Decisions & Discoveries, Diagnoses & Disasters

Dear Friends ~

For almost a week now, I've been writing this post in my head in that space of time between turning out the light and falling into a sound and blissful sleep.  But I've also been recovering from the flu which entitled me to serious couch potato time, endless Downton Abbey re-runs, major napping, and the finishing of books #51 - 54 in between coughing and excessive tissue usage.

In these early days of recovery, I've been expending my energy on what matters most ... visits with my sister and my mom, setting up meetings with clients, and shopping for the fixin's for what will be a very sparsely populated Thanksgiving dinner.

There'll just be just three of us this year, which will be easy to manage, delightfully quiet, soothing to the soul ... and probably tinged with a bit of melancholy and yearning.  For it was just three years ago that the whole family was left stunned and numb with grief at the sudden deaths of my dad and my grandson in the months right before the holidays.

Those memories have come calling again quite a bit in recent weeks.  Holidays seem to have that power to intensify even the most distant recall of events that turned our private worlds upside down ... in ways most lovely or traumatic.  The month, the date, the sights, the scents, the rituals, the music, the sounds, the photos have the power to take us back to another time with an almost alarming clarity.

It was the Thanksgiving where we huddled in the frigid air outside, gathered around the fire pit, toasting up s'mores instead of sitting around the table after dinner sharing what we were most thankful for.  We had decided we weren't going to let the floodgates open ... so we lit up the fire instead and just about froze to death.

And we made merry.  Which was exactly what we needed to indulge in right about then.

I know this has been a hard year for many of you.  We've talked face to face or you've emailed me or you've shared a bit of what's happening in your lives online.

The truth is that the family drama and trauma stories that impact us most deeply often aren't ours to tell. 

So we're left holding the bag tightly, sharing sparse details if any, and tiptoeing through our own painful confusion, stunned and silenced, feeling very much alone.

Sometimes love means keeping our hearts wide open, our lips gently sealed, and our eyes looking heavenward.

Please know that those unsettling decisions, upending discoveries, scary diagnoses, and near-disasters that have hit you sideways and have left you raw and reeling are well known by the Holy One who loves you best.  He woos us to Himself, scooping us up from our self-imposed isolation, mourning our losses with us, bearing those overwhelming griefs and sorrows {Isaiah 53:4}.  For He loves our families in all our messiness even more than we do.

If you want to leave a non-detailed prayer request in the comments or simply scrawl please pray, I'll be glad to lift you up to The Comforter, The Miracle Worker, The Soul Lover.  And in the midst of all that's come flying at you, I hope you won't think I'm callous and cold-hearted if I wish you the loveliest of Thanksgivings.  

For it never fails to amaze me at the odd ways tender sadness and sparkling joy mingle, how the bittersweet ache and hearty laughter truly can go hand and hand ... and how the craziness of it all can kick off an onslaught of gratitude that we simply must speak outloud.

It's how He made us.

My love to you ~

* please share *

Here's Why You Might Want To Serve S'mores on Thanksgiving

When You're Looking at a Bittersweet Christmas

The Need to Fully Grieve-As-You-Go

After the turkey bones are done simmering in the soup pot and the leftovers are finally finished, I'll be back with a beautiful Art Journal giveaway!


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