One Thanksgiving I surprised our neighbors with a gift I called “Hope Rocks”. It included: a bag of rocks, a sharpie, and a glass bowl I could tell by their puzzled look I needed to explain. So I shared about our family’s outing the previous Thanksgiving when we exchanged formal dining for quad riding and a picnic in the desert- complete with turkey sandwiches and pumpkin pie. During our wilderness adventure I wanted to create a fun family activity to express our thankfulness. But what? As I pondered and prayed about what to do, the Lord brought to my mind the story of the Israelites trekking through the desert and the miracle Jordan River crossing.
“And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground. Joshua 4:20-22
That’s it! I thought.
“Gather rocks!” I directed.
Within a few minutes our family returned with their stone treasures and placed them in the center of our lawn chair circle. I handed each person a marker and asked them to write on their rocks what they were thankful for, share them with the group, and then place them in the bowl. Dad, mom, fire trucks, sunshine, baseball, Jesus and the police were a few “hope rocks” I remember.
After we returned home I placed our bowl of rocks on the kitchen table as a centerpiece. On days when I needed extra encouragement, I picked one up and remembered our circle of thanksgiving in the desert and hope returned.
The next time I saw our neighbors, they smiled and said, “Thanks! “Hope rocks!”
What are you thankful for? Consider starting a new tradition to express your gratitude and remember what God has done for you. Grab a rock and a marker and start writing!