My plans for “Thanksgiving” had loomed large before me this fall. Appointments with Specialists with the accompanying tests and procedures did little to alleviate the weakness that had become all too familiar.
How could I celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, and more importantly, how could I celebrate the gift of being thankful when I felt so worn down from a year of trials?
Into this questioning, I won a Giveaway over at The Merry Kettle and Quill, a site for encouragement and inspiration for bringing creativity into the everyday. The journal and washi tape arrived in my mail on a day when my energy was at an all-time low, having just finished yet another Doctor’s appointment. But it accomplished it’s intended purpose, as the small journal felt like a fire of longing as I held it.
I want to create, but I have no strength for making anything.
This little journal seemed to speak to me, to call out that it was ok not to have a grand scheme for creating. I thought I heard it say:
Just open me. Write a word.
And yet, I closed it tightly and left it staring up at me, as I rested from the weight of the day. Days passed and it still sat staring at me, where I had left it on the table with my other stacked journals. But something changed later that night.
My husband saw a small scrap of paper under my chair, and he reached down to see what it was. A single word had been cut out from a magazine for an evening of Art-Journaling several weeks ago before my strength had taken another plummet. It must have fallen and hidden itself there, just waiting for the right opportunity to join in the cry from the new journal.
Pick me up! I am a good word! Only one word to glue onto the page, listen to what I have to say!
And I knew where my Thanksgiving celebration needed to start. Simply, with just one word, glued into just one little journal, waiting to see what God would speak each day to me.
The word was “GIVING.” The simple act of giving thanks is all my Lord asks of me. And He will fill my moments of weakness with blessing as I lift my eyes to see all that has been given to me.
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Ephesians 1:16 NIV
Sitting with the journal spread open on my lap, some days the pages can venture a few flourishes. Other days my weak hands and shaky lap seem host to a page of scribbles and uneven letters.
I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart! Psalm 119:32 ESV
But always, the gift of giving thanks is returned to me with a lifting up of my heart and a whisper from my Lord:
Call to me. Just one little word. And I will show you all the beauty I have set around you.
And He has been making a way for us to connect with our family after all. In small ways that are still so meaningful, there have been phone calls, meet-ups at a restaurant, and times together with each one–ways that bring such joy to my heart.
Have you found a way to bring Thanksgiving home to your heart? I would love to hear about your traditions, old or new, in the comments below!
**Thank you to all who have prayed for my sister-in-law. Her surgery to remove the tumor went well, and the surgeon said there was no cancer in the underlying lymph nodes. Praise God for the good report! Prayers for her ongoing recovery are still very much appreciated.
May I pray with you today?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for knowing how much we need to give thanks. It is the essence of our heart, created by You, to give. But we can only give, as we first look up to You and give thanks, because everything we have, and everything we can share has only been given by You first of all. You are such a good, good Father to us. We are so blessed by the abundance of your presence in our lives. Help us to choose the simple way: to look up to You and say “Thank You,” in the moments of our day.
In the name of Your son, Jesus, the greatest gift of all,
A GIFT FOR YOU
And I am so very blessed to offer to you, all my readers, a gift for this coming Christmas Season. Two years ago, my friend Ifeoma Samuel invited me to join her in writing a special month-long celebration of Christmas Family Devotions. And this year, she has so graciously compiled them into a beautiful book for download. You will find 25 short Devotions that are easy to read with your family during Advent. There are enriching activities that you and your family can join in with, helping to bring the joy and meaning of this Season more clearly into your lives.
HE CAME TO US!
Christmas is God’s gift of grace to us. And I pray that the gift of this e-book would be another way to share in that grace together. I will be offering this book here, available for free download to you my readers during the months of November and December. I am so grateful for each one of you.
I am linking with: