Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Cornucopia of Thoughts For Thanksgiving

Recently, I was introduced to  BloomNation, and was inspired to share my Thanksgiving table decor.

I used a mix of dried hydrangeas and fresh roses along with pumpkins, candles and fresh pine sprigs.
Today it is fun to have a reason to show you the way the table is decorated at the Farmhouse.
You can read about this flower service at the end of this post. 
Thoughts for Thanksgiving:
There I stood, stunned, 
pondering the meaning of the text 
that had come through on my sister's phone. 
"I think she has died," read the text.
Quickly, my siblings and I began our network of communicating,
and yes, 
in fact,  it was true, 
without warning, 
my first sibling of nine, a sister,  was gone. 
These past few years have held deep heartaches, 
dark long silences,
feelings of despair
and hopelessness
 and death for our family. 
Since 2012, Philip and I have lost five precious family members. 
I've ached as Philip's grandmother adjusted to life
 after 75 years of marriage to his grandfather. 
I felt my heart twisting in agony as we received word that
my brother's son had taken his life.
We were stunned with the news that Philip's uncle,  
the strong one, the "party-maker" 
of our family celebrations,
had such a grim diagnosis, 
and three weeks later we told him goodbye.
And then, another brother's son, an avid bicyclist,
his first time in the mountains on a mountain bike, 
gone, quickly. 
And then my sister...
I've grieved as my nieces navigated their own difficulties
 now that both their parents are gone.
And life just goes on. 
There is much more. 
 There has been a lot of change and upheaval.
This isn't about pity or sympathy. 
who is living and breathing
is dealing with 
a hard wrestling story of life.
I see it in your eyes too, 

the longing for redemption,
for all wrong to be made right. 

In all the hard wrestling stories of life, 
we have a choice. 
A choice for thankfulness,
for thanksgiving.
My brother shared a story at my nephew's funeral
about a man who was struggling under the weight of a very heavy cross.
 It was gnarled and covered in thistles with rough bark
 making it difficult for his tired and aching hands to hold.
 As blisters began to form and his arms and legs trembled
while struggling to gain foot hold,
he tripped over the rocky path, and began to cry out,
"OH God! This is more than I can bear.
I can't go on.
 I've reached my limit.
I just can't take anymore."
Tears coursed down his cheeks.
His hair and body and clothes reeked with the toil of sweat.
God responded, 
"My son, I love you so much,
and just ahead you will find a little shed
under the shade of a large old oak tree.
 Stop there. Rest. Catch your breath.
Inhale the cool breezes. 
Inside the shed you will find many crosses.
You can trade your cross for one of those. "
With relief,
he reached the cool shade of the old oak tree.
Finding the door to the shed partially open,
 he wedged his worn and sweaty body
 into the small structure which held the other crosses.
 As his weary eyes adjusted to the darkness after the piercing sun,
 he was aghast to realize that those crosses for which he could trade,
 were much larger,
with grotesque and unbalanced shapes
and razor sharp bark and thistles.
In fact,  after looking them over,
he couldn't find a single one,
 for which he was willing to trade.

Actually, he felt his heart strengthen
and as cool breezes fluttered the leaves making the shade of the old oak tree, 
yes,  thankful for HIS cross. 
The other crosses looked absolutely
Though his cross was still heavy and the way was still difficult,
he chose to keep his cross.
It even looked slightly beautiful compared to the others, if he held his head at just the right angle while slightly squinting his eyes.
With a heart filled with thankfulness
 he thought, 
"I don't think it's quite as heavy anymore. "
So onward he trudged, faithfully keeping and carrying his very own cross.

I believe joy is a choice.
Hope and faith, love and trust...
  ALL choices.
Choices from deep within
all birthed on the treacherous
path of thankfulness.
Our choices guide us.
In choosing thankfulness,
we become...
what we choose...
...Joy, Hope, Faith, Love, Trust

Today I choose thankfulness
the path that leads to
Joy, Hope, Faith, Love, Trust

YOU ALL mean so much to me.
I desire for each of you to have a
Happy Thanksgiving .
I hope you have one of your most glorious days ever.

Founded in August 2011, BloomNation is a community marketplace for people to list and send unique bouquets from local florists across the county. Whether you are looking for a traditional bouquet of roses or a one of a kind design,  Bloom Nation let's you find and send the perfect floral sentiment from trusted florists in your area.