I hadn’t been in over a year. Goodness, that’s hard to believe.
My dad goes up there sometimes, and he always assures me that I’m welcome. But I’ve been so busy–same ol’ song and dance, you know. And well, it’s just not the same since my grandmother passed away.
When my grandmother was living, I’d go visit her as often as possible. And well, with my uncle living down the road, he was a package deal. My dad might come up sometimes, and I’d see him, too.
When my grandmother was ill, we three spent much time together, on her behalf. And well, I just got to missing those two something awful. I’d heard my uncle had been sick with pneumonia recently.
My uncle on the left, who spent all morning cooking for us,
and my dad on the right who’d spend all morning doing
Elvis impersonations if a knee weren’t bothering him.
He’s good, too.
I’ve learned to listen to that gentle nudging. I always know the Lord is speaking to my heart.
My dad tells me a date that’s good for him. We’ll all go out to eat, we plan. Make a day of it. My heart’s already leaping.
The day arrives, and we leave fairly early … the girls and I venture out to go the distance–2-1/2 hours there.
I call my dad when I’m an hour away, and he sounds like a little kid. He’s so excited to see us. “I can’t wait for y’all to get here,” he says.
I miss her road. Her Texas county road. I chastise myself for letting a year go by. How could I miss her road? I pull off and turn around, heading the right direction now.
And there’s her driveway. The long windy, sandy driveway trimmed with pines. Yeah. I played on that road a ton when I was a kid. My toes burrowed through that sand.
My heart pumps with ingrained excitement, as I turn onto her drive. In my younger days, that’s when I’d bring out the hairbrush and dab on a little make-up–prepare to see my family. Like I’d looked that way all along. Just my casual self.
Before I even get to the house, my dad is outside waiting, pacing. Just like my grandmother used to do. He’s holding a camera. The minute we step out, he says, “I want to get a picture of y’all.” I’ve never danced with my dad, but this moment was right up there. O Soul Within, he loves you.
We hug. He says my uncle is making dinner for us.
“But he’s been so sick,” I say.
“He really wanted to cook for you,” my dad says. O Soul Within, he loves you, too.
Noon finally arrives, and we head over to his Texas country house. I climb the steps and knock.
He’s cooking. Doing the shuffle throughout his kitchen, he’s made a Thanksgiving feast–a whole turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, some casserole, rolls, cherry pie. Like my grandmother used to do. Evidence covers the front of his shirt–flour, splotches of grease. He looks exhausted. He’s sweaty. Clearly, his strength hasn’t returned and may never. Other health issues.
I start sweating too because his blood is thinner now, and he keeps his house warm. And I’m having power-surges (ABS!). And I’m imagining cracking open a window for fresh air.
My mouth gapes open, with a smile. He’s twirled my heart right in. I know my eyes are glowing with a slight hint of confusion. “What have you done?” I ask. “You’ve been sick.”
“I wanted to do this for my baby.”
My uncle put me first, grateful that I’d come the distance. For him. For my dad. Regardless of how he felt.
O Soul Within, it’s not easy to honor the One who went the distance for us when you are sick, hurting, struggling …
To put Him first … to treat Him like the love of your life …
It’s tempting to settle for Kentucky Fried Chicken, the quick and easy.
But you’ll always be blessed for the effort. Allow the evidence to cover you and others. Don’t let too much time go by. Don’t miss the road. Take His hand and do the dance … waltz the floor …
one, two, three, one two, three …
Because He loves you.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.
When you’re tired and struggling, is it tempting to push the very One Who can strengthen you to the back burner? How do you ensure God comes first?
17 thoughts on “The Gentle Nudging for a Thanksgiving Blessing and a Dance”
Shelli, I love, LOVE this post. You are blessed to have a dad and an uncle who show their love so extravagantly. This story just warmed my heart. And, Jesus? Yes, He loves that way too. I'm challenged to make sure I'm loving Him the best I'm able. Loving Him by being with Him, not rushing through my quiet times. But savoring His words, His presence.
Have a glorious Thanksgiving, my friend.
Jeanne, thank you, sweet friend. Yes, I'm blessed to have them in my life. My uncle wanted me to have what my grandmother had always given. How many men would do that? And “not rushing through my quiet times” … yes … that's me, too. Soaking Him in. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.
I am choking up!!!!
Wasn't that sweet? 🙂 One gave me life … the other brought me home from the hospital after I was born. 🙂
Very heartwarming Shelli. Sometimes it takes gathering together for the holidays to remember that memories and the longing for days gone by go both ways. Isn't it fun to see the excitement in the eyes of our loved ones as we come together again and rekindle the bond that has kept us together. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Yes, it is, Gene. That feeling of being loved … you did this for me? Such a sweet feeling. 🙂
Love gives out of the heart. A beautiful story of love and being loved. Happy Thanksgiving, Shellie.
Aww, Norma, thank you! I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful. “Love gives out of the heart” … beautiful. 🙂
Can't help but think of Jesus “preparing a place” for us . . . that includes a banquet! Can't you hear our Lord saying, “I wanted to do this for my baby.” Thank you for the reminder of how loved we are. How can we not linger over time with the one who delights in us?
Shelli, you're blessed with your family. I grew up in the same city as my grandparents lived. Going to their homes was always a bit of an ordeal. Happy Thanksgiving.
Yes, Becky … that's beautiful. I can so hear Jesus saying that.
Terri, I can't imagine living in the same city as my grandparents. I'd love to hear your story on that. 🙂 I'm closer to my mom now … about a 30 minute drive. I love getting together with her more often.
Pass the tissue please. Shelli, I get this, I really do. xo Nothing is as warm and welcoming as the arms of those who love us. And the Lord wants our arms to encircle the lives of those He's placed in our hearts. It's risky sometimes. But this beautiful post reminds me it's riskier to ignore His nudges than to heed them.
Thanksgiving blessings & hugs ~ Wendy
“It's riskier to ignore His nudges” … oh, amen. We miss out on so much when we ignore His nudges. I cringe thinking about what I've missed out on. Ugh. Happy Thanksgiving, sweet friend. xo
I'm so glad you went to see them! What a blessing you were to each other. I think you'll do this more often? Thanks for sharing the details of your childhood with your readers. I enjoyed the pictures too. Happy Thanksgiving, Shelli!
Thank you, Melodie! Yes … I can't let that much time go by again. I love them both, and they are both cancer survivors … and getting up in age. They always make me laugh. I enjoy them. Happy Thanksgiving, Melodie!! You always bless me. I hope you enjoy your school break.
A sweet, special Thanksgiving, Shelli. I remember my momma being so excited at our arrival to her house. She enjoyed every last one of us too. God bless your dad and uncle. This is precious.