The day begins, chilled kitchen in early morning, waiting for the ticking heat register on the baseboard to warm the room. And a little voice and a hand in mine and an excited, Come and see this. It’s beautiful.

I go, of course, and we peek through window blinds to see the glorious sun, rising on Thanksgiving Sunday.

I could see something pink in the cracks, and then I looked and saw it, and his eyes shine with his discovery, and the day begins with beauty.

It’s full, the day, with preparing food and church and sharing the table with friends. And somewhere in there, there’s a tiny little bit of not-so-thankful-ness.

It hurts to admit, but it starts when he doesn’t have time to carve the turkey when I ask and they don’t clean the basement as clean as I think they should and all these silly little things prick holes in my heart, and some of the thankful leaks away.

It’s silly, I know. So silly, but so human.

Mostly, though, the day is baptized in thankful grace. A beautiful, sun-begun and friendship-warmed day, and this is the honesty of it all. That nothing is perfect, no matter how good the turkey and stuffing and cranberries taste.

Day sinks into evening, and we end it with a long drive to return the oldest to school. I’m tired – we’re all tired – but there is something sweet about finishing this way. Everyone packed into the vehicle, snoozing or listening to music or playing a game on a device, and my husband and I mostly quiet in the front as the prairie rushes by.

IMG_2359 I see the moon outside my window, high and bright in a still-lit sky. I snap her photo quick, and my husband calls my eyes to the view on his side. Sun dogs, glowing beauty around the sinking sun, and he rolls down his window so I can snap them, too.

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We carry on, finishing the day the way it began, in glory. And all the little prickly bits are healed – they always are – by the grace of being together, imperfections and all.

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