Giving Thanks After a Rough Year — Simple Ways to Help Your Family This Thanksgiving Season!


It’s Turkey Time Again!

It’s a season to spend time together, make memories, and be thankful!

But, sometimes it can feel hard to be thankful. Not every year is easy – in fact, it can be downright hard sometimes! So how do you help your family be thankful when it has been a rough year?

This year for my family has been one of a lot of hardship, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have things to be thankful for! If your family – like my family –  has had a bit of a rough year or even a really rough year – I pray that this time of year you will feel the love, joy and peace of God.

Here are some things I’ve learned – and to be honest with you – am still learning about thankfulness!

The biggest thing I am learning is that thankfulness is a choice and a mindset.

It can be so easy to dwell on the hardships, but even throughout the hardships, there are many things to be thankful for! Changing one’s mindset is not easy or quick, but little changes each day can make a big difference!

Encourage little mindset changes every day for your family.

1.      Start the Day Off Right (Looking Ahead)

Start the morning off with thankfulness! Ask them each morning what is one thing they are excited for that day! This can shift their mindset from negative to positive with this one simple act.

2.      Sharing at Mealtime (Looking Behind)

Name one thing every day that you are thankful for – this can be as simple as a beautiful flower you saw on the side of the road or even a simple text from a friend. Encourage every family member to share their 1 thing at dinner.

3.      Create a Thankful Family Memory Board

Creating a thankful family memory board creates a visual reminder of the things that your family has shared they are thankful for! You could put pictures of some of the things that your family shared at dinner. Write down some of your thanksgivings to be sure you remember!  Give it a try for this month!

4.      Express Your Thankfulness

A great way to help change one’s mindset is to express your thankfulness. This could be as simple as writing friends and family thank you cards or even a quick thank you text. You could have your family create artwork to give to grandparents or bake cookies together for your neighbor.

Final Thoughts! 

My mom taught me from a young age that creating a habit helps change a mindset. I’ve seen this work in my life.

I once had a teacher who was not my favorite. My mom told me that every day I had to go in and say, “Good morning, Mr. Smith”. Every day after school my mom would ask, “Did you say good morning to your teacher?” Gradually, I began to soften to my teacher and my mindset on him changed.

You can’t change your mindset overnight, but you can help create habits for your family even in hard times that help promote thankfulness in your family. It’s not easy or quick, but it is very worth it!

If you are reading this and your year has been hard, know I am praying for you. I may not know your circumstances or your name, but I pray that this year your family will be encouraged and filled with a grateful heart.

Please reach out to us if there is anything we can do, even if you just want to pray together! We’d love to be able to talk to the Lord together.

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