On Thursday, we said thank you around the table.
We passed the big bowl with potatoes like mountain peaks. We passed the medium-sized bowl with its cranberry jewels. We passed the tiny, wooden bowl. Three times we passed that particular bowl, and three times we tipped in our little kernels of corn. With each kernel came a thank you.
I said thank you for friends, and books, and old maple trees. The little boy said thank you for toys. The bigger boy said thank you for Jesus.
And so we entered Advent on a tidal wave of gratitude, every thank you deeply meant.
But now it is so dark, and gratitude has slipped through my fingers.
Every good gift from this past year seems to have its tarnished edge, and I am weary. Weary of sifting good from bad, blessing from burden.
This old farmhouse is a promise fulfilled. We wandered, but He brought us home. But … the pipes leak, too many old maples were lost in a storm, and this is farming country – some days I can’t breathe for the manure in the air.
The baby is a good and perfect gift. Beautiful. Much loved. With her came depression. Two months of panic and tears. Now I tremble remembering those days and pray God, don’t let that darkness ever come back. And my heart is broken for all who live within that fog for years.
So many dreams are coming true, but they are being realized in dust and dirt and darkness. And some part of me knows the bigger story. It begins in a stable but ends with streets of gold.
There are no streets of gold in my neighborhood. There’s a diaper pail. A filthy chicken coop. Kitchen scraps left to rot.
But I am done with sifting.
Done trying to untangle the knots of good and bad, done naming one thing a gift, another a curse.
I am dust myself, but I breathe with God’s own breath, and I am using that breath to say thank you.
Thank you for all of it.
The mess. The smell. The compost under my nails, and the dishes in the sink.
I say thank you because our God has never despised the dirt, and he once wrapped himself in dust.
He is our God with dirt under his nails, and he is near.
God with us.
Joining you in thanking Him for everything…the good and the bad. Grateful to have been brought her to join you as you write through Advent season.
Beth, before I ever began writing this series I prayed God would draw the readers, those who could be blessed by whatever small words I’ve been given. I’m so glad you’re here. It makes me glad and grateful to consider that my prayer might have been answered in you.
That is a beautiful post! These are my favorite Advent reads! A subtitle reminder of who’s we are, and from where we have come! Thank you for your centering words! And thank you for the farmhouse! I love all it stands for!
Thank you, Jenn! I’m so glad you’re here, reading along. We’ve always struggled to capture this farmhouse dream of ours in words, but you understood from the beginning. And that is such an encouragement to us. We love you and are so grateful for you.
Thank you for the honesty, my friend, the holy darkness. And thank you too for the description of the kernels of corn tradition. My mother will love hearing that her tradition has spread to your farmhouse!
Summer, I couldn’t believe how well, how beautiful it worked. We had five young kids (the littlest two were napping!) at our Thanksgiving table, and every one was eager to join in and give thanks. Who would have thought that three tiny kernels of corn could have such power? It’s a beautiful tradition, and we will be coming back to it every year. Thank you so much, my friend.
Thank you for perspective Christie. Yes, we are dust indeed and I’m tired of naming them too. It is what it is and I must embrace all of it . . . the dust and dirt as well as the bright and shiny. Loving your thoughts this Advent.
Thank you, Shelly. It means so much to have you here.
You have articulated what I am swimming in lately … Thank you.
Yes, Kelli! You posted a few words on facebook yesterday (or the day before?). I’d already written and scheduled this post and all I could think was, oh wow, we are in the very same place.
So beautiful, Christie. Thank you.
Thank you, Katie. Love that you are here.
Yes Immanuel. God IS WITH US!
I’m trusting this on my NJ trip.
Lifting you up, Sue!
Oh, amen. Thank you, Christie, for remembering our dust. And celebrating it, too. Just like Jesus did.
(Have you read Kimberlee Conway Ireton’s beautiful, hilarious, deeply moving story of her PPD after the birth of twins? It’s called “Cracking Up” and it’s terrific.)
I have, Diana! Wonderful book.
Have you ever felt something so deeply you can barely put into words… because you just know people wouldn’t understand?
Well, you’ve managed to put words to my hearts’ cry. “Every good gift from this past year seems to have its tarnished edge, and I am weary. Weary of sifting good from bad, blessing from burden.”
Waiting and believing desperately that God is good and He is here. Immanuel, God with us!
Thank you for sharing so transparently.
I know that feeling well, Darlene. So glad you found the words for your experience here.