hype but had never quite gotten
It is an interactive book that has a section for you to record the 1000 gifts and everyday graces that God bestows upon you. This is sure to be one of those books that you will find yourself peeking back on. Beautiful way to record your journey each day.
Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist
This book resonated deeply with me. I don't like change. At all. But of course God has used that very thing to bring about some of the biggest growth in my life. Shauna shares about dealing with that change and being grateful for the journey that God has put you on.
I love this thought from the book: "When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow." She goes on to describe the difference between bitter and sweet and the horrible place we would be in if our life only contained one or the other. She then goes on to describe how God uses both in our lives to bring about the best for us. I still don't like change, but this book has given me a whole new perspective on it.
Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty
After reading the first chapter I wasn't sure that I would really relate to the book because it is the story of Sara's struggle with infertility and I've not experienced that. But I hung in and finished the book and I'm so glad that I did.
This book is about so much more than infertility. I think it will speak to anyone that has ever had an unmet expectation. If you've been in that situation you know how easy it is to allow a seed of bitterness to grow. Sara is very open about her struggles with bitterness and accepting God's provision in her circumstance. It is a great book that will help you focus on the goodness of God in all situations.
Giving Thanks Through Books for Children
The Berenstain Bears: Thanksgiving Blessings by Mike Berenstain
Who doesn't love the Berenstain Bears? As a parent you can always count on the book containing a message that your kids need to hear and apply.
In this edition the Berenstain's are on their way to their grandparents house but an unexpected snowstorm has altered their plans. Through the use of different circumstances the lesson of being thankful in all things is taught. I enjoyed the illustrations and the fun songs and poem. My grands loved the stickers!
Give Thanks To The Lord by Karma Wilson
"The table makes a lovely sight. The food is good, it tastes just right. I savor every, single bite. I feel so full of love tonight."
Celebrate the season in this heartwarming story that references Psalm 92 in tender rhyme from award-winning author Karma Wilson. Told from the point of view of one young member of an extended family, Give Thanks to the Lord celebrates joy of all kinds, from the arrival of distant relatives to a cozy house already filled with merriment, to apple cider and the delicious smells of roasting turkey and baking pie. And just when your mouth is watering, sit down and join a thankful child in prayer, praising God for “food and fun and family, all the wonderful things I see.”
The Me I Want To Be: Student Edition by John Ortberg
(teens and young adults)
The good news is you’re not alone, and you don’t have to feel discouraged. Though in the pages of The Me I Want to Be Teen Edition, bestselling author John Ortberg focuses on what makes you who you are, looking at how you spend your time, your unique experiences, your relationships, and your overall world to help you see where you are now, as well as providing exercises and quizzes that help uncover God’s plan for you and the positive directions you can now go. Find out what it can look like when you discover what the best version of you looks like, as well as the life God has always desired you to have.
Streams In The Desert For Kids by L. B. Cowman
This one is set to release in December, but I just couldn't resist including it because I LOVE the original Streams in the Desert. I look forward to going through it with the grandkids. Here's what the advanced information I received on it says:
Best of all, it shares amazing insights into God's Word from the classic Streams in the Desert in ways you can relate to, and it helps you apply those insights to your life. All it takes is a couple of minutes reading each day to help you deal with life’s difficult issues and be refreshed, like drinking a cold glass of water on a hot day.
Well there you have it friends! I hope that you will be as filled with gratitude and praise as I was after reading the above titles. May your family and friends that gather around this year be blessed by you as you serve Him!
From our family to yours . . . Happy Thanksgiving!