Love Leads (#SmallWonder Link-Up)

In the rush between dinner and dessert, in the harried press to Get-These-Kids-to-Bed, four-year-old Isaiah remembers.

Running through the house, he shouts, "Guys! We need to do our yeaves!"


Last Tuesday I cut contact paper into the shape of a large, barren tree and stuck it to the wood paneled wall in the living room.  Then we cut a bowl-full of leaves.  Every evening we each write what we’re thankful for on a leaf and stick it to the tree.  By Thanksgiving the tree will be full and green, vibrant. 


Isaiah doesn’t remind us to do our leaves because he’s so very grateful.  Most of his leaves proclaim anticipatory gratitude for the handcuffs he hopes to receive for Christmas (heaven help us).  He reminds us because after the note’s written, he gets to color his leaf and Isaiah is a big fan of coloring.  He’s been known to spend a whole afternoon coloring at the kitchen counter.  He loves it.

And his love leads us, even if it has nothing at all to do with gratitude. 

That’s the way love is. 

Love opens doors, makes way and helps us remember what we set out to do, who we wanted to be, when we ourselves have forgotten.  And if we don’t have enough love of our own, all we need to do is follow someone else’s, to sit for a while in the glow of their passion and delight. 

I don’t love coloring like Isaiah does, but his love for it cuts through the evening rush, spurs memory and reminded, we follow in its wake. 

Do you have special family practices for the season of Thanksgiving?  I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

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Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.

What if we chose to deliberately look for the small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God? 

That's my proposal - that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days.  

You're invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder.  Don't worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right - you're welcome to come as you are.  

While you're here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.  



  1. Kelly, what a beautiful & meaningful activity to do with children. Passing this one along for sure! Blessings!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Joanne. It's for me as much as it is for them!

  2. Thank you for sharing such a sweet family moment with us, Kelly!

    Yes, love truly does lead us.

    Have a blessed day...and month!

  3. I loved doing this when my boys were small -- except we used a bouquet of branches and tied the leaves to them. I still have a Thankgiving Journal that I started with the boys when they were younger, and every once in a while someone will still write in it in the month of November when I remember to haul it out. Sharing a spirit of gratitude is so crucial, and we have to be so intentional about it in this age of entitlement. Thanks, Kelly, for inspiring this trip down memory lane.

    1. That's a good idea, Michele - maybe we'll try that next year, but I think we'll need a BIG branch! I find it helps all of us if we change it up from year to year. Now, go find that journal!

  4. "Love opens doors." Amen. What a beautiful tradition of giving thanks on leaves....

  5. I enjoyed hearing about Isaiah's " anticipatory gratitude," even if it is for handcuffs : )
    Ah, to have child-like faith, to be thankful for things imagined and not yet seen.

  6. 'Love that Isaiah! The enthusiasm and wonder that children express DO lift our adult spirits. I appreciate the way you expressed it, Kelly: to follow their love and sit for a while in the glow of their passion and delight. Gratefully, Nancy (another Glory Writer)