ThanksLIVING update

I hope and pray that the updates I share about what Betsy and I are doing are received as they are intended -- as ideas for you to springboard from, not as boasting.  They are such simple ideas that it would be pitiful boasting material for sure!  But I truly hope you know my heart.  I am encouraged and inspired when others let their lights shine for all the world to see....and give glory to our Father who is in Heaven.

Here's what we've done since the last time I posted:

Made cards that said "Random Acts of Kindness to wish you a Merry CHRISTmas" and taped candy canes to them.  Then we drove all over the east side of Athens and taped them to ATMS and bus stops.  This was so fun!  Especially when the same state trooper spied us twice in the act :)

Made coffeecake for our church staff and delivered for their staff meeting

(Betsy) wrote a thank you note to an adult who has had a significant impact on her life

(Betsy) wrote a note to encourage a friend.

If you're doing some things like these, I'd love to hear your ideas!!  Thanks!

ThanksLIVING update - Days 1-5

So far, our little service project endeavor has been a lot of fun...and not a lot of extra work for Mom.  Hate to sound selfish but just being honest -- if this idea had added too much to my plate, there would not have been a sweet spirit to go with the living of thanks.  Just sayin :)

Here's what Betsy and I have done so far--
Made cookies and homemade cards and delivered to a dear neighbor
Delivered cookies and card to the police department
Wrote TY notes and added small gift cards for her Sunday School teachers
Today we deliver cookies to our friends at the Post Office

Do you see a theme here??? F-O-O=D!!!!  That's how my family spells "LOVE"....and apparently "Thanks" !!

Day 1 - ThanksLIVING

I promised updates on our ThanksLIVING focus.  So far today, I explained the concept to Betsy, gave her the ThanksLIVING "Advent" Calendar.  Day 1 project was to make cards for the police station, our neighbor across the street, and the post office.  Tomorrow we will make cookies and deliver them with the cards over the next couple of days.

Betsy is "all in".... at least for now.  And the chocolate kiss for each day helps :)

Oh, and this next idea has become a family tradition.  Not sure how long we have done this but we love it.  Paul distributes $10 to each of us with the charge to find someone to bless with it in some way.  Can't be an organization, has to be an individual.  Preferably a stranger and something we wouldn't have done otherwise.  We have until Christmas to bless someone somehow.  Then we share the blessing by telling our story when we gather Christmas Eve.

Are any of you doing random acts of kindness for Christmas?  Please share if you are!


Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 107:1

We are celebrating Thanksgiving at our house today.  That's the way the schedule worked this year.  And I am thankful to have 20 feet under, whatever day it is! I love to gather with family and friends and feast on favorite foods.  Yummy.  I love the smell of turkey roasting in the oven, my Mom's dressing (we don't do stuffing over here!), and cranberry relish in my pretty glass bowl.  It HAS to go in the pretty glass bowl.  I love Thanksgiving.  Love the festivities.  The fellowship.  The intentionality of reflecting on God's abundant grace towards us...and thanking Him for it.  We aren't sticklers for rigid traditions nor for legalistic religious observances but our family started something a couple of decades ago that is a treasure to us all.  We all look forward to this and willingly arrange our Thanksgiving schedules so we can do it each year.  We go around the table 5x and each person shares one specific thing he or she is thankful for from this year.  Then we record it all in our journal.  It's precious time together.  The most fun is reading back the posts from previous years!  Hilarious!  We've seen boyfriends come and go, new babies announced, and gratitude for odd things like pine cones.  But it's one of those things that a Mom keeps stored up in her heart forever, looking round the table and hearing the hearts of her family praising our Heavenly Father for His steadfast love to us.  It's sweet indeed.

Now, I know that traditions aren't to be trifled with so I'm not about to change this one.  In fact, I gotta go locate that journal right now cuz it got packed up with my dining room stuff when we moved my folks in last week!  But I am gonna try something new this holiday season with regard to thanksgiving.  Let me explain....

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.  Mark 10:45
I want my life to not only be one of GIVING thanks but also of LIVING thanks, a pouring out of service for others.  Because the Son of Man loves me....and I love Him...and His people.  So He gave me this idea for us to try.  I'm a little hesitant to just put it out there, because I am not too creative and my presentation of things leaves a lot to be desired.  But I thought you might want some ideas, too, about how to live a life of service, some ways to demonstrate that for your kids, some projects to help them think of others instead of only themselves.  Maybe you can take my idea and customize for your crew and snazz it up a bit!
I thought of 24 simple projects that can be done from December 1-24.  An Advent calendar idea.  I wrote each one on a piece of paper and placed it in an envelope.  Then I taped all 24 envelopes on a piece of poster board and numbered them.  To make it a little sweeter :) I included a Hershey's kiss, too! The plan is to open each day's envelope and perform the project assigned within. And to eat the chocolate, of course!!!  The projects aren't complicated nor are they revolutionary but my hope is that Betsy and I (and Chip & Mary if they're home!) will pry our eyes off ourselves, pour out our lives to serve others, brighten a few days for some other folks, and have ourselves some fun in the process.

My goal is to post our activities regularly, just to give you some ideas of what we're doing.  But I know myself and I'll bet I don't get the post done every day.  Hopefully, the ThanksLIVING project will get done each day!

Wish me luck :)