11/29/20

Preparing our hearts for December (November Monthly Challenge Link up)

The Homeschool Review Crew hosts a Monthly Challenge with a theme for each week of the month.  The theme for the last week of November is Preparing our Hearts for December.

It made me think of Advent which is more preparing our hearts IN December but then I realized that Thanksgiving helps my family's hearts to prepare for preparing our hearts in December.

We celebrate Advent.  Advent is the preparation for the feast of the Nativity of Christ or Christmas. 

So how does Thanksgiving, an American holiday celebrating the Pilgrims coming to the New World, prepare hearts for Advent?

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks!

Well for me it is because I do not view Thanksgiving as just about the Pilgrims.  The Pilgrims had a feast because they had gratitude.  They were grateful for surviving.  They gave thanks to God.  

It is that same vein of gratitude, the gratefulness to God for all things, that girds my family's celebration of Thanksgiving. 2020 has been an especially tough year. It is difficult to set aside our grief and pain and yet the Apostle Paul writes "Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."1 Thessalonians 5:18.

My circumstances in 2020 in no way compares to the trials the Pilgrims endured. I have not endured a bitterly cold winter. I have had plenty to eat, and a roof over my head. I have grocery stores and during the summer fruit and vegetable stands. Yes, we've had a death in the family.  Yes, we've been in isolation.  Yes, Covid-19 has affected and impacted our lives but God has used and continues to use people and circumstances working in them and through them to care for us and meet our needs.

Being grateful to God opens our hearts.  It prepares our hearts to seek a deeper relationship with Him and it leads my family into a desire to set aside the world to examine our hearts and to re-focus on why we need a Savior. 


One way to prepare our hearts for December is to create the advent chain that we use.  Each chain has a Bible reading.  These readings are from both the Old and the New Testament and point to our need for a Savior and God's plan to "save His people from their sins." (Matt 1:21).  We create the Advent Chain in November to prepare our hearts for preparing in December.

November Monthly Challenge