Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Giving Thanks: Blessing Breakfast

Good morning, friends! Recently the idea came to do some sort of Thanksgiving Blessing something or other with my littles. I think I was envisioning something a little like we do at Christmas {See more about this here, here, here and here.} Here's the thing - I am very thankful for my children, but as a busy mom I admit that I probably spend quite a bit of my words each day correcting them and instructing them. I wanted to intentionally let them know that I am thankful for them and Give Thanks for them verbally and personally. I did not put tons of thought or planning into this - but when we are at peace, things frequently just flow - yes?

And, not only did He provide ideas but our very breakfast in a tangible way. As I was beginning to ponder when to have this breakfast, it was late one afternoon and I decided on the next morning. Of course, my next thoughts were quickly trying to figure out what I would make for breakfast. Everything I thought of just was not going to be as simple and doable as I was hoping for and for some reason I just could not land on anything. When my family arrived home from evening church that night, there in a bag from my friend Melissa was a loaf of her delicious poppy seed bread! And, breakfast was beautifully provided.

I share this story of provision over breakfast and we marvel at God's timing! And, quietly in my heart and mind I marvel at how every morsel is gone but is exactly and perfectly the right amount! Then, these three precious and expectant faces look to me. It strikes me now in writing this how they frequently look at me for a reaction or response, for what is next or what needs to be done, for what can be learned or for a smile. I remind them in this quiet moment before we eat that Jesus set an example for us in giving thanks and we talk about what it means to be thankful and the story of the ten lepers when only one returned to give thanks.

We talk of how children are a blessing from God and I want them to know that I agree and am thankful for them. I take the time to look into each pair of eyes and not hurry on, but linger in looking at each face and letting each soul know I value the gift of themselves.

Their smiles were genuine and I could see that they were drinking this in literally. I honestly insert here that I must work on this - at saying more positive and uplifting words to my children. While enjoying our breakfast, we read some of the verses hanging on our Thanks Giving Tree. This has made a lovely addition to our living room and I love that it is laden with meaning and beauty plus I enjoyed making it!

Each morning at breakfast, we've been reading through the Bible beginning in Genesis 1. We're nearly to the end of Exodus and I am thankful for the idea but for this one morning, I relocate to a different place for our reading. I choose a portion of Proverbs to read over each child - a blessing and a prayer of sorts, a hope for them.

For the girls, I begin by looking in their birth date chapter {example - Emily was born November 2nd, so I look in the 2nd chapter of Proverbs} and they seem to fit so well that I quickly settle on that for each of them. Samuel was born on the 31st and since that is about being a virtuous wife {someday I will share that with him in choosing a wife!} I felt that choosing something else may be a bit more appropriate. And, felt that Proverbs 4 was a good choice. I personalized it to that child as I read it out loud to them and looked at them only during reading the verses over them.

Also prepared were these little Be Thankful bags. I found these at Michael's just as the Fall things were being set out earlier this season. There were 4 together and they were less than $2 - a lovely find. One bag was for each child and inside were leaves from our yard, on each leaf - I wrote something I was thankful for about that child. I took the leaves out and held them in my hand while they held the empty bag to receive. And, then I told them each thing I was thankful for and handed the leaf as a treasure for their bag. Again, the smiles - especially Samuel, he was just beaming as I told him each thing I treasured and valued about him.

I got close to each sweet little face and looked in their eyes and said, "I am thankful for you!"

Because we are artsy here and love this kind of thing - I also provided crayons and paper. I suggested drawing something we are thankful for or making a card for someone or just whatever! Sweet thoughts came to their mind as I had requests to draw pictures for them to color in:

"Pepaw reading me the Cowboy story!"

"Mama, how do you spell Bible?"

"Can you help me draw a cross?" "This is Jesus on the Cross."

"Can you draw a grey car?!"

"This is Grammie and me playing a game!"

"Can you draw a red car?!"

"Mama, can you please draw me a picture of Grammmie and three little peeps reading the Five Little Peppers?"

"You are such a good drawer Mama, I've never seen such a good drawer as you!"

Perhaps I should take a lesson from my children who are usually good at speaking words of blessing and encouragement! And, as is frequently true - it is not I who am leading them, but He who is leading me through them.

This, my friends is the beauty of giving. When we give a blessing, give a gift, give an encouraging word - in turn, we are also receiving and knowing a fullness we would not have had otherwise. This week as we celebrate Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the giving of thanks.


Mom said...

Oh my -- how precious this time was for you and your sweet children! And what a blessing to me to read about it and then see that my name (and Pepaw's) were brought up as well.

And in the same spirit, let me say how thankful I am for you and Carrie and your families.

Dear Monica, I'm thankful for:
1) your sense of humor
2) your creativity
3) your love of beauty
4) your sweet spirit
5) your willingness to travel thousands of miles each year to spend time with us in your Colorado home!
6) your heart for hospitality
7) your desire and efforts to raise godly children
8) your love of all things Christmas :)
9) our shared interests, such as Mitford books and shopping in thrift stores
10) your love for our Savior and passion for following Him!

Love, love, love you -

~katie~ said...

LOVE this, Monica ~ so special! A memory I'm certain that will be carried into their hearts and manifested towards others in their lives.

The Lord just laid it on my heart recently to write our children letters of encouragement and praise and to let them know what I'm thankful for about each of them...and to mail them to our house for them to receive. =)

Love these ideas of showing our children the blessings that they are!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Christy Stanton said...

This is so sweet and precious. Thank you for sharing: )

Sally said...

I agree with your mom! Your blog is my favorite because of many of the things your mother listed. You cause me to step back, consider what is of real value, and resond accordingly!

*carrie* said...

That's so sweet, Monica. You are so great at being intentional with your kids. Love you!

Melissa said...

Thankful for you, my friend! Love the sweet notes on colorful leaves! I may steal that idea.

Thank you for loving my mom's poppyseed bread, and so very happy it was a blessing to all of you.

Kelli said...

I love this idea. With the kids being off this week this would be fun to do with them.

angie said...

This idea that the Holy Spirit spoke unto your heart has now taken flight to my own. God has a way of using our sisters and brothers in Christ to instruct us (when we are not being quiet and still enough to hear His voice.)
I plan to read the appropriate chapters of Proverbs over my children. And I loved the idea of writing on real leaves. So do-able and yet so rewarding to the recipient.
Most of all, I am encouraged by the list written by your mom. This proves that the traits we demonstrate to our children will stay with them and be carried onto the future generations of our families. She gave thanks for you, validated you, and gave you the 'sweet spirit' to do the same for your littes!

Dawn said...

Gracious goodness me.
I came to leave a comment, and then your mom's comment bowled me over. My goodness, WHAT a blessing!! Thank you Mrs. Ruth, for blessing me with your words.

Monica, I am privileged to know you personally and to interact with you and your children on a regular basis. And I must tell you that this is my favorite post of your's EVER. My heart is stirred to tell my children, especially the littlest ones, how they bless me. Thank you ever so much friend!!