The house was quiet and dark. I was the only one awake and I sat in front of an open window, waiting for the sun to rise. A journal rested on my lap and I wrote in it by the light of one small lamp.
It was Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving has always been a big deal in our house. Early on in our marriage, it became “our” holiday when we stayed home and family came to us. I loved to cook and my family grew to love the Thanksgiving dishes I prepared so much that I was met with a chorus of outrage if I even considered altering the menu. I always began preparation weeks in advance in order to be ready for the big day.
Not this time. As a weak, pale, dawn feebly made its way into the room I took inventory of my surroundings. The place was a wreck and I had not even begun to prepare the meal. I just did not want to do it. I did not want to cook a turkey or put the cloth on the table. I did not want to polish, dust, vaccum or sweep. Over and over I kept telling myself “Just put one foot in front of the other…”
My spirits sank further as I realized Thanksgiving was only the beginning because it ushered in the Christmas season. I could not bring myself to think of shopping for gifts. “Keep moving” I told myself, “Just keep moving…”
Increasingly, I was finding that my heart was in Haiti. I wanted to be with my girls. I found myself daydreaming about packing up all of us and just going to Haiti so we could all be together at last. Somewhere, deep in my soul, I told myself that if a family trip to Haiti is what it took for us to avoid spending another Christmas apart, that is what I would do.
I knew the reason I could not bring myself to prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas was that my heart was fighting like crazy against the idea of heading into another holiday season without my daughters.
I turned my heart towards the Comforter once more and in my journal penned this prayer:
This is the day you have ordained for me and I will rejoice and be glad in it. Forgive me for my complaining, unthankful spirit. I will count my blessings, sing praises to your name, love my family well, and do good work.
Thank you for your mercy, compassion and grace towards me. I am so thankful for the fellowship and comfort of your Spirit.
Sweet Jesus, without you where would I be?”
“You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”
*The photo above is of a sunrise baptism in Destin, FL.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos and writing on this site are the property of Sherri Gragg.