Thankful Tree

So when you look around craft sites or pinterest you will discover dozens of beautiful, artsy, decorative, mature ways to help your children discover being thankful for the month of Nov.

Well, every year, we as a family usually just write what we are thankful for on a leaf that I previously cut out and then we hang them from our fireplace. On Dec. 1 we usually take them down and then I keep them in a box to look at the next year. We put them in a jar and then read them the next Nov.

I always liked this idea until I realized I had to not only cut out leaves but then also hang string, cut string and tie up each leaf. It seemed really high maintenance to me all of a sudden.

This year I decided to cut out a tree with branches and then we can just tape up the leaves after we discuss what we want to thank God for that day. I am trying to find ways to streamline my life more each day and only do the important things, whether they be big or small.

Well, here is our tree.

As you can see it's not just a tree anymore. What I love about my kids is how much they LOVE arts and crafts. When we were preparing for the Thankful leaves again this year, the kids decided they wanted to help "create the scene". So while I cut out the trunk of the tree, the kids were busy cutting out the grass, the sun, the clouds and moon and stars. Every tree should have have these things around them right?

I would like to point out the absolutely perfect star at the top. Yea, that is my best work. The boys called it our wishing star because it was pefect. Maybe I should make a career out of this.

After we cut everything out, Little just ripped a bunch of paper and threw it all over the floor, but she was trying to be helpful, we went to work tapping everything up. This is also part of the project that I let the boys do. It was their idea, so they can put the stuff wherever they wanted. In the meantime, I read about five different verses on being thankful and this is the one they choose.

"So then just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, being rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith you were taught and overflowing with Thankfulness." Col. 2:6-7

They told me the reason they picked this verse was because,

"It says rooted and trees have roots!"
"It says faith is taught and you teach us!"
"We are being thankful and the verse to be thankful."
"We have Jesus in our hearts."

It was fun to have this moment with my kids. I LOVE beautiful and artsy and creative projects. Martha Stewart even.

But my kids got to make this make project with me. It wasn't me who took time to do it in the evening and then presented to them. We did it as a family and got the chance to talk about our faith and giving thanks to God in the midst of family fun.

So, it's not very pretty to the outside world, but its beautiful to me. Our Thankful tree.

(What I love the most is that on the second day, Big was thankful that all our friends in Haiti were safe after the earthquake. That reached down and grabbed my heart.)

Cheers to all of us learning to give God thanks in all situations, good and bad.