Sunshinelittleone's Blog

All about my love for the Lord

That was then…

on November 19, 2012

Preparing for Thanksgiving always leaves me with mixed emotions.  I am a nostalgic person and I long for days of my youth.  Sometimes I think my mind is paused in those moments.  I remember with distinct and profound preciseness the smell and sounds and feelings I had.  I remember the warmth of my grandmother’s tiny living room as we watched the parades.  Waiting with wide-eyed anticipation for Santa to round the corner, signifying the beginning of the most magical time of year…Christmas.

The house would begin to smell of turkey and boiled potatoes.  And without fail, a hungry dad or uncle would run to White Castle to tide us over until the feast my grandma had worked so tirelessly and seemingly effortlessly to make.

In my family we always dressed for holidays. My grandma would pull out her most glamorous red lipstick and her hair would have the freshness of a recent trip to the beauty parlor.  Perfume wafted through, as hair dryers whirred.  We all made it a big deal.  With great intention we prepared for Thanksgiving, together.  Christmas Eve and Day always followed this same pattern.

I miss that, miss with real and visceral ache.  I miss the planning and preparing and getting fancy.  I am grateful for those memories.  Celebrations are different now.   Not good or bad; just different.  The characters in my Thanksgiving story have changed.  We are a much lower key sort.  I am invited to be apart as a participant, as I used to be part as a planner. And that’s ok, change is good and as we know seasons change.  I still long for those together holidays.

Time wasn’t set, save to carve the Turkey.  We just all got together as soon as we could.  My dad worked for Ford Motor Company, and in those days, you got to leave early the day before a holiday.  So we would leave the eve of Thanksgiving to my grandparents 1700 square foot, one bathroom home.  Eight of us would clamor into this quaint and tidy abode, filling it to overflowing with people and love.  I miss that. We would sleep were we could, often the living room sofas for my little cousin and I.  No one seemed to care if it was crammed or uncomfortable, that was part of the charm of our time together….closeness. I am grateful for those times and the memories we made. Perhaps I have created in my mind a picture of near perfection.  I know it wasn’t.  A mid the joy there was pain and disagreement.  Not every holiday was cloaked in sweet, loving charm.  And there were times when the tension around the table was more evident than the feast.  But that made it all the more real.  And family is real.

The Lord designed us to be relational and to care deeply for our loved ones.  He created us with hearts and minds that remember and relish the days that make us who we are.  We are created by the Father, the Father who loves us abundantly and honestly and wholly.  He gives us moments of celebration to dig deep into His heart and look about us at the ones He has gifted us.  While I miss those who have gone before me, I am grateful beyond measure for those I share celebration with now.  I am grateful for my new family, the one with whom I am making precious new memories.  I am blessed.

So, I wax honest and heartfelt for the loved ones who celebrate this holiday season, Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the Lord.  I long to sit at the Lord’s Table and feast abundant with Jesus.  Until then I will be grateful to be a participant.  I will be grateful for a simpler celebration.  I will be grateful for the treasures that occupy the seats around a new table; the treasures who share with me this new season of life.

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