Wednesday, November 27, 2013

all you need for a bright and beautiful thanksgiving

Tonight we danced by the tree.
I don't like to rush this week of thanks but we were all ready for the twinkling lights.  

The kids spent the afternoon examining each ornament and placing them in just the right spot.  Even the handmade ones with crumpled edges and holes and cracks...especially those...were lovingly hung. 

Since both kids are less than 4 feet tall you can imagine what the finished product looks like.  I managed to get a few shiny things placed up top but I didn't have the heart to move theirs around for the sake of an evenly-ornamented tree.  

Tonight when we turned off every light in the house the glowing tree looked perfect.  
Oliver stared as a soft grin stretched across his face - What do you 'fink' mommy? Isn't it beautiful?
Even when things are messy and uneven and have holes poked clear through them, the right light has a way of making it all beautiful.  So we take what we've been given and hold it in our hands like a treasure and find the perfect spot to put it on display.  We take extra time and care with the broken and battered pieces because we know they have a story to tell.  As difficult as it may be to look at them in their imperfect form we begin to see them as perhaps the most important part.

Tomorrow is thanks-giving.
There is the thanks 
and there is the giving.  
It's easy to remember that we should give thanks.  
We sometimes forget to thank for what has been given...all of it.

This year our family has been given 
happiness and heartbreak
delight and death
sacredness and sadness.
We have received shiny new treasures and had precious possessions crumpled and torn away right before our eyes.

In all things we give thanks.

For that which we asked for and that which we desperately hoped would pass us by.
When we see that every bit is meant as a gift,
our burdens become blessings
our hard places begin to make us soft
our weakness uncovers true strength
and the things that broke us apart actually bring us closer together.

When Lucy, in her princess nightgown, invited us all to dance - there by the tree - no one hesitated.

Daddy, you dance with Mommy.
Oliver, you dance with me.

With Frank Sinatra crooning in the background we wrapped arms around one another and danced in the lights illuminating our imperfect tree...our imperfect life.  With my faced pressed against the face of my beloved I watched the children spin and twirl and I couldn't stop smiling and quietly giving thanks...for every bit of joy and suffering that has led this family to this place.

This thanksgiving I pray that you will position every piece of your life in the light of the One who makes it all beautiful...who makes every gift a good one...and give Him thanks.