Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, Nov 26 2010

Thanksgiving, unplugged

Thanksgiving week is always a mixed bag for most of us. We juggle household tasks, travel, work schedules, food preparation and other details in order to get the most use out of a few days available for visiting and sharing. Then we try to factor in things like family members who are ill or who have recently passed away. And sometimes we have the tension of being in the same room with people with whom we've had conflicts in the past. People who own businesses are conscious all week long of the weight of Black Friday. Movies premiere. Ski slopes open. In-laws sometimes vie for precious time with offspring who now have offspring of their own and are trying to please everyone with equal time on the holiday. Churches schedule big Thanksiving production numbers for choir members and preachers are expected to deliver sermons on giving thanks that don't bore long-time members of the congregation and yet don't offend visiting cousins from some other denomination. Let's throw in college football games, nervous pets meeting new people, flight delays due to blizzards, road trip delays due to blizzards, power outages halfway through turkey roasting and the dog stealing and eating the appetizers off the coffee table and then passing very ripe gas throughout the rest of the day's festivities. Is it any wonder we're unable to concentrate on giving thanks except for the seventeen-or-so seconds just before the passing of the mashed potatoes and gravy?

What I think I've decided is that it's all okay. We don't have to have a picture-perfect holiday in order to enjoy ourselves. Part of the experience is the realization that we're human and that we're sad, funny, stubborn, moody, forgetful, argumentative, lonely, too-loud, dyspeptic, sarcastic, shy, fearful and maybe even a little crazy at times. And we have a Creator who accepts us anyway. If that's not something to be thankful for this season, and to pass on to one another with love, I don't know what it. So, maybe you'll understand what I mean when I tell you that I hope you hear someone's old stories one-too-many-times this week or that you have someone in the family who is blessed with morning sickness this week or that you set a picture of someone at the table in the place where he or she used to sit. Part of the joy and the miracle is that we get through it all again and again and we remember it with sadness and joy, with anger and with laughter. And we're learning about the way God invites us us all to His table, no matter how wacky a human family we are.

posted at: 15:34 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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