Friday, August 21, 2009

Thankfulness revisited

I think I made my position on thankfulness pretty clear in this post. However, I've been having a lot more thoughts on this topic recently, partly triggered by these...
I love weddings. I've been in a lot of them, attended even more of them, and planned several of them (not the least of which was my own). I am a detail person, and I am asked a lot for wedding advice, which frequently snowballs into me being a wedding coordinator. I don't mind. I like doing it. For some, I am a consultant only (I don't attend the wedding). For some, I only attend the wedding (and just make sure everything goes smoothly that day). For others, I plan everything from the music to the decorations to directing the MC at the reception. I don't charge anything because, again, I enjoy doing it, and I believe God has given me this gift to bless others.

I love when a wedding shows the personality of the couple. If they are musicians, the music should be live and lovely. If they are artistic, the programs should showcase some of their talent. If they love horses, why not ride in on one (for an outdoor wedding of course)? You get the point. I've planned some where I love everything they choose and some where I am shocked by how different our taste is....there really is a lot of subjectivity in what is beautiful.

In planning something as intimate and life changing as a wedding, you get to know the couple (or family) well. I find that I come to respect them more or lose respect for them as we go along. There are challenges with almost every one. Sometimes it is a clash of personalities (family dynamics), sometimes it is a tight budget, and sometimes I am contacted at the last minute when things are just not going well and there is too much to do with too little time. Sometimes it is all of the above. Some couples care about every detail (um, that would be us), and some just want someone to make decisions for them and show up on the day. What the particular challenge is is not nearly as important as how they face it.

For as varied as the couples and styles of weddings are, there are equal number of variations on thankfulness. For some, after I've put in HOURS of work, it would be nice to at least get a card. I know I shouldn't expect anything, but I struggle with feeling I have been taken advantage of when someone doesn't even take the time to write a thank you. Sometimes, not even a thank you for the wedding gift (if it's someone I know personally). I know that it is not personal, but it still bugs me.

I thoroughly enjoyed the most recent wedding I planned. Not because everything was easy and smooth, but because the family was truly thankful, and gracious. The bride and her mother each sent me heartfelt cards of thanks, which was more than enough (especially since the bride did some free babysitting for me). However, the bride's mother came for a visit this week and brought me the salt and pepper shakers above and some dinner plates. They match my set of pottery that we use every day. The company that makes it is located in Maine, and she was there visiting her parents. She called my mom to get ideas of pieces I might need (a few of my dinner plates broke). This is one of the most thoughtful and personal gifts I have received. The card (and babysitting...because I really was thankful for that) really would have been enough, but I am humbled by their thoughtfulness. Thank you Bloomberg family. Helping you was a pleasure.

Weekend Thought ButtonFor more "weekend thoughts" visit Crystal's blog...

8 comments:

Christie said...

I can sympathize w/ you saying it's nice to have some indication of thanks. I realize that I should do things out the goodness of my own heart and not expect anything in return. But "thanks" is always nice!

Momma Roar said...

That is beautiful pottery - I'm sure the whole set is gorgeous!

I am someone who tries to remember to say thanks and send cards - but I've gotten worse with age...even though I don't take the time to always do it, it is in my heart. I guess you can probably gauge that from a person, sometimes...and sometimes not.

Have I said lately, how thankful I am for our friendship? ;-P Oh, and for the cowboys jersey and fabrics! Now, you just need to tell me what to do with them!!! :)

LifeAtTheCircus.com said...

Thankfulness is definitely something I wish to cultivate in my children. I used to be so much better about writing cards... I made it a priority...and I did well for awhile, but the third kid really tipped the scales for me. Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to let others know we are thankful. I want to model it for my kids as well.

Muthering Heights and Other Senseless Sensibility said...

Growing up, we were never taught to write thank you notes, so it has been a more recent practice that I've put in to place. I cant say that they're always timely, but better late than never...right?

Musicaljean said...

After spending so much time with my dad this summer, I have decided that a grateful spirit is the most beautiful thing to develop. He is the true personification of gratefulness, and it makes being with him, even in the worst of times, such a pleasure.

I enjoyed this post and the example of gratefulness.

joana ahn said...

i love that. i love when someone pulls off the perfect gift. i attempt to do it sometimes and when it actually works out it's awesome!

joana ahn said...

ps. what do you think of thank you phone calls or emails? in this day of modern technology does one have to write a card? i have recently had to think about that...

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Being a gracious receiver is important. Sometimes God means for us to allow others to serve us and take care of needs for us. we should be gracious and thankful for their service. I hope I demonstrate that to my own children...as we sit this week making Tricia write her thank yous...

Of course, on the flip side, being a generous giver even to an ungracious heart is truly only accomplished by the grace of God. Praying we can demonstrate His love that way in our family as well.

I know I have probably had times that I forgot a thank you or didn't seem appreciative because of my own selfishness, distracted by my life at the time...I hope the person doing for me has understood.

Love the pottery - it suits your style!