November 23, 2007 at 2:18 am 3 comments

I closed our crimson front door to my family from Michigan about an hour ago.  As I was letting the warm water flow over my hands, washing dish after dish, I was thinking about what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. 

A week ago, looking out my front window, all I saw was red.  In our little patch of yard out front, stands a large, beautiful Japanese elm tree.  Seeings how it was our first Autumn in this house, we were stunned by the leaves of the Japanese elm.  They were the most gorgeous color, a deep red, outlined with a golden brown.  The tree was filled with lustrous indulgence for the eye, like looking at a sunset all day long. 

I had the idea to pick the leaves while they were there for the picking.  I decided to dry them in a book and use them as the finishing touch to my Thanksgiving dinner table.  So, this morning, waking up to a cold, snowy day, I carefully took the dried leaves out of the book and centered them in the middle of raffia bows tied on to blue napkins. 

I am thankful for my family.  The more we move around, the more thankful I am for my husband and for my children.  Home is where they are. 

I am thankful for our new place to live, our new church and for the kindness people have shown us in our new place, on the street, at the kids’ school, at Starbucks. 

I am thankful for my parents, who are pillars in my life; my father, steady and kind, my mother, funny and creative.  Around my dad I get the feeling that he is ready to slip me a twenty whenever I need it.  Today, he happily agreed to make his famous turkey gravey, commenting on our nice Kitchen Aid can openner.  My mom went behind us guietly, washing a dish, lifting out the trash.  I still go home sometimes to them, the trunk of my car filled with size 5T jeans, hooded sweatshirts, baby bottles, toys.  They welcome me and my tribe and I melt into their couch for a just a day or two, giving them the silent go ahead to fetch my girls apple juice, to give them baths, to put them to bed.

I am thankful for my grandmother, the only living grandparent between my husband and me.  I am thankful that at ninety years old, she has her hair curled by my mother, gets into the backseat of my parents’ car and drives for two hours to come and see the place that we are trying to make home for now, even though she tires easily and has throbbing forearms.

I am thankful for my sister, for the laughter we share.  I am thankful for the way that we, in adulthood, have fallen in to mutual friendship and respect, appreciating our differences and marvelling at the fact that we get to be sisters.

I am thankful that her husband and kids are willing to drive to spend the day with us.

I am thankful for old and new friendships.  I am thankful for people on-line that I have never met, but who have filled a place that needed filling in my heart.  I am thankful for friends from childhood, who know me intimately and still like me.

I am thankful for my third daughter, Polina, whose little life is the reason that we packed up our lives and moved back over the ocean.  I am thankful that we’ve seen such progress in her development lately.  I am thankful that she loves to give me open-mouthed wet kisses.

I am thankful for redemption.  I am thankful for my husband’s prayer tonight; his sentiments of thankfulness for Christ coming and living a perfect life, and dying in our stead.

And I am thankful for dried Japanese elm tree leaves, centered in raffia bows on blue napkins. 


Entry filed under: Christianity, Family.

Sick Christmas in three places

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. melissa  |  November 28, 2007 at 11:28 am

    I’m thankful for your KitchenAid ad in you note.:) Keep writing girl I so enjoy it. I’m also thankful that your holiday fest was good family time. I missed you and your sister last night. We had the craft night at church last night and last year I got to sit with you, your sister and your MI hair dresser. I think of you and your family offen. Take care and know that you are loved and being prayed for here in SWMI.

  • 2. oksana  |  December 10, 2007 at 2:52 am

    Hello,your article give me hope
    Sorry but my English not sooooooo .
    My Ultra sound come with result-baby will have Down sindrome but my blood test is good
    I dont know what to think
    I am also from Ukraine and now live in USA
    Thanks for your post
    Pray for us

  • 3. ukrainemom  |  December 10, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Congratulations Oksana! Please write back if you would like our email address. We would love to help you with this news!


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