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First step into Gratitude

This is going to date me - but I can’t resist the illustration. When my kids were young, Veggie Tales ruled. Ya, that was back in the VHS days. One of my favorite episodes was titled: Madame Blueberry, released in 1998. The movie musical presented the “never enough” life of Madame Blueberry who exemplified our consumer-driven society well. She accumulated more and more stuff from her favorite store: Stuff-mart. Yet, she was never content no matter how much she purchased. There was still something more, something newer and better out there.

Within this animated drama are songs conveying the conflict and wisdom available for Madame Blueberry’s life. One of my favorites in that playlist is “The Thankfulness Song”. It’s a powerful reminder of how simple it is to find happiness. It’s quite ironic that our country considers the pursuit of happiness to be the goal. Wisdom would suggest the discovery of happiness to be a higher aim. In all honesty, happiness is an inside job. It begins by quieting our souls and counting our blessings. The first step into gratitude is a step deeper into heavenly happiness - joy.

As the Thanksgiving season unrolls before us, create a Thanksgiving moment for your family around the table.

  1. Prepare small slips of paper and a pen and bowl on your kitchen counter.

  2. Ask each family member to write one detail of life that they are grateful for.

  3. Place those thankful thoughts in the bowl.

  4. Around the table - share the thoughts and stop to ponder them.

  5. Ask everyone to notice how they feel when they have communicated gratitude and pondered it.

  6. Ask for descriptive words that convey what gratitude does in their soul.

  7. Holding hands - give thanks to God for each of these gifts and each one at the table.

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Positive Options!

Sandy Ohlman

Allendale Center Director


Healthy conversations with your teen: 


Blog Goal:The Talk With Your Teen blog encourages and equips Christian parents to have consistent, open, and meaningful conversations with their teenagers about relational and sexual health.


About us: This blog is hosted by The Joshua Center from Positive Options. The Joshua Center exists to mobilize the body of Christ to embody the Gospel as we build a culture of life in West Michigan.


Parenting teens can be challenging. We offer Biblically based social and sexual health workshops that help ground teens in God's truth and authority as they navigate a hypersexual and rapidly evolving culture focused on individualism and self-gratification. Talk with your Teen articles expand and build on these trainings by encouraging and equipping Christian parents to have ongoing conversations with their teens regarding sensitive cultural issues. For more information about our workshops, for both teens and their parents, please email

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