Thankful Thursday #85


This week I’m thankful for…

  • Christmas Eve service
  • listening to my hubby read the Christmas story on Christmas morning
  • homemade fudge
  • time off with the hubby
  • walks on the river trail on frosty mornings
  • the smell of my Christmas tree
  • lasagna in the Crock Pot
  • sleeping in
  • a fresh haircut
  • warm clothes straight from the dryer
  • snow
  • the blog The Middlest Sister, which had me laughing out loud in obnoxious guffaws and snorts

Dreaming of Africa

It’s been an incredibly sad and somewhat scary week to be a teacher.  I haven’t been sleeping very much this week, three to four hours a night at the most.

Last night I slept soundly and dreamed that I returned to Uganda.  Uganda has been on my heart so much lately.  In truth Uganda and my children there have been on my heart since I stepped foot on the plane back to California last July.

I miss my beautiful Ugandan sons with such acuteness that often it’s a physical ache in my heart.

In my dream I was on an airplane descending through the clouds.  When the clouds cleared, I looked out my window and Uganda was spread out beneath me.  But the landscape wasn’t trees and dirt, it was a painting alive with color.  Blues and oranges and greens purples and pinks all teeming with life.

I recognized the artist of the painted land out my airplane window right away.  Somehow Tricia Kibler, the amazing artist who comes and teaches my little ones (including her son) art lessons every month, had managed to paint the whole of Africa.  I love that things like that seem completely ordinary in dreams.

The splendor of the painted landscape took my breath away and in my dream I began to cry.

My alarm clock woke me and I was surprised to find myself wiping real tears from my eyes.  I stood at my bedroom window watching the snow fall, the white world a transfixing juxtaposition to the vibrant Africa of my dream.

I sent Tricia a message telling her about my dream.

Last night I had a...

Little did I know that just minutes before I’d messaged her, she’d begun to dream up a painting of Africa for me.

This afternoon she brought me a Christmas present and when I unwrapped the painting, I cried for Africa for the second time in the day, this time not just for the beauty of my dream, but for the very real ways God sends assurance that I will return.  As Christmas draws near, I’m especially grateful to love a God who speaks to my broken places in such tangible ways.

Dreaming of Africa by Tricia Kibler
Dreaming of Africa by Tricia Kibler

Thankful Thursday #84

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

This week I’m thankful for…

  • snow
  • slumber parties
  • time with the hubby
  • making Sweetmilks for breakfast
  • the rogue tree that is growing in my backyard
  • the grandfather of a kindergarten student who gave all the teachers at my school heavy-duty staplers
  • writing winter poetry with my little ones
  • the brave faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary
  • the fact that all 30 of my little ones are safe and sound

Thankful Thursday #83

This week I’m thankful for…

  • crisp clear days when I can make the short drive to school with the top down and the seat warmers on high.  34 degrees out?  Pffft!  Perfect convertible weather!
  • my little one who sang Silent Night to the class.  She didn’t quite get all the words right, but frankly “holy infinity so tender and wild” is beautiful and profound
  • coffee with good friends
  • Christmas music in the morning
  • reading The Velveteen Rabbit to my class
  • the melted crayon Christmas tree batiks I made with my class and the parent volunteers who made painting with hot waxy cups of melted crayons with 30 first graders doable
  • the fact that I did not set the off the smoke detector when ironing the wax out of the batiks-that’s a Festivus miracle right there!
Here's one of my favorite Christmas tree batiks painted by one of my little ones.
Here’s one of my favorite Christmas tree batiks painted by one of my little ones.