Saturday, November 17, 2012

Leaves of Thanks

It was a really casual night.

We had pizza and I put on a shirt I may have worn three times this week. Not for whole days though. (The shirt wearing was in memoriam of an epic night last weekend, but that is for another post.)

Our best family moments are usually unplanned. They are squeezed in. Afterthoughts, based on what seems efficient at the time.

That's how the leaves started tonight. I thought, "Wait, we're all sitting here at the same time, with no school tomorrow so the kids can stay up a few minutes later. I can squeeze it in." So I acted. For fear of someone straying from the dinner table, I quickly grabbed the stack of leaves I bought at the craft store, pushed one thumb through the plastic wrapping, and seized three black Sharpies from my desk with the other hand. A quick rummage in a drawer produced a fourth. I spilled the leaves onto the table and passed out the pens. I said, "Hey, I have a little activity for us. Let's write what we're thankful for on these leaves, both sides, and then I will punch holes and string them up."

Well, here it is in photos. It was really quite fun. Every person was feverishly writing, not only because it was fun, but also because each of us suspected the other three people were hogging all the leaves. While I was tempted to divide them up evenly, like I said, it was a casual night and it just wasn't the time for counting.

But it was the time for laughing. My husband's first leaf said "jalapeno cheese bagels." When I said with a smile, "Hey, be SERIOUS," he said with hilarious intensity, "I AM!" And I knew he was indeed thankful for those bagels.

It was a beautiful time of gratitude.

My littlest guy's first thought was to list the fruits of the spirit on his leaves. (sigh.)

Um, this guy cracks us up everyday. Let's not discuss the footnote on leaf 4.

My girl had a giant, beautiful smile on her face the whole time, and I love everything she came up with.

My husband came up with everything near and dear to his heart. It was so sweet to see his simple passions written out. Good food. Good surf. The wild. Oh, and me (blush).

And as for me, well, no one else really cared about what I was writing because they were into their own leaves and they weren't the ones holding the camera. But. I was having my own moment with the Lord, wondering how I could fit Him and all He is to me on those leaves. I think many of them basically say the same thing. Love. Jesus. Freedom. Second chances. Immanuel (my favorite name of God). It brought a secret tear to my eye.

My first leaf below, by the way, says "adventure & change." That is a gratefulness in progress. That is a leaf I'm always striving to be thankful for. I want to be MORE thankful for the wild adventure that is my life and my walk with God. But I'm sometimes scared instead. It's a struggle to thank Him for a story when it is not yet finished being written. But it's still going on the leaf.

Have a great weekend.

I hope you find some leaves of thanks falling, settling all around you..



  1. Thankful for bloggers like you! This brought tears to my eyes - you and your family had such a beautiful, spontaneous time of worship.

    A few Novembers ago, I bought a pack of leaves and passed them out in our department and asked people to write what they were giving thanks for and posted them all on a board. It brightened the atmosphere in my little corner of a non-Christian, Fortune 500 company.

    Hmmm. Maybe time to do it again???

  2. I love this idea :) I'm going to have to remember this for when my little guy is old enough to write

  3. I love this idea. And I love this time of year. So THANKFUL my girl is old enough to grasp the concept of thanks....we might need to do this family activity!

  4. this is so amazing. i love it.
    i love that you are thankful for adventure. i feel the same way. :)

    i also love how wonderful this turned out. definitely the unplanned moments end up the best. probably because we have no expectations.

    what a great time for your family. i bet they remember this simple night forever. :)

  5. love this precious time yall got to neat and special!!! I just love your sweet fam. :) I would definitely include YOU on a "thankful leaf", friend!!! :)

  6. I love everything about this post. Your son's "p.s." cracked me up! I literally LOL'd at my desk just now. That's something my daughter's leaf might say. I think we're going to do this, too! Thank you for the idea! Happy Thanksgiving, Leslie!