Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November Sharing Time Theme

This month we get to focus on thanks (which is pretty perfect for November).  

President James E. Faust said, "A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness.  It is an expression of humility.  It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being."

I have found that having a thankful heart brings peace to my life.  When I no longer look for greener pastures somewhere else, but focus on the beauties all around me, I find joy and contentment right where I am.

Unfortunately, it is ridiculously easy to lose site of our many blessings during our day to day routines and to focus on any and every small hard thing.  I recently read a poem called "How Different" that says:

Some murmur when the sky is clear
And wholly bright to view,
If one small speck of dark appear
In their great heaven of blue.
And some with thankful love are filled,
If but one streak of light,
One ray of God's good mercy, gild
The darkness of their night.
It takes great effort to truly look for and see our blessings.  Even if we happen to be surrounded by them.  It's crazy to me how much more noticeable that one small speck is against all the blue.  

So, what steps can we take to keep our focus on the light?  What can we teach our children TO DO this month? 

President Monson teaches us that we must pray often to see our blessings.  President Eyring has spoken often about keeping a "book of remembrance" where we thoughtfully seek and record how the Lord has blessed us.  Sister Bonnie D. Parkin had a great idea, make a family blessing basket (either real or metaphorical) and before family prayer each night, go around the room remembering and recognizing your blessings.  All three of these relate to another great aphorism, "Use it or lose it!"  If we aren't exercising our blessing seeking muscles, they'll atrophy.  Luckily, all they need is a few good workouts!

One of my favorite things to do when preparing for a lesson is to read a few inspirational talks.  It gets my juices flowing and sometimes sends me off in a direction I hadn't anticipated (which always ends up being a good thing).  Here are two of my favorites on gratitude:

President Thomas S. Monson, "The Divine Gift of Gratitude"
Sister Bonnie D. Parkin, Gratitude: A Path to Happiness

This month we're adding a cloak to our armor of god guy.  We'll relate it to the months theme by talking about how Christ's unwavering love for us both prompts our gratitude and warms our hearts just like this cloak warms our bodies.

We're also working on this month's scripture.  I have two separate print outs because I did something a little bit different in our primary.  In the Sharing Time Outline it has a shortened version of the verse found in Mosiah.  While the shortened version makes more sense and relates better with this months theme, I don't like the idea of having the kids memorize only part of a scripture.  

Even with the rest added in, it isn't especially long and this way, they truly know one whole new scripture.  Just in case you'd like to use the shortened version, both are included in the download.

I hope you're feeling inspired about this months topic and are excited to share those feelings with your primary!  

Have a great month,

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