Grace and gratitude belong together like heaven and earth.
Grace evokes gratitude like the voice an echo.
Gratitude follows grace as thunder follows lightening.” ~Barth
Back in the car and on the road tomorrow. This trip much-anticipated by me. It will be a short visit to celebrate Thanksgiving with the extended Hudson family. My brother-in-law loves the extra people gathered and they’ll put the extra leaves in the table where we’ll sit long past the meal is over. His wife, well, she’s more like a sister and best friend to me. She works her kitchen like mama did ours and I’m in the way in the kitchen anyway (always have been) but it’s okay. It’s who families are.
The cousins, all grown now, are around catching up and my aunt and mother-in-law mixing in with the conversations. Henry will sit with his mom. They are kindred souls. My aunt will wonder in the kitchen and tell stories of her grands and great-grand’s or stories from long ago. She laughs easy just like granny always did. She and mama were friends and she knows, she knows the loss there. It was just less than a year ago her husband passed. It won’t be the same but we’ll be together. For us and him.
I love this family. I am thankful for the peace that is in this house. Noise from children and loud talkers (mostly just me and Beki, the non-Hudsons) and laughter, always laughter, but peace that is in our hearts. It’s a gift and I will race to unwrap it and wear it as long as I can.
Henry and I will leave our men and some don’t understand this. Some feel that need to stay and spend the holiday with them and I get that. But we need our family now. I do. By the time November rolls around I am near desperate for it. For the solace of being in the middle of this crazy bunch. Words that don’t seem to fit together like noise and peace, solace and crazy but they do. It’s who we are and we know it.
One year Beki had 5 corn kernels on our plates and we went around the table giving thanks for 5 things. Last year it was a thanksgiving tree and we wrote something we gave thanks for and hung it on the tree. This day holds meaning beyond our family ties. Deep at our roots is this God who called us by name and wants us to name him as our provider and keeper and Lord. Before we can receive his blessings we must give thanks. Always give before receiving and it seems never enough to give to him. We can never out give God my father-in-law would say and no one could ever argue that.
Thanksgiving. A day that seems to be changing and maybe getting lost in the hurry to get to Christmas. But this is the day for me. The day that reminds me how rich I am in God’s goodness of grace and love.
“God gives grace and ours is to give thanks and in the midst of full days,
this is God’s unconditional demand: That we live thankful.” Ann Voskamp