Thanksgiving 365

simon-maage-351417.jpgBe thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

– 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)

When my wife and I first got married, I had this wild, romantic notion to keep a secret thankfulness journal for her. Here’s how it was supposed to work. Every day for a year I planned to write down one thing I loved about her. Then I would surprise her the next Christmas with a year’s worth of appreciation. I imagined when she opened it, she would swoon, kiss me and then cook me a really nice dinner.

Women love that kind of stuff, right?

So I went out one blustery January day, bought a pink, girly journal and began what I thought would be an easy way to score major points in my marriage.

The first week was awesome. On day eight, however, I had a slight problem. I ran out of material. Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like my wife isn’t great, but after about seven days, I thought I had written it all down. I am a guy, after all. We’re not exactly wired for sensitivity and emotional intelligence.

My journal went something like this:

Day 1 – You’re pretty.

Day 2 – You’re nice.

Day 3 – You’re pretty nice.

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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Kids This Christmas


Wow, can you believe it?  Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Christmas is only 39 days away. 

I don’t know if you’ve already started shopping for your kids yet, but I wanted to offer a suggestion for the most valuable gift you could possibly get your children this year.  Best of all, it won’t cost you a dime.

It’s the gift of taking care of yourself.  

Wait!  Before you think I’m crazy, hear me out.  The holidays are busy, crazy and stressful.  I get it.  I’ve been there.  There’s so much to do, so many people to see, complicated family dynamics to navigate and on and on and on.  

What we label as the most wonderful time of the year sometimes turns us into the worst version of ourselves—tired, grumpy and distracted.  

If we’re running on empty and neglecting our spiritual health, we won’t have anything of true value to offer our families.  

That’s why I wrote a free ebook called Spiritual Travel Tips for the Holiday Road.   Inside you’ll find devotionals, Scripture and intentional questions to help you make a plan to keep yourself healthy, sane and joyful through the new year and beyond.


Sure, your kids may ask for the latest toy or gadget this year, but what they really want most is to make memories with you.  Give them the gift of being the best version of yourself, the person God made you to be.  

By the way, if you want more Christmas inspiration, you can check out my brand new book, Holiday Road: a Christmas Devotional.  It’s available in paperback on Amazon but you can download a free sample here.HolidayRoadCover

Thankfulness Cards

Happy Thanksgiving!

When it comes to being thankful, sometimes we fail to be specific.   It’s great to say we’re thankful, but thankful for what exactly?

Use these Printable Thankfulness Cards to help your kids brainstorm specific things they are thankful for at Thanksgiving and all year round.

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Here’s how it works.  Just click on the link above, print out the cards and help your kids think of as many things as they can in each category.  Then encourage them just to tell God thanks with a quick prayer or write out their prayer on paper.

You can also just scatter these cards around your Thanksgiving table and let people fill out whichever ones they want and share what they are thankful for at your family meal.

Here are a few thoughts about each card.

The Basics:

What are the basic things you have that many people in world don’t have? How many of these basics blessings can you name? (food, house, bed, clothing, clean water, hot water, indoor bathroom, doctors, medicine, car, school, grocery stores, etc)

God Helped Me When:

Think about times when God helped you when you were worried, scared, sad, angry, sick, stuck, tempted or in trouble.  What prayers has God answered in your life?  How has helped you become more like Jesus?

Things about God:

What are you thankful for about God?  He’s loving, kind, joyful, creative, patient, powerful, forgiving, and always ready to listen.  He loves to help us and never gives up on us.  He invented everything that’s fun. What are you most thankful for about God today?

Things About Me: 

The Bible tells us God made us in a wonderful and special way.  What are you most thankful for about the way God made you?  Did God make you fast, smart, funny or helpful?  Did He make you an artist or an athlete, a math whiz or a chef?  Do you love to take care of animals, swing from the monkey bars or sit in your room and read? Do you love music, super heroes, princesses or building toys?  What are the things that make you you?  Thank God for making you unique today.

Awesome Moments: 

What are the most awesome moments of the past year?  Vacations, celebrating birthdays, winning a game, getting a good grade, landing a part in a school play? When are the times we laughed, played, cheered or celebrated?

Favorite People:

Who are the people you’re thankful for? Who takes care of you? Who helps you?  Who do you get to help?  Who makes life fun?

I’m Thankful For:

Here are a couple of generic cards for things that may not fit into the other categories, such as being thankful for your dog or a new video game or whatever else kids can think of.

I hope you have a great time using these cards to remember how good God has been to your family.  Have fun thanking Him!

More Holiday Resources:

If you’d like to spend more time preparing your own heart for the holidays, check out my new book, Holiday Road: a Christmas Devotional now available in paperback on Amazon.


If you’re looking for other holiday resources for the entire family, don’t miss out on God’s Big Christmas Adventure, my free family Christmas devotional.  You can get it by signing up here.