"My Table is Spread..."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

{the Morning of Noah's 2nd Birthday}

It is 11:54 pm. I have been editing Keith's family photos, trying (vainly) to get them edited before tomorrow and the onset of Thanksgiving festivities... knowing I will be away from my home and workstation until Sunday, and wanting him to have his session before then... But knowing it was a BIG wish. I told myself if I didn't get it done by 11:00, I needed to sign out and call it quits anyway, and GET PACKING. Because though we are only going two hours away, and only for three days, it is amazing how much stuff a toddler needs, right?!
And yet... here it is. It is 11:56 pm. I am still on the computer... finishing a few little tasks, playing around, procrastinating WORK of any kind, knowing I should either be wise with this time by A.) editing more photos or B.) packing, DANG IT!.... but.... I'm not. I started thinking about how I still haven't posted about Noah's birthday, and how his photos will sit unedited forEVER if I don't TRY to tackle them now... and I was suddenly on an unfocused spiral into "To Do List Hell", skimming over a lot of things, but completing NOTHING. Feeling unsettled and progressively more upset and stressed and overwhelmed and tired and stubborn and lazy.

Then I clicked my iTunes away from catchy, noisy music into my "quiet music" playlist... and my BYU choir Mack Wilberg version of "The Lord is My Shepard" began playing. I mostly let it play in the background, futzing about with Noah photos still, feeling complete discord, still... Until the heart-rending key change and the onset of the beautiful words,

"In the midst of affliction, my table is spread
with blessings unmeasured-- My cup runneth o'er.
With perfume and oil thou anointest my head.
Oh, what shall I ask of Thy providence more?
Oh, what shall I ask of Thy providence more?"

And oh how I needed to be reminded... How I needed these words, this music(I wish you could hear this music, at just this volume I now have it on, in my headphones. I wish you could HEAR it. Glorious!!) to remind me what tomorrow (today) is about... To soothe my frazzled spirit. To place me back in the eternal perspective. To nudge me back into gratitude for what I HAVE, and forget what I WANT and NEED and don't have done yet....

Because I surely AM in the midst of a few minor afflictions--- Noah is relentlessly sick with a cough/cold/fever, I am terribly overwhelmed by packing and clutter and mess and transition, we are in a financial dry spell that plagues me in the corners of my mind and heart, I have old tasks that seem to never get the opportunity to get done...

But in the midst of that, my table is spread. Literally, with the incredible bounty I get to be a part of tomorrow (today-- it is 12:12 now), and figuratively... Most importantly, FIGURATIVELY. I look at that simple little photo I managed to get edited and put at the top of this post, and it centers me and reminds me of all that I have---- My cup runneth o'er. My baby, my home, my husband, my creative passion, my family, my friends, my God, my health, my life.... The biggies. And the small things, too-- my pillow, music, text messaging, ELW, my camera, Oreos, that cupcake pincushion Lyn made me, aprons, surprises from New Mexico, chocolate chips, Netflix, polka dots, quilts, KatieMelGenBeezoStefSupport, Blogger, my sewing machine, work days, bedtime songs, Burt's Bees, frosting...

Oh what shall I ask of Thy providence more?

To bed. Tomorrow will take care of itself, and will be good. Will be abundantly good.
Happy Thanksgiving. I'm ready.


  1. Man. My inclination toward gratitude feels so puny all of a sudden. I need to re-center myself, and unfortunately in the crazy four days to come, I doubt that will happen. But thank you, Em, for letting me know in this post that it's possible, even "in the midst of affliction." Love you, can't wait to see you and Noah today, will miss Joe badly.

  2. Lovely post, my dear Emily...the holiday, like so many others, can get so lost in the gluttony and fun (NOT that anything's wrong with Thanksgiving feasts and family games!), but I find myself wishing we'd carried on the simple tradition we had when I was a child and there were less people around the table: go around and have each person say something they're thankful for. Thanks for reminding me of this....a perfect post to begin my Thanksgiving Day.

    And it was lovely to hear your voice yesterday. Thank you for keeping me up-to-date, and for trusting me for many years with those deep and wise thoughts of yours. I love the way you express are an inspiration, even though I know you don't always feel like it.

    See you this weekend, lovey!

  3. Love you and who you are Emily.

  4. Lovely post, Emily.

    Happy Thanksgiving to my friends so far away!!

  5. thanks for the party--we loved it!


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