This past weekend I had the privilege of attending The Pen and The Page conference by Tricia Lott Williford at Glen Eyrie Conference center in Colorado Springs. My heart lives in Tennessee but my soul resides in Colorado. We were given instruction on the discipline of writing. We had ample time to write and were given prompts to get our pens moving.
This one I am trying to be brave to share here was "write about a table" :
"I remember the first Thanksgiving as a single mom of 8 kids. We laid our cream tablecloth on the table. It was the old, stained one that included the things we were most thankful for from each year in our family written in our own handwriting. I wanted to frantically search for all the things that Matt had written. I wanted to touch the tablecloth where his pen had written his words. The food was steaming. The turkey was cut, thanks to some strong-hearted girls. The cranberry sauce was a deep burgundy in the glass bowl almost looking Christmasy. The mashed potatoes were heaped in the bowl and ready for gravy. The glasses were taken up with sparkling grape juice.
And though there was not an empty seat at the table, it was there in all of our minds. My husband was not here. We all sat down in our places marked with homemade place markers. It was quiet. We were hungry but not as excited to eat this Thanksgiving meal. We wanted to be thankful but it hurt-deeply. There would be no Daddy giving his usual Thanksgiving speech.
The soft glow of the candles bringing dim light to my children's faces was beautiful but dull as the same time. The silverware was neatly placed on the cloth napkins. No one really wanted to pick them up. We spoke about things we were thankful for and we remembered their daddy. I prayed. It was relieving and painful. I couldn't tell if my stomach was growling or going to be sick. Someone spilled their water glass and then the moment was broken. We suddenly felt like we could eat the warm food waiting for us. It was the same green bean casserole, homemade rolls, and gravy but everything tasted like something was missing. Pretty soon before I knew it the kids began to rub their wet fingertips around the rims of their glasses which traditionally signifies the end of the feast. I couldn't help but wonder if Matt was feasting too...on the light and love surrounding him in Jesus' presence. I was thankful to be sitting there with my children--leading them and reminding them that we could still be thankful because His love endures forever."