Good words for Thanksgiving

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"It is impossible to give thanks and simultaneously feel fear."

-Ann Voskamp 

"[The] dinner party is a true proclamation of the abundance of being--a rebuke to the thrifty little idolatries by which we lose sight of the lavish hand that made us. It is precisely because no one needs soup, fish, meat, salad, cheese, and dessert at one meal that we so badly need to sit down to them from time to time. It was largesse that made us all; we were not created to fast forever. The unnecessary is the the taproot of our being and the last key to the door of delight. Enter here, therefore, as a sovereign remedy for the narrowness of our minds and the stinginess of our souls, the formal dinner...the true convivium--the long Session that brings us nearly home."

-Robert Farrar Capon

"What will our final perspective be on all these hours? The hours of work, the hours of wealth, the idle hours, the hours of failure and self-doubt? Who stands up and divests themselves of this body of work? Who lets go of all these accomplishments, these so-called failures? Do we look back on the wealth acquired from the acquisition, the poems published and admired, the house built and sold, the land farmed and productive, or do we see the drama of the acquisition, the beauty in the act of writing itself, the happiness the house can contain, the love of the land and the sky that nourished it?...

It is the hidden in our work that always holds the treasure. A life dedicated to the goodness in work is a life making visible all the rich invisible seams of existence hidden from others. Good work is a grateful surprise."

-David Whyte,

"Thanks be to Thee, Jesu Christ, For the many gifts Thou has bestowed on me, Each day and night, each sea and land, Each weather fair, each calm, each wild.

I am giving Thee worship with my whole life, I am giving Thee assent with my whole power, I am giving Thee praise with my whole tongue, I am giving Thee honour with my whole utterance.

I am giving Thee reverence with my whole understanding, I am giving Thee offering with my whole thought, I am giving Thee praise with my whole fervour, I am giving Thee humility in the blood of the Lamb.

I am giving Thee love with my whole devotion, I am giving Thee kneeling with my whole desire, I am giving Thee love with my whole heart, I am giving Thee affection with my whole sense; I am giving Thee existence with my whole mind, I am giving Thee my soul, O God of all gods."

-Taken from the Carmina Gadelica, by Esther De Waal

"You have survived the winter because you are, and were, and always will be very much loved," said the sun. "For that small place deep within you that remained unfrozen and open to mystery, that is where I have made my dwelling. And long, long before you felt my warmth surrounding you, you were being freed and formed from within in ways so deep and profound that you could not possibly know what was happening."

-Mary Fahy,

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end. Let the sons of Israel say: 'His love has no end. 'Let the sons of Aaron say: 'His love has no end.'

-Psalm 118 

Scrolls

by Brooks Haxton

So will I compass thine altar, O Lord: That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving. (Psalm 26)

Thine altar is to me this bathtub where my four-year-old twin girls tip back their heads. They close their eyes. I read their faces from above, in trust and fear, in holiness, heads tipped until the waterline has touched their hairlines, cautious. Look: their hair flows underwater like the scrolls unfurled in heaven.

-Brooks Haxton


Thankful Tuesday . . . Revived!

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It's been a long time since it was Thankful Tuesday around here, maybe an entire year. A friend recently told me she'd missed Thankful Tuesdays, which was a surprise to me, actually. I'd always thought Thankful Tuesdays were more a day I loved on the blog each week, and less something anyone else read. But the truth is: I've missed it too. It's much easier to be thankful throughout the week when you know you'll have to make a list on things on your blog in a couple of days. Also, I miss collecting my kids' thoughts and sweet moments throughout the week.

 

So I've decided to bring Thankful Tuesday back to life! Maybe not forever, but at least for this week.

 

Now, here are some lists of various things I'm thankful for. (Sometimes, I imagine myself making my Thankful Tuesday list in an idyllic world. In that world, I write my list by hand, with a fluffy pink pen. In bed. Drinking something steamy out of a delicate tea cup. So you can imagine that’s how I wrote this. I won't tell you what this process of list making actually looked like.)

  

What My Husband Did That Was Awesome

  1. Last Wednesday I felt SAD. And when I sent him sad texts about how lonely I was and how I missed my friends, he emailed a few of my friends who don't have kids and planned a brunch date for us this past Saturday. When he told me about his secret plan he said, "You know, you are the worst kind of extrovert. You think you don't need people and you actually do." I cried.

  2. He swept the floor before leaving for his week long work trip. On a Monday morning. When he needed to be packing.

What my 6 year old has been saying about my pregnancy

  1. Mom, did you know that when women are pregnant their bottoms grow too?

  2. Mom, are you sure you can sit on that chair? It might break because you've gotten bigger.

  3. Mom, did you know you moan every time you sit down in the car?

 

What my 3 year old has been saying when he and I are alone in the car

  1. Mommy, is there a store for motorcycles that sells motorcycle gloves and motorcycle helmets? And when I'm big can I go there?

 

Also, I'm thankful for, in no particular order:

  • My new Audible obsession. (Just finished and now listening to by Karen Swallow Prior. I feel like I'm doubling my reading but also kind of cheating. And I LOVE that.)

  • The smart, interesting, passionate, kind women in my life. The ones who encourage me, and check in on me, and pray for me.

  • My newfound passion for my 10 pm bedtime

  • My grandfather, Pawpaw, who passed away 2 1/2 years ago and whose birthday was yesterday. He remains one of the best people I've ever known.

  • How much my first grader wanted to make a movie with his friends. And that he actually made one! (Of course, it pretty much just consisted of him and his friends running around the playground swinging lightsabers at each other. But I'm excited for his vision and his willingness to make it happen.)

  • That Parks and Recreation is back!

  • That Octonauts is on Netflix

What about you, dear reader? What are you thankful for this fine Tuesday?