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Thursday, November 28, 2019

An Empty Chair at the Table...

Thanksgiving... in the midst of grieving... a hard grace to find gratitude when our hearts feel such a keen loss.

We have worked on Thanksgiving menus right alongside the planning of Dad's Memorial service.

It would seem that there is no slowing down time, nor stopping the world's spinning... Thanksgiving came whether we wanted to celebrate or not... This morning dawned grey, cold and rainy... kind of matched our mood to be honest.

Dean and Lisa graciously offered up their lake place for the gathering and the house filled up fast.

It's a testament to this family that there were more smiles than tears today!  Poppy would have been proud... and eaten way too much turkey!

There is a healing in spending time together.  A deep gratitude for the love of family and the gift of sharing the heartache as well as the joy.

The smiles were genuine.  The peace settling sure and sweet.

A Thanksgiving without Poppy came too fast... the Empty Chair at our Thanksgiving table was a painful reminder of all we have lost this season.  And I know we are not alone.

A dear friend sent me the following Thanksgiving poem earlier today.  It makes the rounds on social media every year during this hallowed season, but this year it is especially poignant for us:

So many have lost loved ones and struggle hard with the missing and the grieving every single day.  Holidays can add a layer of hurt that compounds the pain a thousand-fold.

This simple prayer turns us back to the One who is able to comfort our hearts when nothing else can.

The Psalmist speaks it well and offers a hope to sustain our faith when our grief seems impossible to bear:

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
that I would see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

  Psalm 27:13-14

God just smacked me upside the head and reminded me that He is here with us in the land of the living... just waiting to reveal His goodness.  Yes, even in the midst of the grieving and the loss... He has never left us.

The giving of Thanks begins when we open our eyes to every good gift from His hands.  And today was a very, very good gift.

My Love,

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