Shifting Graces and Thanksgiving
My Thanksgiving this year is not the traditional family feast gathered around a turkey and way too many side dishes. I will drive home from a hermitage (a tiny house designed to be a place of solitude for prayer and rest and study) in Freemont, Ohio. Then one of my daughters, Emma, and I will make Lemon Champagne Risotto and eat our food in front of a fire. (She has requested the crackleflame logs.) This is different from the huge family feasts around my Gram’s table or the lovely, tradition-centered chaos we had at home when the three girls were little. Those times are gifts. Graces that have blessed my life. This new Thanksgiving is a grace too. At least one.
Life offers us so much - including twists and turns and new ways of being. It is natural and even important to grieve some of the changes. (I can’t call my Mom this year and remember together how amazing my grandmother’s coleslaw was. Some of you, too, are grieving.) Other changes offer new possibilities and shimmery gifts, if we would but be willing to look with new eyes.
I intend to settle into the gift of quiet: a chance to breathe and just be, time to really listen to the Spirit of the Living God in some extended conversation. And on top of that - my cup runneth over! - I get time alone with this precious daughter whom I adore. This risotto recipe she found is really good too. :)
Whatever shape this holiday holds for you, whatever it offers, whatever grief or hardship or grace is present - may we take real time to be grateful. Let us give thanks to the LORD our God, and let us take time to be specific and make the list long. Thank God for the spiky orange flowers on the table and the way they remind me of my mom. Thank God for a daughter who brings her intelligence and compassion and passion for justice into every moment. Thank God for this new church family of which I am a part - for each of you is teaching me something - and for all the possibilities that are before us, for all the ways we have each other’s backs, for all the cake we get to eat.
I will stop writing now, but I am still making my list, taking the time to be thankful, to remember the myriad and breathtakingly precious gifts of my life. May God keep us ever thankful.