Weaving a New Familiar

I love the holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas! People that know me well know that one of my favorite things in the world to do is to flip my calendar from October 31st to November 1st! It’s like, at least in my head, the Hallelujah Chorus is being loudly sung and all is right in my little corner of the world. Flipping that calendar page is like the ushering in of all of the things I love the most this side of heaven in one pretty package ~ family, friends, and food!

I also love tradition! There is something so wonderful about the anticipation of things sweetly familiar. This season is filled with the familiar foods, familiar decorations, and my most favorite familiar ~ the people in our life. For many years, I have been blessed to host the holiday gatherings at my home. I absolutely adore the smells of the holidays: the turkey, ham, dressing, way too many sides to list, cinnamon rolls, and my kids most requested item – homemade buttermilk chess pie. I love looking out my kitchen window and seeing family arriving, knowing full well it is about to get loud and crowded and wonderfully busy in my home. The kind of busy that ironically enough, makes you slow down. Makes you pause and be thankful. Thankful for every filled chair around my table.

This year will be no different. I will be very thankful for every filled chair around my table. However, it will not be quite as familiar as so many years prior.

Last year we moved nine hours away from everything familiar. And around this same time, our oldest son moved 1,653 miles away from us after his college graduation to New York City. Shortly after that, this same kiddo proposed to his sweet girlfriend. They will be getting married December 18th and still on their honeymoon on Christmas day.

All of this hit me when I turned the calendar this year to November. Not in a bad way, at all. But in a way that all of the change over the last several months became a reality at once. Change that naturally comes with age and time. Change that teaches us to navigate a new familiar.

One of the phrases on my calendar as I flipped to November this year had these timely words:

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue. An everlasting vision of the ever-changing view. ~ Carole King

I paused as I read that, and then sighed deep. And cried. A cry of mixed emotion. One of a mama learning to let go of her firstborn son. While at the same time, being overwhelmingly grateful for answered prayer for this young woman we have prayed for since he was born, that we know was perfectly created for him.

I am mourning a little having to let go of what feels like has always been, all at the same time that I am embracing and completely excited about what is to come….my ever-changing view. A view that includes a changing location, new life stages, and new people to love!

If you think about it, though, this can be the most beautiful part of life. The tapestry of our life.

The way every thread has been woven together by God, perfectly intertwined with not only our own threads, but those of people that come and go in our life in different ways. This tapestry of life is meant to be living and organic and beautiful – never to just hang on a wall to simply be comforting only because it is familiar to us. No, the familiarity of this tapestry of our life has a purpose. It is meant to cover us when we feel alone, encourage us when we are down, rejoice with us when we are celebrating, and release us with grace when we are growing.

Am I sad my chairs around my table this year for the holidays will not be filled with my children’s grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins? Yes, I am. But, I am rejoicing in the chairs that will be filled this year! For Thanksgiving, my son and my future daughter-in-law will be here, along with her precious mama we will be meeting in person for the first time! And a couple of days later we will be adding our oldest daughter, husband, and grand-babies to the table!

We will take this changing season in our lives one holiday at a time and one thread of the tapestry with the ever-changing view at a time. And, I remain so very thankful to the Lord for the chairs that will be filled around my table as my family grows together to create one new beautiful tradition at a time!

 

{Originally written for http://www.sacredholidays.com blog on 11-23-16}

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