One of Jay’s favorite books is The Giving Tree. He loves that book. He loved it as a kid. And he loves it now. So much so that he is giving Lilla a copy for Christmas.
The title of that book started ruminating around in my head a few weeks ago and morphed into an idea for a different kind of tree. Instead of a giving tree, what about a Thanksgiving tree?
I found some white craft paper in the back of a closet and sketched a tree out and then Lilla and I colored it in. We cut leaves in various harvesty colors. And we tacked it to a wall in our school room.
This is a picture of day one. As you can see, it is a work in progress.
Every night, we each write something we are thankful for on a leaf and tape it to the tree.
And what started out as just a fun craft to do with the kids has actually really helped me. It has helped me to slow down. Focus. Think about what I am thankful for.
I am not trying to squeeze my thankfulness in between other things. Between making lunch plates and sippy cups. Between diapers and hineys. Between discipline and dirty dishes.
Instead every night, I sit down for a few minutes and think about all the things I am thankful for.
And there is so much I am thankful for.
I am so thankful for my family. My dear husband, my children, my father and brother.
I am thankful Jay is feeling better. Not awesome. But a little better. And we will take what we can get.
I am thankful to have Lilla home with me all the time.
I am thankful for how great Bette is doing and all the progress she is making.
I am thankful that in my life, God is turning the bitter into sweet. That I feel different these days. Better. More joyful. Peaceful.
I am thankful I don’t have to cook this year for Thanksgiving.
I am thankful that the hardest things in life are often the greatest gifts.
I am so thankful we have clothes on our backs, a roof over our heads, and food in our fridge. God has given us so much, and I am thankful.
And I am thankful that God has put so much love – so much gracious, overflowing, unconditional love, from Him and others – in my life.
Lilla and I discussing what we are thankful for and making our leaves.