Thank God for a morning filled with sunshine! With the kids waking up earlier (or just the same) because of un-daylight saving time it is nice to have the sun rise up with me.
After several consecutive wet and dreary Mid-Western autumn days we were itching to get outside when we saw the sun shining. After breakfast, I gave the kids a task to collect some sticks and leaves for our annual Thanksgiving project. It was a crisp morning and having a focused mission we were out and in before you could say Jack Robinson. Back in the cozy house we threw the jackets in a pile and got started sorting through the craft bin of ribbons, paper, and all things that sparkle!
Yes, our Thanksgiving tree may appear to be just a bunch of sticks in a jar with construction paper and leaf rubbings BUT on the back side of the leaves is a collection of our thankfulness. Anytime during the day we write our thanks on a leaf and hang them on the tree. Little prayers sent up to our Gifter.
I asked our daughter first, "Fiona, what are some things you are thankful for?" I'll never NEVER forget how she answered me last year.
Especially because she was only three years old then. I'll tell you the rest of story...
Fiona's answer humbled me.
I heard her little voice squeak out "forgiveness" sweetly.
I'm going to let that answer settle a bit as it still takes my breath away.
Not family... or toys... or cake... but forgiveness!
We talk about forgiveness a lot at our house. However, the reality is that our daughter fully understands her bad thoughts, mommy's bad words, and daddy's mistakes deserve a punishment in hell... BUT that we have been saved from ALL that. All our sin is erased by our eternal hero, Jesus.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness,which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14
How can she understand that on the bad days and good days, in everything, we can be content? Only God can work that. She knows we have already won through Christ!
How had I forgotten Jesus' words from Luke 18:16?
...for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
It is one of the biggest privileges of my life to watch my children's faith grow. Often it is their faith I admire. Whenever I think a certain subject is too difficult for their minds to understand the Holy Spirit steps right in and shows me the wisdom that a child can have despite me. Thankful.
At night when the kids drift off to sleep I compose music. Today, I get to share one of my folkish Thanksgiving hymns with you. I hope someday to hear a church sing this in worship accompanied by acoustic guitar, washboard, the fiddle and the tenor line sung loud!
So for your listening pleasure (or pain - ha!) I thought that it would be fun to sing it for you and add a voice part at each verse. I did not even attempt the bass line... thankfully there are only three verses. :)
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You can print a pdf document of the hymn by clicking it's title here The Secret of Living.**
For more thoughts on gratitude watch for Amber's posts through the month of November on Fridays.
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-2
** All my hymns are under copyright. You should not alter the music in any way and give me, the composer, full recognition for the piece. If you would like to use the hymn publicly please ask permission by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Unauthorized copying, duplication or alteration of this composition is a violation of law. Thank you for understanding.