Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving, Yes Please.

My camera broke today, so this photo is a reprint from almost one year ago. When it happened, I felt a little panicky at first, thinking of all the upcoming events and how much I delight in photographing them, not to mention the fact that they would not be recorded for all time in visual form. But then it was okay. Did you know that photographs are not the most important thing in the world? And neither is the act of taking them? It's true.

It's "The Big Weekend," starting tomorrow and we are in full swing here- even without the stores and travel and family gatherings. I love celebrating holidays, I truly do-- and more and more I love thinking through them and how they are so needed and good for us-- at least they can be. But they surely are a challenge, especially in this day and age, and even so far away from the hooplah that is American Holiday Time, it is a challenge and a discipline to enter into these celebratory times with care. I've already been given a firm but kind little "talking to" and it helped me see how I was once again getting caught up in the doing and beginning to be a miserable person.

So tonight, while the Man was away and the kids huddled in for a movie since there is no school tomorrow, I chopped vegetables and made a pie crust and thought again, as I have these past several days, over how we have been so provided for. Even when it all throws me for a loop and I kind of spin with accepting all the change, I can see His faithful provision.

It has almost become in vogue to name the little things we are thankful for... physical tangibles like "eyelashes on cheeks" and "golden leaves in the wind" or the cup of tea we enjoyed, the dinner with friends, etc. And all these things are good to notice and call out. But when the physical does little to inspire you, the things unseen become that much more evident and sometimes even important- though it should always be so. I am an avid believer in soaking in the aesthetic beauty and goodness of the gifts God gives in physical ways, but we are spirit too- and when we are ministered to in our spirits, provided for, strengthened, pruned, and carried, I wonder if that means more than all the physical blessings we could count.

I've been reading a couple biographies on women who lived and survived the upheaval of China in the 1950's and 60's and you wonder how they could lift their heads through the ordeal at all, except that they were given strength in their inner being. And in Romans this morning it said that nothing... neither tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword, height, depth, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of Christ. It is intangible, untouchable, unswayed by any human form or physical reality.

So this Thanksgiving, I am thinking on the great provisions our family has received. Provisions that have little to do with home or food or clothing or the presence of others, though we daily give thanks for all those things. Each and every one of us are beneficients of the beauty around us- and we do well to name those things. Yet, when the beauty fades, He remains and therein is a provision that will never run dry. "Whoever drinks of the water that I give him will never be thirsty again," He told the perplexed little woman at the well. And I find myself often looking at him with that same confused stare, "Really? Is it really going to be enough? You are really going to be enough?... even without all these things I'm pretty sure I need in order not to thirst?"

And in small, baby steps, the answer is, Yes.

 I will thank him when the sun comes out and when the leaves fall like golden sprinkles and my baby kicks and we have enough to eat. But even more than all that I will thank Him that He is enough. That when I run absolutely dry and empty, He sustains me, He blesses me in the innermost places with peace and comfort. He reminds me of His goodness, He convicts me and restores me again, He leads me in right paths and restores needy soul.

May you be blessed in your acts of giving thanks this weekend.


  1. Christine - This was just the Thanksgiving post I needed to read. It's one thing to look around and be thankful. It's another to look up and be thankful despite what's around us. I wrote about this same thing today and linked back to you here - it's a little feature I do every Thursday in which I reach out to other bloggers in the High Calling network and write about what they are writing about. It was a pleasure to meet you today.

    I also have an interest in China. I traveled there last year, though I've never lived there. I am happy to have found your little home here!

  2. Hi Christine! I wandered over from Charity's place. Your post, in addition to being beautifully written, dared to ask questions that hit very close to home: "Really? Is it really going to be enough? You are really going to be enough?..." Being thankful, even when the beauty fades, sounds like the definition of faith: the evidence of things unseen. Happy Thanksgiving, Christine. Blessings to you.

  3. Christine, I also followed the path here from Charity's place. Your post was so touching. And bringing up the woman at the well, my hero, always grabs my attention. I love seeing that story from a fresh pair of eyes. You put into words that feeling - is He going to be enough? Thanking God the answer is "yes", even when I don't feel it. Thank you, Christine, for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!