We had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday. Quiet and peaceful, just the four of us here at home. We had invited some friends to share the meal with us, but all plans fell through, and in the end, that was okay.
I roasted a turkey for the first time ever, and it was delicious. The gravy also turned out perfectly, which pretty much never happens for me. Every component of the meal fell into place, and my only bit of stress came about Wednesday afternoon as I was working on the second pie (which stress resulted in me forgetting to put foil around the edges, and the crust getting burnt a little).
Next year, I’m only making one pie.
At dinner, the girls started sharing, unprompted, everything they are thankful for. Top of Gracie’s list were the homemade doughnuts we’d had for breakfast. The goof.
It was awfully precious to sit there and listen to them rattle off thanks … thankful for their new cousin, thankful for our new home, thankful for our old home, thankful for grandparents, thankful for each other, thankful for the ocean (“and tides!” Gracie clarified. “And REALLY BIG WAVES.”), finally winding up with Joy declaring she’s thankful for the whole world.
Well, really, how can you top that?
As I sat and listened, my chief thanks was that I was able to be thankful at all. I spent so many years numb, not able to be unhappy or happy, thankful or miserable, or anything at all except exhausted and overwhelmed, that to be able to sit with my family and really delight in them, and be utterly thankful for them, was so beautiful.
One question Christians are asked frequently – and it’s a valid question, a really good one – is that if God is so good, and so powerful, why did he allow evil to come into the world at all? There isn’t one simple answer for that. One facet of one possible answer, however, is that in a world where all is light, the light isn’t known; it’s taken for granted. But against the dark, we see the light, and we love it. The contrast makes it stand out so much brighter.
I had a really happy childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. And I’m just now starting to grasp why, possibly, God took me through so many years of darkness after I hit adulthood. Because the joy I have now at actually having joy again is so much richer, so much better, than the simple unthinking happiness I had back when I had known nothing else.
So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for thankfulness.
And I suppose, like Gracie, I’m also thankful for homemade doughnuts. They were really good.