Focusing on Thankfulness

Whether we realize it or not, a lot of good things happen to us every day.  Someone may smile at you, a rabbit will hop across your path while walking, a whale might spout while looking out over the ocean.  It is too easy to get into a rut of negativity.  Negative experiences also happen to us everyday too, like a driver cutting you off on the road, someone might say a demeaning comment, a boss may not be so supportive, etc.  “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” (Proverbs 12:25)  Like a focus wall used in language arts instruction to help the students to make daily language connections, it is important to focus on being thankful.  I try to think about a major highlight I experience every day.  There is always one.  An assignment that I plan to implement in the new year is a journal of thankfulness.  Within this personal book, myself, as well as, my students will enter an item of thankfulness.  This can be a warm bed to sleep in, a roof over your head, clothes to wear, shoes for your feet, and food to eat.  Another activity option would be to make a collage from appropriate magazines using pictures of families, food, friends, pets, churches, toys, etc.  While teaching middle school science I used to begin our course with a collage activity that asked, “What is science?”.  The students thoroughly enjoyed this assignment while making meaningful collages and discovering that science is in all of creation.  So whether you make a collage, write in a book, make mental notes, or share thoughts with friends,  I am willing to bet that spirits will be lifted as this habit is practiced over time.  ” …give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

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