Hello Sonrise,

I grew up in a small town of no more than 8,000 people. We had a downtown that had a "main street", and a large millpond with a gazebo cozily placed next to an old Presbyterian Church with a bell tower that would chime on the hour. As I reflect on these treasured memories, I feel my heart yearning for that simplicity. As adults, our plates are loaded with responsibilities, deadlines, meetings, and a never-ending list of self-made expectations. How do we keep up? We tell ourselves that if we stop everything we keep running will unravel. One of the most helpful pieces of advice I've ever been given about battling anxiety is this: Practice Gratitude. When we live our lives in gratitude it shifts something tangibly in our lives.

As We Give Thanks:

1. We are reminded that all blessings come from God. (James 1:17)

2. We are reminded that God works all things out for the good of those who love him. (Rom. 8:28)

3. We are reminded that it is through Christ that "we can do all things'' (Phil. 4:13)

4. Our once weary hearts are "transformed by the renewing of our mind". (Rom. 12:2)

5. Lastly, it is important that we are not ignoring the difficulties, but we choose to enter the fray, hearts resting deep into the arms of Christ. He will maintain our course, and he will lead us safely across the stormy waters back into the boat, waters stilled and calm, leaving us in awe of his great power and care. (Matt. 14:22-33)

Simple joys are not just for children, they are for us too. In the same way the memories of old holidays warms my heart, I know I can allow the present to do the same by practicing gratitude. As you and your family come together at the end of your busy days, carve out time together to share in genuine gratitude. Before bed ask your children what was one thing that they were grateful for that day, and in turn share yours. I pray that each of us will experience a renewed body, mind, and spirit this November.

-Ms. Nix - Music Teacher