I like to set a beautiful, Southern-Living worthy table for big days. I like to cook meals that look (and taste...mais oui!) like they might have come out of Gournet magazine. I like my house to look just right (though it rarely does...shhh...don't tell!) I like to really decorate for Christmas, as I pretend at least to myself, that the glitz matters--if only for a few weeks. These things make me happy.
But truth be told, they don't matter.
In my busy madness, I've tried to practice wide-eyed looking around. And I've been well rewarded with the sightings of things that matter considerably more than my fine china dinner or the number of Christmas lights that now adorn my house.
So here's what matters:
Squeezing one more person around the table, even if I had to get creative to do it. A new friend with no other place to be made our feast all the merrier.
Watching my husband smile his proud husband smile--because for all the hard work that he complained about, the day was one he loved.
Making one thing that someone has been looking forward to all year.
Waking up and realizing that I have so much to be thankful for, itty bitty things and ginormous things, that shape my world in unimaginable ways.
Saying thank-you to people who have really made a difference.
Watching a child, who doesn't know that much about church, feel excited to be a part of a community of faith. Watching a church, who hasn't had any kids in sometime, grin with sheer delight as a child lit the candles for the first time in years.
These are the things that matter. These are the things for which I am deeply thankful.
"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.