A Psalm of Thanksgiving.
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
We’re freshly moved and almost completely unpacked. As I sit here this morning, it occurs to me that we don’t have a Blessing Box this year. When our grown daughters were small we started this tradition. Over the years, we have had times when we were so caught up in life and just getting through it, that we didn’t really stop to enjoy everything in a day that is a blessing, a gift. There are so many, no matter what your present circumstances. A Blessing Box is a way, even for just a moment, to take a deep breath and be thankful, to stand still in the middle of your day and say, “Thank you, Lord. I know you’re in this and I am so blessed to ______________ . You fill in the blank.
Ideally, you will make this box, as a family, on Thanksgiving; and then have the whole year to get it ready for next Thanksgiving. You could hurry and whip one up for this year, but this is my personal experience when we have done that in “off” years. People tend to try to “fill the box” and so something is lost in the heartfelt thanks of the moment. It’s more about the box than being thankful. My suggestion is to work together on Thanksgiving Day and make it beautiful. Then take a year to “count your blessings”. Next Thanksgiving, when you open that box and pour your “mountain of blessings” in the center of the table to read, you and your family will be reminded of just how much you have been blessed and cared for and as you read through what others have written, you will share and relive those awesome memories.
I don’t have pictures handy of the ones we have done in the past, so I have scanned the Internet for a few picture ideas to share with you. The images on this page are some great decorated box ideas from the web. With any luck, my menopausal brain will remember to come back and post the picture of the one we do this year. If not, then my sister or one of the kids can remind me. lol
Here’s all you will need:
- cardboard box (large enough to hold a year’s worth of blessings)
- construction paper, wrapping paper, fabric, paint, markers, crayons, tape, glue
- rhinestones, sequins, foam shapes, shells, glitter, ribbon or other decorative items
- plain white paper
- pencil or pen
- 12 – 18 inches of string or yarn
- Construction is pretty simple. You will want to wrap or paint your box and decorate it. Just remember to leave a way to open the box, later. Wrap the lid separately so it can be lifted off, or leave the bottom unwrapped, etc. Our kids always had very specific ideas about what should be on a Blessing Box and I bet yours will, too. They can write verses on it. They can make or glue pictures of things they are thankful for on it. Or they may just want it to look like a treasure box or a jeweled box for a king. Their minds are so creative and if you let them, they will create something very significant, telling you all along the way, why they are doing what they are doing. This project allows for so much good conversation and those “teachable moments” where you remind them that everything we have, all that we are, and ever will be, is because of God’s love, mercy and grace.
- Somewhere, high on the side, or in the top carefully cut a slot that is big enough to slide slips of paper through.
- Use your white paper to cut small slips of paper, maybe 2″x3″, whatever works best for the little fingers in your family.
- Knot one end of your string around a pen or pencil and tape the other end of the string to the top of your box. That way you are never left without something to write down the blessings.
- Place the box in a commonly used area of your home. Set the stack of paper slips next to it and remember to check periodically, to see if more need to be added. (They will disappear very quickly at first. – lol)
As you or a family member passes the box, you will stop and consciously think of ways you have been blessed. Jot them on a slip of the paper and tuck it inside the box until Thanksgiving. You will have a veritable avalanche of praises when you open it up. It’s a simple way of reminding your children (and yourself) how very blessed all of us are and to be thankful to the One who made it possible for us to enjoy that bounty. If carefully constructed, you can use the same Blessing Box every year; or if the creating is as much a blessing for your family as the rest of the celebration, you may want to make a new box each Thanksgiving. Either way, use this inexpensive and simple way to share some great activity with your family and reflect all year long on how truly blessed you are.
Help me to remember to give You thanks in all things, to see your Hand in every situation. Help me not to be so caught up in life that I miss the opportunity to see every blessing, big and small, and thank you for it. Thank you for the love of family and the times we can celebrate together and enjoy the blessings of fellowship. Thank you for the chance to teach our children to be thankful and recognize that they are blesssed.