Our Thankfulness Blog - 31 Days of Thanks

How the idea of this Thankfulness Blog came about.

It's nothing new, but during a recent book discussion night, we turned our attention to setting great family goals and worthwhile traditions. I loved the idea that one of the mums humbly mentioned ... how they added little scrolls of thankfulness to a jar which they kept on their dining table.

Beautiful idea!!

We always get such inspiration from

Educating the WholeHearted Child -- Third Edition

Proverbs and the Thankfulness Blog, December 2014

So, my plan is that on each day in December, we read a chapter from Proverbs (match the date to the chapter), discuss it and spend some time thinking about what we are thankful for.

Then we write it out on a little slip of paper - and add it to our large glass 31 Days of Thanks Jar.

Hopefully, as we get to the end of the month, our glass jar will be overflowing with thanks.

December 1, 2014

Proverbs one deals so much with great reasons for wisdom. It is wise if we seek it out; if is foolish if we show contempt for wisdom; 

As we discussed this, this morning, we grew increasingly thankful.  In our family, we have seen God’s amazing grace! He poured out His love on all of us and softened our hearts to hear the good news – what mercy!  We were reminded that fearing God, knowing Him is the beginning of all wisdom and that our lives should reflect this in what we do, how we choose to walk, what plans and goals we follow – discussing the life of self-denial and how difficult it is.

So thanks be to God for His mercy, and for His Word. 

My 20 year old walked into the room later in the day, and within 30 seconds of mentioning we were writing down what we were thankful of … he had grabbed a pen and quickly scribbled ….. FOOD!  Oh yes! Thank God for cupboards that can keep up with hollow-legged young men!

I don't think this is the last time that will be mentioned!

December 2, 2014  Moral Benefits of Wisdom

Thank you Lord for your wisdom!

For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

December 3, 2014  Wisdom bestows Well-being

It's such a well known proverb regarding trust, but one that I know I need to hear again and again.

So often, I find myself turning back to my own path - looking to my own wisdom; seeking out my own understanding.  How much more content and secure we would feel if only we placed ourselves totally in the hands of the One who loves us and knows what is best for us.  Read more about Homeschooling and Trust.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight."  Proverbs 3:5-6

I love that this is the very next verse.  If you're not trusting in God - you're really putting the next line into practice (wise in your own eyes) and that's not to be commended.  However, if you shun evil and fear God - you will once again come under His caring hand and rest securely in the best possible place.

"Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
    and nourishment to your bones." Proverbs 3: 7,8

Interestingly, this was a part of a talk I gave at a Gingerbread House Evening we had at our church on this day. I spoke about who is ultimately in control in our lives and learning to place ourselves entirely under God as the master architect of our lives, rather than trusting ourselves to try to 'rule' our own lives.

Thank you God that You are sovereign and in control.

December 4, 2014  Get wisdom at any cost

"Above all else, guard your heart,  for everything you do flows from it."

There were so many great verses in this chapter urging us all to search out wisdom and not to be distracted.

It is so easy to be distracted and be taken off course. I'm sure we all know about that in daily life of homeschooling, but it is also true for the Christian faith. It feels that as life moves on, areas which I thought were black and white are now looking a bit grey.  Life is not as neatly compartmentalized as I wish.

However, God's Word and His will is clear. He gives us instructions for holy living and sound teaching.

Today we discussed the privilege we have to be brought up in a Christian home with parents who discuss and share God's Word, who impart the life giving truth.

We read in verses 4-9, what a child was taught by his God fearing parents,

"Take hold of my words with all your heart;
    keep my commands, and you will live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
    do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
    love her, and she will watch over you;

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
    Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
    embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will give you a garland to grace your head
    and present you with a glorious crown.”

May God grant us as parents the grace to teach these truths into the hearts of our children so that they may give "careful thought to the paths for their feet and be steadfast in all their ways."

Thank you God for Christian parents.

