Monday, November 23, 2009

Thank you

by Jenni

My son’s first Thanksgiving was 13 years ago. My husband, Paul, was in North Dakota (where we had lived for two years) while I back in Minneapolis for a new job. Our entire family had driven through very cold, snowy weather to have our first Thanksgiving dinner with Paul who wasn’t able to join us in the cities. Because there were so many people, my husband had purchased a HUGE turkey. We still have the picture of our chubby two-month-old baby next to the 23-pound turkey. That Thanksgiving we started a tradition we still do today: For our meal-time prayer, everyone went around the table and shared one thing they were thankful for that year (a lot of them had to do with the chubby baby at the table. He was the first grandchild on both sides).

We still say a prayer of thanks at the Thanksgiving dinner table, but in the 13 years since my son’s birth I have had to teach myself to say “thank you” to other people as well. We don’t realize how often we forget those two little words until you have a toddler watching you. It’s humbling the number of times I have been observed by a pair of bright blue or dark brown eyes when I ask my husband to get me something and don’t say “thank you.”

Since beginning my work in ministry, I have seen how important it is to send a short, hand-written thank you note. The first time I sent the notes (to my Vacation Bible School volunteers), I knew the notes had been received during the week because that Sunday, just about every person I sent a note to found me, gave me a hug and thanked me for the note. Now I try to make sure to send notes on a regular basis. I will even sent notes on a weird times to the Sunday School teachers. One Sunday is not enough to thank them for what they do all year!

When my husband and I went to Stillwater in October for our anniversary, I found a wonderful little paper shop on Main Street. I went in with one purpose: to leave with beautiful thank you cards. I found a beautiful set of deep purple note cards with silver foil on them. I haven’t had a chance to use them yet, but I’m thinking that Saturday, when I’m avoiding the malls and digesting all of the food from the family visits on Thursday and Friday, I might have to pull out the cards and send people thank you notes.

More important, I want to make sure to say “thank you” to those people who mean a lot to me. And since I have the forum, I’d like to give a shout out to my own husband. Thank you Paul. Without you supporting me, I could not do this work. God called me, you support me.


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