Yesterday I posted on social media a picture collage of our family doing a project together. I posted it because of the rare, or to be more accurate – non-existent, previous times we have all sat down to do something like that. Even when my kids were younger and liked to color, craft or cook, I’m not sure my husband was ever in on that;)
So even though it wouldn’t be exagerating to say I forced them to sit down and help (some more begrudginly than others) it ended up being fun family-bonding time, where we laughed alot!
But this project was not ever about perfection, it was created to lead us to greater gratitude of the One who was perfect for us and pours out His immeasurable grace on us, day by day.
I decided to share it here because of the several texts and questions I received after sharing these same pictures through Instragram. Our tree was developed from broken twigs and construction paper leaves, inspired in part by this Ann Voskamp quote:
In doing this project during this month of Thanksgiving, I want us to not just mark down what we are thankful for, for the sake of being reminded all we have to be thankful for. But in taking it a step further, I want us to really look for and see where God’s grace meets us every.single.day.
If we are honest, or I am honest, I am not always joy-filled and sometimes it feels like I am just going through the motions of what I have to do. I also know just because I have much to be thankful for, I don’t always feel thankful and certainly don’t spend time praising God for it. And most of the time when I am tired, frustrated, impatient, irked, lonely or even content or joyful, I miss seeing all the ways God draws near and gives me grace.
- Do I really think about or even realize how he may help me move toward someone in compassion and love?
- Do I see when he restrains me from anger or enables me to quickly forgive?
- Do I acknowledge where he gives me discipline, strength and encouragement?
- Do I feel like because of unanswered prayers he is far away and therefore miss where he was very present in a specific moment in my day?
- Or how he caused me to cross-paths with just the person with just the right words I needed to hear?
These are the daily graces we are on a treasure hunt for. And these are the things we will write on the back of our leaves every single day of this month as the five us search for the true treasure of Christ.
I hope when and where we see his grace we will be filled with a deeper gratitude and joy. A thanksgiving that leads us to praise him more richly. A thanksgiving that causes us to want more of him and to think less of us. A thanksgiving based on the foundation of the truths of who He is for us.
If you, too, make a Gratitude Tree or even just write down daily graces, I’ld love to hear about it at the end of the month! I am looking forward to the dinner-time conversations this sparks between us and hope it will for you too.