Levity, Laughter and Love

Whew. I opened my computer today and was greeted with powerful news. News of parents praying with fervor for terribly sick children. News of missing children. News of murders and fear and stress…

 

Powerful news.

 

It can take our breath away. It can cause our souls to be downcast. Beyond downcast. To not be able to breathe.

 

Thanksgiving falling in the midst of all of this?

 

Whew.

 

I leave tonight to go back to New Mexico to spend Thanksgiving with my Dad, going through some of my mother’s things. She will be there, and yet she is not there. Such a limbo this Dementia places upon us.

 

Still, 14 of us will gather for Thanksgiving and I know that we will laugh and we will shout and we will eat, and it will be good. Then we will look through things and remember so many memories of laughter and of good, and of trial as well.

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” – Tolkien

 

The laughter is all the stronger, and more healing, when there is mourning mixed. I know this to be true.

This morning I stumbled upon a couple things which brought some light, and some levity, to the powerful news. It made me realize how much I needed some levity, and maybe others do as well. I’m sure most of you will catch this video elsewhere, but I love it and want it here as well.

 

Laughter. I am so thankful for laughter. And music. Books, as well. Coloring books even.

 

Thanksgiving….gratitude for so many things. Even in the midst of peril and darkness, great gratitude for laughter and love.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:15-17

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Thanksgiving

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Our Thanksgiving Tree is beginning to fill out. We are writing one thing on each leaf, and they range from quieter dishwashers to our salvation. Family and the laughter of Maddie to jobs that provide meals and shelter.

While I have been writing much about Advent over the last few days, I do not want to miss Thanksgiving. I wanted to take the time to write about Advent with enough advance that we can be prepared before it begins, but I also do not want to simply skip over Thanksgiving.

This holiday is one of the best. One of the simplest and purest.

Thanks.

Gratitude.
Family and meals and sharing around a table.

There is of course drama in every family, I am sure. There are things we can find wrong with the holiday, and there are things we can find to complain about. But there is so much more we can find to be thankful for. I know tomorrow I will not have time to write, so I thought I would post my Thanksgiving post a little early.

Every year Thanksgiving heralds the beginning of slowing down for me. I know that it means Christmas is around the corner, and sometimes that can mean things are hectic because so much needs to be done, but instead Thanksgiving means the beginning of the a season of the mixture of memories and the making of memories.

I have been blessed with 40 plus years of Thanksgiving meals that were filled with wonderful food and great conversation. My mother knew how to prepare a meal in a way that stood out and heralded something grand. Thanksgiving stood out. The food was grand and the setting stated that it was special. We knew it was something different. We didn’t rush through the meal and we learned to enjoy the conversations.

Even though I cannot tell you all the specifics of the meals, I am thankful for the overall sense of family and of meaning that I have from all those years. Dad sent a picture today of the meal they are having, and I am thankful they are sitting down to a special table again with sister-in-law who will prepare a great meal even when Mom doesn’t understand what it is all about anymore.

I am thankful for special days that are marked out to remind us to take the time to be thankful. I am thankful for the traditions in our midst that train us to remind our children of all the things we have to be grateful for. I am thankful for the moments around the table where stories area shared and where we focus our attention on blessings rather than grievances.

I am thankful:

For family.

For laughter of children. For their giggles and their silliness. For their grins and their goofy jokes.

For my husband who sustains our home and provides a foundation that allows the goofiness and the giggles and the freedom to be silly, because we are not worried about where our meals come from or our shelter.

For my father who teaches us through his example and love what it means to love in faithfulness and sacrifice and generosity. And who taught me to love animals and outdoors.

For my mother who taught me to love table settings and china and proper forks and I promise we will use them again in our home when Maddie is a bit older.

For friends who are honest and willing to encourage and to challenge. Friends who are like-minded and enjoy enough to have fun with, but are different enough to surprise me with new things. To broaden my world.

For our church that provides fellowship that feeds our soul and nourishes us and encourages us and sustains us and builds us up and challenges us.

For our pastor and his wife who teach us in the Word and in prayer and in example and in friendship.

For a God who loves us and redeems us. Who creates with wonder and imagination and creativity and who delights in us and surprises us. Who is holy and yet gracious and merciful.

I am thankful.