Mornings like this one are necessary after yesterdays like that one.
I love Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong. In fact, I’ve long since determined it my favorite holiday. I know, I know… but Christmaaaaas!! Yeah, yeah. Christmas is all well and good, and I certainly enjoy the warm and fuzzy time of year. But for me, Thanksgiving is the one holiday that is really about what it’s about: Family. Food. Wine. More wine. Left-over grazing. Did I say wine? Insert food coma here. Can’t complain.
However, as has long since been my struggle, I allow expectation to rob me of the beauty and relevance of real.
Essentially, I love Thanksgiving [and any holiday really] all 364 days prior to the actual day, and then I mourn the unrealized image built up and amplified by sweeping sentimentalism in my mind. Sometimes reality is jarring.
But more disappointing still is the abundance of imperfect joy I forfeit at the expense of elusive perfectionism.
Thankfully, I snapped out of it and Thanksgiving transpired exactly as it ought: our family gathered around one table eating until we couldn’t, followed by silly games accompanied by delirious laughter and playful family banter. And just when I’d finally decided it couldn’t get much better, I proceeded to watch as my meager expectations for the evening were vastly exceeded. I spent the latter half of the evening in the company of my parents and sister -digesting- and discussing theology, justice and biblical exegesis. I may as well have died and gone to introvert heaven.
Four hours of sleep later, I got up before dawn to drive home and go to work. Yes, please do revel in your 4-day weekend, as you should, I’ll be here… carry on.
But I’ve digressed.
I was on the road when dawn illuminated sweeping strokes of pastels in a cotton-candy sky above a fog-laden winter landscape to my right and to my left. The beauty of that fleeting moment was profoundly exquisite.
Such are the moments I remember why I’m a sunrise girl. I serve a God who is actively, tirelessly making all things new. All things. This includes me. My attitude, expectations, brokenness, great sadness, all of it. It is the great delight of my Father to grant his children the restoration inherent in new sunrises and new days that we might have just one more opportunity to embrace abundant joy that is our inheritance. Sometimes I think God brings the sun up again in the morning just in case I missed it yesterday. Did you forget to notice me yesterday? Alright, lets try this again…
I do not say it enough. Thank you.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this passage keeps me getting up in the morning. When I am certain I have done all I can to tarnish this gracious gift of life, he brings a new day, and it comes to me untarnished, full of promise and potential for new beginnings and renewed mercy. I think this passage is self-evidently ripe with promise, and yet, the more I return to it, the more I am moved by the distinct beauty of its placement: making its home most comfortably in the thick of grief and lament. Dead center. In fact, I don’t know that there is another book in the Scriptures so simultaneously depressing and hope-filled in the same breath. And that is why this daughter of a King will forever be chasing the sunrises of her Father.
Tomorrow’s freedom is today’s surrender.
So today, I surrender my expectations. My plans. My selfish script. And I will do it again tomorrow, and every day thereafter until the sun rises no more.