Ten Terrific Ways to Encourage a Grateful Heart
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If you’ve ever had the unpleasant experience of being around an entitled, discontent or ungrateful child (or adult for that matter), then you know the value of a thankful heart. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to inspire and encourage our family members to live a life of gratitude.

In a practical sense, how does a parent teach thankfulness? One of the most powerful ways we teach our kids is through our own example. Our children learn best when they see gratitude in action and hear it from our own lips. So let’s begin with ourselves and ask God to help us to choose gratitude over complaining every day.

Here are 10 ideas to spark and inspire a grateful heart for both you and your kids. These are simply suggestions, not another burdensome list. Live gratefully, and allow simple acts of thankfulness to permeate your every day life.

  1. Write down 5 things you are thankful for every morning.
  2. Send a thank you note, text or email to a friend or family member, telling them what you appreciate about them.
  3. Forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against and thank the Lord for His forgiveness of your sins through Jesus.
  4. Give a thank you gift to a waiter or staff person you see on a regular basis.
  5. Thank a member of the armed forces with a card or gift.
  6. Make a list of the things you can be thankful for in a challenge you are currently facing.
  7. Call your spouse during the day, just to say thank you.
  8. Create a space somewhere in the kitchen for everyone to write what they are grateful for.
  9. Play and sing praise and worship music throughout your day.
  10. Pray together as a family at night, thanking the Lord for His blessings.

Finally, here are a few verses you may want to post around your house or memorize together as a family:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

his love endures forever.  Psalm 106:1

I hope you have a wonderful and joy-filled thanksgiving!

Check out the newest edition of The Power of a Positive Mom. Each section includes a QR code, leading to videos to use for doing a group study.


Making Fun Fall Memories
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Don’t you just love to freshness of the Fall season? With a chill in the air and the beauty of changing leaves, there are wonderful memories to be made and traditions to be started. I always love taking walks with the kids, baking together and doing some simple crafts. Here are a few of my favorite crafts and recipes:

Wax Paper leaves – On a family walk or nature scavenger hunt, collect beautifully-colored fallen leaves and acorns.  You may want to take several walks through out the week to build a wonderful collection. Use some of the leaves and acorns to decorate your kitchen table. Place your favorite leaves in between large squares of wax paper.  Place the wax paper between two hand towels and iron (med to hot temp) them so the wax melts together and encloses the leaves.  Cut out construction paper frames to surround the pictures.  Decorate a kitchen window with your new creations.

Roasted Pumpkin seeds – Pumpkins are certainly plentiful around the end of October.  I usually purchase a few for fall decorations around our house, then at some point we gut out the goop.  This is a fun goopy, messy activity to do together outside with the pumpkins on newspapers.  Once you have carefully cut open the pumpkin (and put the knife safely away) allow your kids to help you scoop out the seeds with their hands and place the seeds and gunk in a colander.  Rinse and dry the pumpkin seeds.  Sauté in butter.  Add seasonings to taste.  Place the seeds on a cookie sheet with sides and roast on low broil for several minutes on each side.

Orange Turkeys:  You will need an orange for each child, plus toothpicks, gum drops and construction paper.  Create the beautiful fan of a turkey’s tail by skewering a variety of colors of gum drops on five or six tooth picks.  Stick the tooth picks in a row on the orange and this becomes the turkey’s tail.  You can make a head with a beard using construction paper.  Glue the head to a toothpick and insert it at the opposite end from the tail.  Finally, use three toothpicks in the bottom of the orange to make the turkey stand on its own.  Decorate your Thanksgiving table with your creations.

Fall Recipes:

Cinnamon Pumpkin Cake

4 eggs                                      1tsp. cinnamon

1 cup oil                                  1 tsp. nutmeg

3 cups sugar                            ½ tsp. baking powder

1 cup Water                            2 tsp. soda

31/2 cups flour                        16 oz. can of pumpkin pie filling

1tsp. cloves

Mix eggs, oil, sugar and water.  Mix dry ingredients and gradually add to the egg mixture.  After mixing well, add pumpkin and continue mixing.   Spray a bundt pan or tube pane with non-stick spray.  Bake in preheated 350 oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Allow to completely cool and remove from pan.


Corn Spoon Bread

1 stick butter (or margarine)

1 pkg Jiffy Cornbread

1 egg

8 oz. sour cream

1 16 oz can kernel corn, drained.

Melt butter.  Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.  Pour into 8 by 8 baking dish.  Bake at 350 30 – 40 minutes until set and lightly browned on top.


Pecan Crusted Chicken

4 chicken breasts halves, skinned and boned

½ cup honey Dijon salad dressing

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Flatten each piece of chicken by placing it between wax paper and beating it or rolling it to about ¼ inch thickness.  Spread dressing on both sides of chicken, and dredge chicken in chopped pecans.  Place chicken in lightly greased shallow baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until tender.  4 servings.

Listen to my Recent Podcast with author Arlene Pellicane
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Click Here to here the podcast.

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Relinquish Your Worries
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Got any worries in your life right now? Whether it is the kids, the budget, the job or even the small stuff, each day is filled with opportunities to worry. It takes a deliberate effort to turn our thought patterns in a new and faith-filled direction. I like what Charles Spurgeon wrote about worry:

“Why do you worry? What possible use does your worrying serve? You are aboard such a large ship that you would be unable to steer even if your Captain placed you at the helm. You would never even be able to adjust the sails, yet you worry as if you were the captain or the helmsman of the vessel. Be quiet, dear soul – God is the Master!”

I like Spurgeon’s boat analogy. It reminds me that I’m not the one steering the ship – and what a relief that is! God is not only master, He is with us. I think about Jesus in the boat with the disciples as the wind and the waves overwhelmed their vessel. Jesus was with them the entire time, yet He allowed the storms to come to show that His power is greater than our storms.

Spurgeon went on to write:

“Do you think all the commotion and the uproar of this life is evidence that God has left His throne? He has not! His mighty steeds rush furiously ahead, and His chariots are the storms themselves. But the horses have bridles, and it is God who holds the reins, guiding the chariots as He wills!”

Our God is still the Master! Instead of trying to hold on to the worries, hold on to Him. Remember His unfailing love for you and listen to His voice that continually says, “Don’t be afraid”  (Matthew 14:27).

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I’m so grateful to all who participated in North Texas Giving Day. Your gifts provided notebooks, training materials and crafts to serve parents in at-risk communities. If you want to know more about ENGAGE Positive Parenting Initiative, please visit our website at www.EngageParenting.com  We welcome your prayers as we reach out to parents in areas affected by poverty and adversity. Keep shining His light in your home and being a blessing to your children.


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