Happy Thanksgiving

Well, that was fun…

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…and made a lovely addition to our soup at supper last night. Our bacon-potato-carrot-hard-boiled-egg-soup-with-a-little-chicken-and-parsley. {Yum.}

My online friend Beth linked to the turkey platter idea and my children had fun putting it together while the broth ran over and burned on the stovetop and the babies yelled for food and I called for Ryan to come home from his office in the next room so I could survive the final moments of dinner prep.

Meanwhile, in other news, the twins have taken mess-making to a whole new level.

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And it’s no wonder my dryer was extra rattle-y. This is the handful my daughter had labelled “special stones” and put in her coat pocket. Most of the world would call it gravel.

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Yesterday was the traditional lunch exchange at my sons’ school, with Thanksgiving vacation beginning at noon and excitement riding high. The children always draw names and make a special lunch for a friend, in a decorated box. This year Aarick made a tire, in which the delicious foods he chose had plenty of space to spread themselves.

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Regan made a sheep, for a little classmate who loves the animals on her farm.

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And Kelly, who does not like being left out, made a snowman and swapped with another preschooler.

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In town people are commenting on my pregnancy, saying “How long yet?” “Three weeks,” I tell them, and then they say this word “Tiny” and it makes me want to kiss them even though it is not true. They don’t know what I looked like at the beginning of these nine months.

They also say “You have your hands full!” and “What are you having?”

“We’re having a surprise,” I say, and their eyes light up because it’s so exciting.

I wonder what it means to be thankful in the middle of a messy life. I am thankful, I think, but I am not always content. Are they the same thing? How do you love the life you have while working your bum off to make it a little better?

I don’t mean to make more money or to take nicer vacations. I mean to cook a special dinner, to have a kitchen floor that is reasonably clean (at this stage, sometimes a hopeless ideal), to raise children who know how to work hard and play well and clean things up.

There’s a quote I have lived by for months.

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“This is what it means to be an adult, I think: to make peace with the life you didn’t foresee, to see spiritual significance in the daily repeated tasks, and to find fulfillment in doing them well.” – Dorcas Smucker

Her words hold me to hope and purpose in an engrossing season when much other inspiration feels hard, deep, and inaccessible. My friend Wendy lettered it on a chalkboard for me, and I read it often so I will remember. The perfect parallels please the artist in me {to make, to see, to find}, and the truth of it gives me ballast.

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I am thankful that in this time of world chaos and upheaval on every level, I have the unmerited joy of a warm house and a spread table, with my smiling {or yelling} creative children gathered around me and a husband who treats me like his beautiful love even in late-term pregnancy. I am thankful for a handful of gravel, and grace for each day’s mistakes, and hope for tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


If you care to, I’d love to hear it right off the top of your head: What are three things you’re thankful for in this moment?

17 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving

  1. Happy thanksgiving to your family! Love that quote from dorcas! Definitely a challenge yet something I always strive to achieve…. the seeing the spiritual in the mundane repetitive daily stuff…. Bless you as you survive this stage….you’re doing great! And I personally feel being thankful is an antidote to discontentment yet I always find much room for improvement as well, so the journey of life goes….
    That turkey platter is on my to do list for this afternoons after-thanksgiving-dinner snacks….:)

  2. A mug of coffee
    Art playing with the kids upstairs
    My early bird slept in til 7:30 this morning
    Manheim Steamroller playing

    These 2 paragraphs of yours:

    I wonder what it means to be thankful in the middle of a messy life. I am thankful, I think, but I am not always content. Are they the same thing? How do you love the life you have while working your bum off to make it a little better?

    I don’t mean to make more money or to take nicer vacations. I mean to cook a special dinner, to have a kitchen floor that is reasonably clean (at this stage, sometimes a hopeless ideal), to raise children who know how to work hard and play well and clean things up.

    YES. When you figure it out, let me know. I wear crocs all the time in my house and therefore don’t have to feel the deplorable state of my kitchen floor. 🙂 Someday maybe I’ll make fancy dinners and keep a clean kitchen, but until then, enjoy the mess? I’m learning little by little (I think).

  3. My baby kicking away inside of me.
    A lovely day with family.
    Two beautiful, tired, and somewhat emotional 3 yr olds that I call mine.

  4. Cup of hot coffee
    A piece of fresh biscotti
    A warm fire

    So ready to hear your baby news. I will pray for much grace for you in these last weeks!

    That quote is still bouncing around in my head too! 🙂

  5. Thankful for
    1. People who barely know me and welcomed me into their home for thanksgiving vacation.
    2. Life without a car – especially the hike through the state park to school
    3. The creativeness of God in arranging that people representing three groups I am suspicious of minister to me.

  6. Right now my inner life feels–to use your words–“hard, deep, and inaccessible.” Thinking about simple joys drops hope onto this parched ground.

    I’m thankful for hot drinks on cold evenings, Christmas lights sparkling on my porch, and a lively family to enjoy.

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