An honest prayer for Thanksgiving

As we move into the season in which we seek to pause and give thanks, to celebrate God’s provision with a bountiful feast, I want to offer a meditation and a prayer. {While I also seek to acknowledge how this season can become an occasion for #thanks-shaming. I.e. Why don’t I feel more grateful for all that I’ve been given? I wish I was as grateful as ___ seems to be, etc. If this feeling of thanks-shaming resonates with you, read more in my series about shame here.}

May I lift my gaze to what is good in my life, for even the darkest of nights can be illuminated by a tiny pinprick of light, like a star bursting through the black canvas of of a night sky.

May I have eyes to see the beauty around me, hidden though it may be.

May I use Thanksgiving as a time of focused practice in noticing what I’ve been given.

And in giving thanks, may I see those with whom I am asked to share my abundance. May I see the poor, the marginalized, the orphaned, the widowed, and the ones at my own table who are lonely and carrying sorrows in isolation. May I be generous and open-handed with all I’ve been given, as God has so generously been towards me. 

Five Minute “Friday”: share

It’s been a good week. Dare I say, even one of the *best* weeks of my life because of thrilling news: Crossway accepted my book proposal! I have been dreaming of writing a book since I was a girl who loved to get lost in the worlds (and words) of Anne of Green Gables, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Nancy Drew. It’s been a dream I have been afraid of naming, much less pursuing, until the last few years as my writing/blogging grew and so did my courage. But in June at The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference, God opened doors that led to a contact with one of Crossway’s acquisitions editors. He patiently walked me through the process of creating a book proposal over the last 5 months, and then he delivered the happy news of its acceptance on Thursday afternoon! Now my real work begins of *writing* the book … but I’ve never been more ready in my life. And you, dear readers, are a large part of my growing courage to venture so greatly. So thank you for your support, and for reading, and for your comments, and for your cheerleading all along the way. I am excited to have *you* on this journey with me!

Ok – now on to Five Minute Friday and today’s word: “share.”

****

2015/01/img_7822.jpg

She offers her homemade gift with eager hands and a shy smile. It’s a picture of me with her and her twin sister – “to help you feel better, Mommy!” [I’ve been sick in bed with strep since Thursday.] It is easy for her to share this – but ask her to share her favorite toy with her twin? How dare I suggest such a thing!

And isn’t that how it is for me, too? I am eager to share on my terms, in my way, with what I’m willing to give. When God asks me to share past the point of comfortable, well, now, I am not sure I am so excited about this whole concept. I can think of many reasons to hoard my resources. I feel entitled to “my” rights and “my” time and “my” things. But God is patient. He gently unfurls my clenched fist, reminds me that all that I have is a gift from him. He assures me that I can never out-give his ability to provide for me, his ability to generously restore any “loss” on my part. Even if it’s not a material restoration – it will be better. Treasures in heaven. And the joy that comes with giving beyond what duty requires.

***

Five Minute Friday is an online writing community who writes for five minutes on a given topic every Friday – unedited, simply for the joy of writing. Hosted by Kate Motaung here.