Musings + Essays

Happy Thanksgiving.

By: Jen Shoop

Happy Thanksgiving, Magpies.

I hope today you find not only gratitude but flow, my elected intention for 2023. By flow I mean the kind of presence of mind and spirit and body that can only be born of letting go the things that do not matter, and feeling earnestly and humbly whatever comes our way. On Instagram earlier this week, I saw a post about how rivers are clean because they move; ponds grow mucky with stagnation. I was electrified by the visual, and have been completing an internal audit of the things I have been clinging to — old frustrations and hurts, stubborn insecurities — that deserve release. I have also been thinking a lot about the idea of being less guarded, less precious with my natural responses. I often police my own thoughts — “You shouldn’t feel that way…” or “You shouldn’t be thinking that” — and maybe it is better to quiet that voice and let things move, lest they come out sideways and crooked-stance down the road.

Perhaps these are strange sentiments to share on Thanksgiving, but as I sat down to write today, I felt I grateful for this fresh frame of mind. I feel lighter than I did yesterday just having those sentiments nearby, in the same room if not actively worn.

I also, of course, feel humbled by the many blessings in my life. An embarrassment of riches, really. So today, I am re-sharing our traditional family Thanksgiving prayer. I write about this every year because every year it moves me. It gets down to brass tacks quickly, doesn’t it? It even led my tough husband to tears after a particularly stressful stretch of time, and, each year, I receive notes from Magpies telling me they’ve adopted the prayer in their own home and have dabbed tears off their cheeks after. Perhaps it can find a way to your table, too…

For food in a world where many walk in hunger;
for faith in a world where many walk in fear;
for friends in a world where many walk alone,
we give you humble thanks, O Lord.


P.S. Things I love about my daughter. (Everything.)

P.P.S. If you’re looking for Cyber Week deals — start here. Keeping that page updated as I find new deals!

P.P.P.S. My intention for this holiday season.

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