Taste and See

Today our Thanksgiving vacation started.  We are drinking deep the rest and comfort we find at my mother and father in laws’ house.  We woke up to the savory aroma of sausage and dark coffee.  The kids spilled out of their beds and still wrapped in jammies pulled up to the table to cover their lips in chocolate milk mustaches and sugar powdered donuts.  Coach man opens up the back door and lets the fresh fall air wash into the kitchen.  Our life is far from perfect.  We had many obstacles to overcome this fall and many more in front of us.  However for this divine first morning of Thanksgiving break we have all pushed pause.

Pause.

While I am now sitting upstairs in the family room watching Madagascar 3 with the kids, Toby resting nearby and me typing a few words out to you while my oldest kiddo sits snuggly by my side ….my heart is truly drinking deep.  In the last 24 hours I have read more books to my Shelby than I have in a week while she mixes up pretend strawberry milkshakes, I have let my mini princess Ainsley pick out and glue on “clicker nails” {aka press on nails}.  I have discussed in length every color of every feather Ainsley meticulously placed on her turkey craft at school, I have listened {truly listened} to my son Cade tell me in extreme detail all about Friday Turkey Art rotations at school {which included Indians, friends, thanksgiving turkey feathers and a P.E. game called ‘farmers vs. chickens’} I am reminded this refreshing moment all that I have to be thankful for.  Matter of fact, I was just sitting still enough to notice my wee Trotter nestled quietly in her Mamaw’s red rocker chair, the very one she sat in when she was little, looking through books.  We are all here.  We aren’t perfect.  We are in mismatched jammies, my hair is looking “tasseled” for lack of a better word, we are tired and definitely in need of this time away from ‘busy’.  But we are all here, and we are happy.

Today I have seen….thanksgiving.

Tomorrow we will eat all the things that make it Thanksgiving like butter basted turkey, squash casserole, savory stuffing, broccoli salad and pumpkin pie smothered in whip cream.  Tomorrow we will taste Thanksgiving.  We will circle together and we will receive the divine blessing of fellowship and abundance.

The combination of today’s seeing and tomorrow’s tasting is the blessing of God.  “Oh TASTE and SEE that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8

It is so natural to start and stop a thanksgiving heart right there…but if you look just before and just after there is so much more to that simple text…..

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.  This poor man {woman} cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.  The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.  {NOW THIS IS WHERE THE HEART OVERFLOWS; THIS IS WHERE A SEEKING HEART TASTES AND SEES THAT THE LORD IS GOOD  – It happens AFTER life hasn’t been so easy} Oh, TASTE and SEE that the Lord is good!  Blessed is the man {woman} who takes refuge in him!  Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!” Psalm 34:4-9

The truth about thanksgiving {real lasting heartfelt, people moving kind of thanksgiving} is when it comes out of an overflowed heart AFTER you have so deeply longed for the Lord, for provision, for blessing, for peace, for revelation.  The waiting, the longing, the pressure, the pressing…that is what produces the thanksgiving for little moments, for the ALL of every moment as they fall before your senses {tasting, seeing, feeling thanksgiving}.

Hannah’s thanksgiving is a favorite of mine.  Her heart spilt forth in praise only AFTER she had wept bitterly in her longing for a child.  Her waiting, her weeping produced her heart of thanksgiving both before and after the blessing.  Her desires were fully submitted and hungry for “tasting and seeing” the Lord glorified in her life.  “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.  Therefore I have lent him to the Lord.  As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.  My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord.  My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.  There is none holy like the Lord; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” {1 Samuel 1:27-28; 2:1-2}.  Her waiting, weeping, pressing, wondering and undeterred yielding to God and His plan revealed not only the meddle within her heart, but an extravagant thanksgiving of praise in the midst of her blessing from the Lord.  Oh what glory must have fallen down on her as she exalted the Lord in thanksgiving and praise!

Dear daughters that find themselves this Thanksgiving in the waiting, the bitter weeping, feeling deeply the pressing, the swirl of unknown and unanswered questions……..oh the cruelness of this world can cause us to drown in every sorrow that threatens to sweep us deep into the undertow of every darkness the enemy would only love to wrap our thoughts and emotions around.  Dear hearts Thanksgiving is going to be a fight.  I mean the kind of “taste and see” kind of thanksgiving.  The kind of thanksgiving that has eyes wide open to every sense that is feeling and experiencing life to its all – you know what I mean?!  I mean thanksgiving to the ALL of everything…

Life as it is lived truly is gritty, it’s hard.  Honestly it would be extremely easy for me to just be too tired even to find the “taste and see” moments of my thanksgiving weekend with family.  I could be too tired to hear about turkey crafts and go on imaginary bear hunts.  Or I could fight for thanksgiving.  Sweet daughters of God, keeping your heart firmly planted and diligent to “taste and see” that the Lord is good will be a fight.  Some will be as Hannah was and finding themselves in the middle of weeping bitterly in longing.  Some will be panged with the venom of hunger.  Some will be battling loneliness in a room full of people. Some will merely be fighting through their own cluttered mind to see clearly their precious babies standing right before them.  Fight on and keep your eyes open to thanksgiving.  To the ALL of thanksgiving…the beginning and the end.  Keep your senses open to the “tasting AND the seeing”.

Eat loads of turkey and dressing tomorrow – TASTE that the Lord is good.  Look around everywhere tomorrow – SEE that the Lord is good.  And above all cling to hope – give Thanksgiving for ALL of it.

“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.  This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.  When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive.  For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.  Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them.  For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it; the offspring of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall dwell in it.” Psalm 69:30-36

May your heart be full of the deepest gratitude and most fulfilling Thanksgiving!

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