To provide or give thanks. A really fabulous exercise. Especially when you are struggling some days to see all that is Blessing and Abundance.
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I have been having vivid dreams lately which I think is one of God’s way of speaking to me. At least I am quiet in my sleep, right? But last week I had one crazy dream about a craft project. Now, I know that is weird and does not fit the typical vision but I awoke feeling Anni and I should tackle it and with Anni having two weeks off from school (with one day notice to us…argh!) we have plenty of time around these parts.
Gratitude. Simple, yet needed. We made Thankful Trees. I am positive I ripped this off from my childhood or some faint memory of a Thanksgiving day craft involving turkey feathers but whatever, we loved it. I also have been reading through Exodus and have seen in new ways the importance of marking things, of remembering, of ceremony. That and living in a culture where these things are very important has given me more time to think about what we do and why we do it and how to help the girls remember all He has done in our family. After breakfast we quickly got to work. In my dream the trees were oak trees but when I started drawing a sketch to plan the project Anni announced “Mama that is not what trees look like.” Fair enough in her world trees are coconut trees. So that is how we rolled. Lusi joined us and we made quick work of filling the palm leaves with all we are thankful for; umeme (power), friends (near and far), shells, family, this journey, working together, beautiful colors, Mambo Ice Cream, creation, swimming, the playground, Anni’s bunk bed (ok that was totally her idea) to name a few.
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She came up with everything on her own and then for the past 2 days we have been adding to it. She is pretty impressed with our work as I catch her touching or staring at the trees at random points throughout the day. And if you come over you ARE going to see our trees with explanation in English or Kiswahili depending on your linguistic needs from one proud Annikah Joy. Our Miti ya Tunamshukuru Mungu (Trees of us thanking God) are now hanging in our front room and have already received some curious pokes from watoto and questions from friends. They are there as a reminder and a simple paper and marker memorial of how very grateful we are.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Great idea. Pretty too. We are all thankful for you and Anni.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Making thankful trees is something all of us could benefit from! You both did a great job!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Brilliant! Those are cute, happy, and great reminders. Maype I'll makes some too. After you gave me the idea of a gratitude journal in undergrad (I think that was your mom's idea, right?) I kept a gratitude journal religiously for like 7 years. You've inspired me to a lot of thankfulness over the years! Not sure when I decided to get lazy about it, but I think Im going to start again. Love you!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I just looked at these pictures again, and I just love Anni's long hair. She is such a doll. I miss her so!