Hello, friends, happy last week of November to you. We are here at the farm taking deep breaths and settling into our coziest, happiest early winter vibes, having properly celebrated a full week of Thanksgiving. We feel deeply grateful. And full. Our hearts and our bellies are so very full. It hurts a little, but it’s ok.
Last week our gatherings were a delicious mix of romance and solitude, friends and family, and a dash of community outreach. We spent our days and evenings mostly together, and I loved it. Klaus’ brother Lincoln was also with us until Saturday, which greatly added to the holiday cheer.
We exercised gently when it felt good and we had the time. We ate endless feasts of our favorite traditional foods. We watched movies at home and napped shamelessly. We completed fun projects around the farm, had a couple of prayer meetings with precious friends, and started making big, happy plans for Christmas.
My parents hosted the local family on Friday evening. This year, none of our coastal siblings came to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving, and neither of my girls were with us (Jess was with her Dad’s family on Thursday, excited that her brother is in town from college, wahoo! Then she came down with strep throat, poor girl). We also are missing Grandpa Rex an awful lot. We could have focused on the people not with us, and in fact missing Jocelyn so acutely right now, I cried a lot on our drive to the City.
But somehow, the collective joy and laughter were powerful enough to drive out any sadness. I so appreciate this about my family. Everyone is so fun loving and light hearted, no matter what difficulty we are facing. Sometimes, I think, we are silly to spite what we are facing. And we have faced plenty over the years.
Mom, Angela, and I divided the menu, and I dare say conquered it. Three generations ate like kings and queens. Afterwards, everyone was able to fill their refrigerators with excellent leftovers.
We played board games after dinner, and thanks to some magical November weather, the kids played outside.
On Sunday, Handsome and I welcomed several close friends at the farm for a low-key Friends-giving. Two fine humans named Kellie and Mickey arrived early, rolled up their sleeves, and helped finish all the food prep while we all chatted about deep and joyful new things. I have to say, the four of us make an outstanding team, especially in the kitchen. It was lots of fun.
About nine adults total gathered and ate buffet style, snuggled up in our living room, where Handsome had built us a gorgeous, crackling fire. Everyone who joined us is in a very different life chapter, a mix of hard and beautiful, but we all have been friends for several years and care so much about each other. It was good to catch up in a quiet atmosphere and count our many blessings. Lots of laughter, again. Laughter prevails. Our faces hurt.
Along the way, truly every day this past week, we have felt that glowy warmth of genuine thankfulness. Gratitude for so many huge and tiny blessings. We feel God up close to us and surrounding us, too. He is pressing in, and we press back. Or maybe it’s the other way around?
What I know is that it is working, this ongoing effort to improve our perspective a little more each day. Widen our view. Count the blessings that are coming at us like a tidal wave. Love immeasurable and full of hope.
Plus, it’s finally Christmas lights season!!
Thanks for reading, friends. I hope your Thanksgiving Week was also filled with love and pleasures. I hope you feel miracles brewing again. I would love to hear all about it.
Check back in soon for slightly more analytical thoughts on gratitude, whether it actually has power to change things.
Over and out!