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Character Matters
August 2010
Character Trait –Thankfulness:
Check It Out. – What Does It Matter? – How Does it Count?
Did You Overlook Anything?
It's that time again. Time to pull out your planner, your teacher notes from the past year, your homeschooling catalogs, and any resources you've already collected. Oh yes, and your Bible. It's time to get down to business and map out the next round of training in your home education.

I confess that I am an organizational junkie. It's not my fault. My mother spoon fed it into me as a child, sometimes shoving it down my throat over my objections. Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but organization does not come easily to a writer, nor to my personality type. Proof that God knows what He is doing when He puts families together.

Each year about this time, you would find me hunkered down in our den, surrounded by all the items described above. Along with my yearly checklist, calendar sheets, and index cards of ideas to consider for the next year. Yes, I was that organized.

Somehow in the midst of all this human effort, God would come onto the scene in a decidedly Proverbs 16 sort of way:

      •    The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

      •    All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

      •    Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

      •    A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Before I could make any progress in planning ahead, He would cause me to look back. Partly to see the progress we had made. Partly to develop a vital character trait – thankfulness. In the midst of your planning, be sure to take time to give thanks for the past year. If nothing else, at least you survived!

Thankfulness is a state of being, a force of habit, a lifestyle. It means to be full of thanks. That may seem obvious, but are we really thankFUL? Think of a glass so full that even the slightest nudge will cause it to slop over the edge. Despite the economic downturn and the pressures many of us are facing these days, we do have a lot to be thankful for.

It's a bit like the old adage, the glass is half full or half empty. Which are we focusing on? Thankfulness is actually a component of joy. If we are not experiencing joy, then we need to check our “glass” of thankfulness. Is it full and overflowing? If not, then we we need to make a conscious effort to fill it up. No better time than the present!
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Image Credit: © Vangelis Thomaidis -

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