My favorite holiday of the year is Thanksgiving, hands down. I have loved it for as long as I can remember. I am sure it had something to do with the fact that it was my grandmother’s favorite holiday, as well. The influence she shed upon my days was significant; and the joy she exuded in the preparing and the loving on her family at this time of the year was one of the greatest comforts I have known.
I can remember watching her in those moments of preparation… the times when she was flour covered and smiling through the busy. She hummed. It was one of the most lovely sounds I can remember, but perhaps the magic of childhood was the filter I always saw through where she was concerned. The grace she sowed in our lives was more about her faith than any magic she could have conjured.
I can still see her hands, the ones that held babies and braided hair and served love. They were always gentle, always flitting about like a symphony conductor, and it mesmerized me. The aged hands of wisdom would cup cheeks with crinkly fingers and smile… the knowing smile of love and goodness that seemed to convey all the beauty her heart held for each of us.
And I miss her, especially at this time of the year, but she taught me how to turn a life sown in faith into a harvest of grace for others. Thanksgiving always reminded me of a culmination of that sowing and reaping when her family surrounded her and she beamed with a full heart.
She made it beautiful, the day we celebrate on the 4th Thursday of November because of her love, not because of her house or the extravagant food… though it was amazing. It was the art of gratefulness she served generously. Her house was as welcoming as her heart and her table always had room for a new seat. I have inherited her affinity for feeding others well… for gathering at the table together… because it was here that we build memories and we bridge the broken places in our lives.
Thanksgiving is often our heritage of faith.
It has been a long time since I have had the chance to sit at her Thanksgiving table, but the lessons I learned from her living life from a space of grace still captivate my heart and make me love this day of thanks even when I am missing the ones my heart loves.
It is hard to dig up joy when we are missing people. The older I get the more I see the importance of gathering up #gracemoments like my life depends on it.
Holiday traditions are all about remembering; keeping close in mind and heart those who have etched their space in our timeline. Because even in the memories that make our hearts beat harder, still we are grateful for the days we had. Many are wading into this season of busy a little beaten and bruised, and many… all changed for the love that they lived with someone.. are remembering those that made our Thanksgiving Past a gift to count and store deep.
Much like her lessons on harvesting grace, the lessons on prevailing through the hard in prayer has surfaced this week. Today I spent a little time soaking up God’s Word, when I found an inspirational prayer by David in 1 Chronicles 29:10-13. It seemed fitting for this national day of giving thanks and prayer.
Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly and said, Be praised, adored, and thanked O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours: Yours is the kingdom, Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hands are power and might; in Your hands it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name and those attributes which that name denotes.
The more I thought about what I could share with you today, the more I realized that my heart … my passion… my purpose on this earth has always been to share His grace with you and to pray for those He sends my way. There is absolutely nothing I would love more than to pour grace right over you today, on this day of grateful remembering. Because sometimes the holidays are hard and sometimes they don’t feel joyful. But God is always good and in His goodness, He meets us and fills us up. There is always something to be grateful for and today, I am grateful for you.
For those who are lonely, broken, bruised, and in need of healing.
There is always grace for you.
For those who are tired, burned out, and empty.
There is always grace for you.
For those who are in abundance and for those who are in lack.
There is always grace for you.
I debated on whether or not to host the #GraceMoments Link Up today. It is a family day…a day to be with those who are right there in person deserving your attention. And I thought about why I open this space to you, at my virtual table each week… and I remembered why my Grandma always had extra chairs and food...just in case someone stopped by. Today, I want to invite you into this space of grace with a prayer for your Thanksgiving, a prayer for your heart, and as a reminder that there is always a place at my table for you, and dear friends. I am abundantly grateful that you are here.
A Prayer for a Thankful Heart
Heavenly Father… as we gather in homes and hearts around the tables together, let clasped hands and joined hearts be united in thankfulness. May the joy of gratefulness be poured out into the goblets of our hearts, spilling over with mercy. May the bread of His grace be broken and shared abundantly, multiplying as the loaves and fish of the willing servant who gave so much. May the remembering as we bow before you be for those who can’t be with us in person but are always near in spirit. May your Holy Spirit hover close over the thresholds and the hearthstone of every home who welcomes you in… eucharisteo…may we live thanks together. May each marked disciple bear love as they go, offering a cup of the water of grace you give unendingly, so that we thirst no more for the world’s harvest but instead extend a piece of the Kingdom quenching living water. May our words be seasoned salty sweet with grace and truth combined so that we would plant hope and harvest grace in our dialogue. May our thoughts words and deeds honor you alone. May the glory of self die on the fire of sacrificial giving and may the ashes of our productivity be the fertilizer for the seeds of your salvation that you are preparing to sow through our obedience. And may we bring a Spirit of Thanksgiving to every trestle of wood and nail dedicated to you, Lord, this sacred day of thanks. May every seat be a place of safe rest and every table an invitation to holy communion. May broken hearts be mended, parched souls be hydrated, empty vessels filled, and the lonely spaces occupy grace.
In Jesus Name.. Amen.
Praying for you as you gather the #gracemoments in all of your celebrations!
IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A GRACE COUNTER! SHARE YOUR GRACE MOMENT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND THEN COUNT GRACE WITH A FRIEND WITH COMMENT ON A BLOG OR TWO.
If you are a blogger, link up here with a post about finding grace moments in your life or one of your favorite inspiring and encouraging posts from this week. Share your thoughts in the comment section telling me about the #Grace Moments you experienced this week. *(only 1 post per link please)*
Take time to visit your neighbor next to you, and if you want visit a few more friends on the journey. We all need a little encouragement and affirmation as we travel together.
If you don’t have a blog, you can connect with me via my Journeys in Grace FB page by sharing a photo or a comment. Or you can join the party by sharing your images on Instagram with #Gracemoments hashtag.
Each week I will try visit as many of your amazing posts as I can.This is a safe place to sit and dwell in grace together, friends. I can’t wait to pour a cup of friendship with you and take in the grace moments you have to share. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I love to hear from you.