Frost Fair on the Thames, with Old London Bridge in the distance, unknown artist, 1685
Frost Fair on the Thames, with Old London Bridge in the distance, unknown artist, 1685

We woke up this morning, with frost hanging all over the world.  The icy crystals glistened, determined to hang on for as long as they could.

The world woke up in rancor and division over the election results.  My heart is not quiet.  Michael has been reassuring me, speaking into my heart, urging me to “do the work” of graciousness, to show honor, to be a light.

We sat down and did devotions with our children about graciousness, love, kindness, and respect.

Do the work.  Do the work now.  Fight for joy.

I’m in a season where it’s difficult to fight for joy.  I will awake angry some days. And it won’t take me long to become angry on other days.  I know the why’s and wherefore’s of my anger.  It is a sinful desire to control my environment, an environment ripe with uncertainty, ups, downs, changes, and challenges.  I become more focused on having control in one (or ANY) area of my life to the point that it is damaging my relationships with my kids and my husband.  It’s sinful, and I feel full contrition over this.

I long to see beauty and goodness again.  That is who I usually am—a person who delights in little leaves of grass, who cheers at the sight of rosemary sprinkled on biscuits, who basks in a freshly squeezed lemon, who laughs with giddy delight at musical phrases, and who rejoices in a word used aptly.

Joy and thankfulness go hand in hand, don’t they?

So I’m doing the work.  I’m fighting for it.

Naming the things I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful for frost on strawberry leaves.  frost, do the work of thankfulness, joy, late fall strawberry leaves, lemon thyme in winter, frost on landscaping, gardening, Minnesota autumns

For days when I can see my breath but still walk outside barefoot.  For children who declare their thankfulness for dress-up pants, spaceships that fly to the moon, shoes, and tractors.  And flaming dragons.  One always must remember to be thankful for those.

Stepping outdoors, I can hear the wind whispering.  I feel the breath of this world.  I hear the music of the city, the moaning and groaning of a world grown large and filled with pain.    A few houses behind us, I listen to the symphony of a world brought to our world, a new language learned, but customs kept.

And I can breathe again.  This hurting world.  It is a gift.  Even in the midst of anguish and uncertainty.  It is a gift.

And after my soul has been filled with appreciation for the life I have to live, I can go back inside and face the day.

And do the work.  Where I am.  Graciousness, kindness, love, respect.  Over and over and over again.

Lord help me.

What are you most thankful for today? 

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