As we embark on the first planned hiatus from blogging in honor of 3 days spent with Superchick at her lovely abode for Thanksgiving (squee!! And yes, I know you are all wondering — what will she do with all these words if she doesn’t spill them here?? It is a good question and I will attempt to furnish you with contact information so you can send condolence cards to all the people who will get stuck listening to me during this break, who will not have the option of turning me off, like you do. And no, my family are not all raging alcoholics, why do you ask?), a few brief thoughts.
SNORT, you fell for that?? The last time I had anything to do with “brief” was… wow. Drawing a total blank.
The earth has been known to tilt on its axis around holidays. Have you observed this? In recent years, while having the opportunity to lead quite a few women from around the world in Bible studies, I have been struck that around this time of year, the prayer requests become eerily uniform: family drama. Sometimes there is active dysfunction, sometimes there is just normal selfishness that creeps up under stress, sometimes the prayers are simply for protection against all of the creative ways we have for messing up a good gift.
It is a wise thing to pray about.
This morning, while I was trying to figure out what to bring for Thanksgiving (Yes, I am aware that today is Tuesday on Thanksgiving week. It is the most stressful email I get all year, the one that asks us to tell the family women what we are bringing. Every year I am floored that people could possibly know what they are going to want to cook/eat a whole week in advance. So, yes, I did sign up to bring things, but I think I wrote things like “ehhhh, cakeish stuff? Maybe?” I am blessed with relatives who smile, nod, and don’t assign me things like “the turkey”) I got a call about something unrelated that sent me on a rather unproductive thought spiral.
You know how in the movies, riders of horses who don’t watch where they are going always seem to get knocked flat off their steeds by branches and cute girls and such? It was like that. How could I possibly go from happily planning how to make Italian meringues to heap onto roasted sweet potatoes (don’t get attached. I already abandoned the idea) to having a pit in my stomach thinking about an outbreak of sickness in another state, and in such a short amount of time?
So, in the spirit of learning from my own tumbles and falls, today is an exhortation: Stay on your horse.
Is your temptation to fret over how on earth you are going to pay for the upcoming festivities, to worry that actually, despite what you have always said, maybe you can outgive God, or that you might be too immature in your handling of money for God to take care of you? Stay on your horse.
Is your family’s health during the holidays something that is within your control? GET UP. Throw off the worry, turn to the Lord who does not even allow the tweety birds a bad day that He has not first ordained (will He forget you and your sweet baboos?). Come, come, beloved. Stay on your horse.
Do hurt feelings and old insecurities threaten your joy at family gatherings? Does it send you reeling, reacting when that same old story is told about you from when you were a kid (the one that is told every year, that you have hated ever since it happened)? Tighten your grip, and whatever you do, stay on your horse.
You are only knocked off when you take your sight off the Savior and let it rest on people, on yourself — both will disappoint you, but He never will. Your own picture in your mind of a perfect holiday will be foiled. So let it — if you have Jesus, you lack for nothing. You can laugh when the food burns, you can be gracious when your feelings are hurt, you can stay emotionally upright and refuse to cave to worry or fretfulness when the conversation turns to politics and pandemics and perambulators. Gird up those loins, girl. Gird up and ride on.