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November. The month we set aside to celebrate thankfulness. While, yes, as Christians, we should most definitely be thankful day in and day out, 365 days a year. But as a mom, I wanted to find something tangible for my children that would make this time of thanksgiving focus stretch beyond the turkey and dressing.

My husband and I are raising two girls (11 and 14). Their worlds are saturated with media and outside voices that encourage them to consume, possess, and rely on themselves. Let’s be honest, adults are not exempt from such temptations either.

So, our family jumped on the bandwagon years ago and created our own Thankfulness Pumpkin! We would sit together each day and write one thing we were thankful for on our pumpkin. Some things were tangible, others weren’t. By pointing out that “every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17) and that we already have so much to be thankful for, we were showing our daughters that God is the giver of all things. He alone is our Provider who supplies our every need. And we were demonstrating how to exercise contentment for the present and trust in our Heavenly Father for the future.  

So, how do you make a Thankfulness Pumpkin? All you need is a sharpie, a pumpkin (orange, white, whatever color you choose), and your family members grouped together to share what they’re thankful for. Make it fun, stress-free, and make it yours. Words can be “thrown” all over the pumpkin, or they can spiral down from the top. One person can write, or each person can write. Choose a time of day that would allow the most consistency. But if you miss a day, give yourself grace, and pick up where you left off. I bet it wouldn’t be hard to come up with two items the next day!

The Thanksgiving Pumpkin was so easy and fun, wondering what each person was going to say. Would Dad say Taco Tuesday? Would my oldest be thankful for laughter? Should we really expect school to make the list? The one or two words your children share as their thanksgiving offering can tell you so much about them. Listen to their hearts. Don’t miss it. It just might make your heart swell with even MORE thankfulness!

The Bible tells us “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1). Friends, He is so good. So, let’s put pen to pumpkin and honor Him with the praise and thanksgiving He is due, and let’s teach the children God has entrusted to us where to look for all they will ever need.

Jackie Haba
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