Happy Thanksgiving to You & Your Families!
I am thankful for you new friends. I know some of you but many of you are new to me this Thanksgiving. Your geography is vast- all over the world, which means turkey and cranberries and family may not be part of your day. But, whoever you are and wherever you are, I am grateful for you. Thank you for stopping by here the past few months. It is encouraging to know there are people reading. You are the new additions to my list of things to be thankful for this year. Consider yourself hugged.
We are a family of two Thanksgiving meals: lunch with my family and dinner with John’s. It is a full day, and we end up with very full tummies and many hugs. It is the love around both tables that makes the day.
Last year I posted this Thanksgiving note on my facebook page. It was our second Thanksgiving since John’s death.
“Two little things to share with you FB friends this Thanksgiving:
1. Last Thanksgiving I was holding my breath because it was the first year. This year I know how to breathe through the holidays. Holidays in year Two are easier simply because I know what this feels like now. I’ve sat alone at the Thanksgiving table before.
But, to let you in on a little secret: as alone as I appear, paradoxically, I am not alone. The life & hope Christ has brought inside of me is bigger than John’s death, and the comfort Christ gives me is bigger than oh-how-I-miss-him emotions.
2. And, as I made pies this morning I realized that now I celebrate Thanksgiving like one of the original pilgrims. Their first Thanksgiving was sobered by the reality that there were many losses at their celebration. They came to the table with broken hearts. Husbands, wives and children who should have been there celebrating God’s provision were not there. Death had taken them when there was still so much loving, living, learning, establishing, rejoicing, and working to do together.
Yet, like me, their losses didn’t overshadow their trust in God and the story He was choosing to write in their lives.
His love– abundant, personal, intimate & tender, yet also strengthening you like iron;
tucked into your heart and soul and mind wherever you are and wherever you go;
bolstering and buffering when life hits hard- is a love that exceeds any emptiness around my table or yours or theirs.
May your tables be filled with thanksgiving for His love that walks with us over oceans, through dark valleys, and long nights.”
And, those words ring true to me today. Again. Year Three feels older but familiar. The loss is still so fresh. The job of being mom even more daunting.
God is my only hope in this broken place, and I fix my heart and mind on this:
“‘The Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
And, so, I am praying for all of you today who are feeling weak, who have loss and brokenness around your table. Maybe it is a person you are missing; maybe it is a relationship that is broken; maybe it is disappointment; maybe it is hard news that you just can’t swallow; maybe it is the weight of all the things in the world that are so wrong. I don’t know. I just know that life can be raw.
May His love be your anchor and may His hope make you strong and brave.
And, may we rejoice too. Because life still has beauty. Life still has blessings. God generously tucks goodness and encouragement into every crevice of our lives and hearts. May we not lost sight of all the good He gives. We are loved and He shows us everyday. That is why it is good for us to have a day of Thanksgiving together.
May love be the main course wherever you are,