In the Thanks for…Nothing? retreat theme, you’ll find thoughts, ideas, recommended scriptures, activities, songs, and more which will help you learn to find blessings even in the most difficult of times. Feel free to use the ideas you need and leave the rest…or use them all. As always, if you have ideas to add, please comment in the comment section below the post or send an email to julie (at) lovingchristministries (dot) com.
THANKS FOR…NOTHING? NARRATIVE
Sometimes the path of life brings about such heart-wrenching situations that we wonder how we can be thankful. Instead of saying, “Thanks!”, our heart says “Thanks for NOTHING!”.
We wonder… why us, oh Lord?
Haven’t we been given enough challenges to face? Whatever grief you have to bear in this world, God wants you to know that you are not alone.
He is there for you… to comfort you and lift you up. He is there through your family and friends who support you in whatever ways they can. He is there through things that make you smile… a beautiful sunset, a hug, a snuggle from your pet, a song with lyrics that are speaking directly to you.
There is no time frame to say when those who grieve are ready to embrace God’s support. He remains faithful and is there right beside them waiting for that time where, instead of saying “Thanks for NOTHING!”, they can say “Thank you, Lord, for loving me through it all!”
THANKS FOR…NOTHING? SCRIPTURES
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Exodus 18:18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone.
Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
THANKS FOR…NOTHING? ICEBREAKERS
Group members list 10 facts about themselves on strips of paper and then put them in a container. The group leader selects them one at a time and reads the facts aloud. The other group members guess the person’s identity. See if you all have any common ground.
Tell Me About (In One Sentence):
Go around the group asking each person to answer a specific question (prepare a list of questions ahead of time, such as: Tell me about your family, Tell me about where you were born, etc.) using one sentence. Ask as many questions as you can with the time you have allotted for this activity.
THANKS FOR…NOTHING? RETREAT ACTIVITIES
Get in Order
1. Divide the women into two even teams.
2. Tell the women you are going to yell out something, such as shoe size, first name or height, and the entire group lines up in that order.
3. The women must work together to line up correctly. The first team to line up correctly wins the game.
Follow the instructions on the Christian Camp Pro site. Each player in this game is asked to tell what they would be and why if they were: a cartoon character, a food, a historical figure, a book character, etc.
THANKS FOR…NOTHING? SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- Have you ever said, or thought, “Thanks for NOTHING!”? If so, explain what you meant by that and how it made you feel.
- Do you feel guilty when you don’t feel thankful? Or, do you give yourself permission to feel that way when you think the situation deserves that attitude? Explain your answer.
- When you are able to turn your mindset around and find something positive in a completely negative situation, how does that affect your heart and the way you perceive other things going on in your life?
THANKS FOR…NOTHING? CRAFTS
Make the pens together as a group. Then, use this creation to journal your thoughts of finding thankfulness out of an ‘unthankful’ situation.
Share with the group if you feel led.
Provide canning jars (there are options with pretty designs on them), rolls of ribbon, decorate stickers, etc. Have the ladies decorate their jars with their own unique designs. They can take them home and use them to store things in them, such as change, cooking utensils, sewing accessories, etc.
THANKS FOR…NOTHING? SONG SUGGESTIONS
THANKS FOR…NOTHING? DOOR PRIZE IDEAS
THANKS FOR…NOTHING? CLOSING PRAYER:
Dear Lord, being able to share our time and our hearts with the ladies here has given us a sense of strength and hope. Strength to make it through the difficult times and hope for finding blessings during those challenging experiences. Even though we might sometimes think, “Thanks for NOTHING!”, we are truly thankful for you and the love you have for us. We will leave here holding on to the knowledge that, although life will continue to include hardships, your faithfulness will be our shield of protection. Amen.