December 12, 2014   Tribute to Homeschool Mums

In our Proverbs reading this morning, I chose this verse as my favourite.

“Anxiety weighs down the heart,
    but a kind word cheers it up.”

Every month, a group of homeschool mums meet together for encouragement. We use “Educating the Wholehearted Child” as a base for our discussions and we allow time to talk about how it relates to us as individuals and families. At times we find ourselves going off track – but always into interesting places – to grapple with ideas, to share our concerns, to ask for advice, to relate a funny story or to shed a tear.

I am writing this post as a tribute to those mums who come and share, learn, listen, grow, encourage and be encouraged, a few of whom you see in this photo... Read more of my tribute to the wonderful support group I belong to.

Thank you God for homeschooling support groups and those who stand by, encourage, mentor, equip and help us to have a renewed vision to love, disciple and nurture our families.

How good it is that when we are anxious, we have close Christian friends who cheer us up with kind words. Words that bring hope, words that give courage, words which point us back to God.

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (Prov 16:24)

Thankyou God for homeschooling support groups and those who stand by, encourage, mentor, equip and help us to have a renewed vision to love, disciple and nurture our families.  

Proverbs 13:20

Walk with the wise and become wise,
    for a companion of fools suffers harm.

Proverbs 14:7

Stay away from a fool,
    for you will not find knowledge on their lips.

Thank you for good friends who show strength of character and give wise counsel.

Proverbs 15: 29

The Lord is far from the wicked,
    but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Thankyou God that you hear our prayers and the words from our inmost being.

Proverbs 16: 9

In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps.

It gives me great comfort and I am thankful that we can plan and dream and have goals, God is ultimately the one in control.

Proverbs 17: 1

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
    than a house full of feasting, with strife.

Although no-one would call our house full of loud boys - a house of "peace and quiet", yet it is a place where the noise is not noise of angry fighting or dissension. I thank God for the noisy, fun family I belong to and I'm also thankful that there is harmony within our family.

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
    and discerning if they hold their tongues.

I needed to add in this verse. So often, it would be preferred if we all kept a better rein of our tongues rather than allow untimely, unnecessary and unhelpful words to enter our homes.

Proverbs 18: 2

Fools find no pleasure in understanding
    but delight in airing their own opinions.

I am thankful for friends who have learnt to listen before they speak.

Proverbs 19: 18

Discipline your children, for in that there is hope;
    do not be a willing party to their death.

Although difficult to do and not pleasant at the time, to discipline our children means that they have hope for the future. Through discipline, we are training our children for life, to develop good character traits, to be caring, worthwhile members of society, to bless others through their presence and to bring glory to their Maker.

Proverbs 20:12

Ears that hear and eyes that see—
    the Lord has made them both.

Thank you for bodies that enable us to enjoy so many wonderful things.

Proverbs 21: 5

The plans of the diligent lead to profit,
    as surely as haste leads to poverty.

God rewards diligence so a character trait that we should encourage in our children is hard work and diligence as well as perseverance. (Free 4 day E-course on Perseverance here.)

Proverbs 22: 3

The prudent see danger and take refuge,
    but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. (verse 3)

In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls,
    but those who would preserve their life stay far from them. (verse 5)

What a blessing it is when we see our children 'see' and 'take note' and 'stay far from' the paths of the wicked and the snares and pitfalls of this world.  A parents desire is that children show strength to flee from sin and avoid temptation. This world is filled with the devil's lures.

Thirty Sayings of the Wise

Proverbs 23: 4

Saying 8:

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
    do not trust your own cleverness.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
    for they will surely sprout wings
    and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

What I like about this saying is that although we would like our children to work hard, provide for their families, be diligent and be a blessing in whatever they are called to do, the emphasis in this verse is getting worn out to become rich. This is not to be the desire of our hearts or to involve our whole beings that we lose focus on what is important.

I am thankful for words of wisdom and may we all train our hearts to be like the heart of God.