Give Thanks

For years, I have coveted over a platter that hangs in my friend’s kitchen.  Her young child’s precious handprint forms a turkey in the center with the words “Give Thanks” cascading over the top of the dish.


I have always loved that memento and vowed someday I would take my children to a “paint your own pottery” place to create the same platter with them.


Truth be told, I don’t have patience for paint your own pottery places.  Those places drain the life out of me.  There’s way too many color choices and way too many breakables lying about for my four year old to literally act like a bull in a china shop.  Therefore, my inability to make stupid decisions paired with my “You break it; you buy it” fear has kept me away.  I simply avoid the scene entirely and we find other ways to let our creative juices flow without shattering dishes along with our self-esteem.


Then, last week Allana, Emmalynn and I attended a birthday party at You Do the Dishes in New Tampa.  My girls were thrilled to paint a small figurine and begged me to paint more.  Finally, I felt the inspiration to paint a handprint turkey platter.  The timing was perfect.  The staff was so helpful and hands-on that my anxiety over perfectionism and colors was greatly reduced.


Ready to gobble up more fun, the girls were so excited to paint a dish for Mommy.  I couldn’t believe what angels sat before me.  Allana picked the colors without hesitation and Emmalynn avoided knocking over shelves of pottery.  Plus, the supportive staff helped make our handprint project a success.


A few days later, our turkey handprint platter was ready.  I couldn’t wait to see how it came out!  I finally possessed my own precious timeless piece to hang in my kitchen!


And then, my heart sank.  A large crack appeared down the center of the platter.  My precious turkey dish was now trash.


I began to feel sorry myself and whined about not having a turkey platter for Thanksgiving.  I had waited years for this dish and now it seemed I was the real turkey.


The owner explained that occasionally the heat in the kiln will causes pieces to crack and she reassured me I could make another at no additional cost.


Even though I could easily make another, could I replicate the whole experience?  Would my children be as willing and well-behaved as before?


Then, I realized how ridiculously shallow I sounded.  It’s just a dish.


I should be thankful that my children have hands to make turkey handprints.

I should be thankful that I can even afford to make this dish when other families lack food for their dishes.

I should be thankful that I have a car to drive to pottery place and a home for us and all our belongings.

I should be thankful that I have two healthy children and be grateful for every moment we spend together even when they drive my crazy.

I should be thankful for my health and my husband’s health.


From this experience, I was grateful for my cracked dish and the lesson in humility it gave me.  Like the dish, my life is not perfect but it’s full of many blessings.  So, for my husband, my two beautiful girls, the occasional cracked dish, the handprints and marker murals on walls and the many other messy blessings in my life…


I give thanks.


  1. kimert says:

    What a beautiful platter! And what an ever more lovely family memory. I love it. I am sorry it cracked in the kiln but your story of all you have to be thankful for makes up for so very much! Thanks for sharing this great story. Be blessed my friend! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

  2. jenny says:

    Oh my, I literally have tears running down my face! It’s a beautiful platter and a beautiful post. Good for you for seeing the lesson and being thankful for what really matters. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Amy at Never-True Tales says:

    Sometimes those moments come when everyone cooperates, it goes just as you imagined, and everything works beautifully. They’re so rare, I don’t blame you a bit for being disappointed in the outcome (of the cracked dish). But what a great story and reminder to be thankful!

  4. Jenny says:

    This is a wonderful post. I am a lot like you and would easily get caught up in the fact that it was ruined. I’m proud of you for noticing before it brought you down even more.

    Sometimes we all take what we have for granted and it’s times like this where we have to stop and wake up about what is really important.

    Thank you for sharing this story!

  5. Marie says:

    The platter is beautiful. I’m glad that you and the girls enjoyed the experience together. You are so right on about thankfulness. We have much to be grateful for.

  6. Tiffany says:

    Love pottery painting – It has become a favorite for my boys too. What a great reminder of how “cracked” we all are and how wonderful that you were able to step back and take yourself out of the moment to recognized that!

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