Blessings to all in this week of gathering, remembering, and giving thanks. My publisher asked that I write a couple of prayers for these coming days – one for Thanksgiving, and one for the stresses of complicated family dynamics at the holidays. This time of year can really push and press on family wounds for some. If this is your reality, I am praying extra gentleness and strength over you this week.
Everything is gift (from You!),
yet we become so used to
what we have and who we have
that entitlement and expectation
can film over our eyes.
So on this Thanksgiving,
we rub those eyes as long as it takes
to see with renewed clarity
the matchless, limitless abundance
that is your love toward us.
God, use this marked, single day to
embed in our hearts a
lifetime of daily praise.
Give us uplifted hearts
holding responsibility’s weight
to serve and love
with all we’ve been given.
And no token-giving.
We say Thank You, God, with all we are,
and promise to live our Thank You
with our lives, not only our words –
neither of which can encompass how
much gratitude we owe you.
When you’re struggling with family over the holidays….
Settle my stressed-out soul,
my ruminating mind,
my churning body
in this time of joining family.
For the “most wonderful time of the year”….
To really love them,
I must love them as they are.
You tell me it is not love, otherwise.
But the age old wounds
and present dysfunction
make me realize how tender
those pain points still are,
and I can crumble or armor up
at the lightest touch.
Can you help me, God,
to somehow make gentleness and grace
my guardrails this day?
To allow space for all the things
that have changed alongside the things
that have not?
Give me the integrity,
the courage to be who I am,
honoring the Youwithin me –
and each person under this roof.
To remember as much as I can
that in joining hands and hearts
we are united with you.
And today can be one step,
as you promise to be there
for every next one –
forward or backward.