Sunday, November 18, 2007
Does it seem to you that the holidays are just suddenly here? Maybe it's the warm stretch of weather we've enjoyed here in Michigan that has caught me off guard. How can Thanksgiving be in just a few days? The Mr. and I were running errands and driving past the mall we noticed the parking lot was packed to the curbs. It's begun, with or without us, the holiday rush.
With my gramma's decline over the last few months, I think we've been distracted as well. My sister usually hosts Thanksgiving at her home but this year my mom invited us to her house because of my gramma's presence there. I am determined that this will be a lovely fully celebrated holiday season. I will not be so distracted that this glorious time passes without its due attention.
I, for one, was grateful for the Christmas decorations in Target this weekend. I welcomed the reminder of all there is to enjoy and let the holiday spirit envelope me. I even put on the Charlie Brown Christmas CD for a little while. I had ulterior motives, but more on that in a future post. The Mr. picked up some pumpkin spice candles and we made a list of groceries needed for Thursday. We picked up the pork sausage that I will put in my stuffing. We are going to have Thanksgiving, beautiful and bountiful.
I have learned to celebrate on purpose. When daboyz were little it seemed that the holidays unfolded on their own, ready or not. Now they could easily sneak by with minimal fanfare. With two grown sons, two full time working parents, an elderly and failing gramma and my over-worked and tired parents there is something in the corners of my mind that says, "Just take it easy this year..."
No. I will not.
I will take it thankfully and joyfully and open-armed. I will fill my home with good-smelling food and pumpkin spice candles and be in awe of the sparkling lights at Wal-Mart. I'll listen to Christmas music a little bit early if that helps infuse my heart in the season's beauty.
I don't know where my gramma will spend Thanksgiving this year. My guess is that she will be in the hospital. I could think of this with sadness and grief. But I am not built for mourning. Doesn't the Word tell me that I grieve not like those without hope? She will be safe in the arms of Jesus on Thanksgiving and surrounded by a host of angels. She is just walking the last steps of a long journey. She is closer to pure joy than I am this year. In the foolishness of redemption, I am at peace with my gramma's life. She is loved better by Jehovah than I could love her, whether at home, in the hospital or finally and gloriously in heaven.
I have every reason to laugh and eat and look forward to the holidays. All the magic and goodness that promises to unfold in the coming days is only the shadow of all that awaits us. I will indeed embrace it all as my due inheritance. A small portion of my future. I will let God fill my soul, I will open wide my heart and hands with pleasure. I will not grieve but will rejoice.
Our days are indeed sacred.
Begin the celebration.
Nehemiah 8:11,12 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve. " Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.