We had a wonderful evening. Lots of laughter, brilliant conversation mixed with pure silliness, good food, and the warmth of being together. It was one of those times that leaves me feeling contented and satisfied.
This has been a hard year - well the past 5 months have been hard. Some days, it would be easy to concentrate on what's not quite right in our world. There is, at times, a deep sadness that engulfs Tim and me. But we remind each other that we have much for which to give thanks. And I remember that sometimes, according what David said in the Psalms, thanksgiving can be a sacrifice - it can cost something to be thankful. I'm so glad he wrote that. A few weeks ago the deep sadness came over me again. I drove down to the beach and took a walk along the shore. I noticed the stones lying there and began picking up some that appealed to me, in colour or shape. Soon I had a pocket full.
I brought them home wondering what I could do with them. And I thought of making a collection of things I was thankful for. I cut letters and words from old magazines and applied them to the rocks with ModPodge. Then I glued individual letters spelling out the names of the people who would sit around our table, and used them as place markers.
After dinner last night, I collected all the stones in a wooden dish and placed them on my coffee table. They are there as a visible reminder to give thanks, that no matter how tough the day might be, I can be thankful to God for something, for many things.
In the end, it's the people around my table who matter most, and those who are far away but part of my family. Love and family - I am richly blessed with these.