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Tables Of Grace


Posted by Kim Stanley, November 21, 2023

As I type this at my kitchen table, I’m picturing all of the people who will be sitting around it this holiday season.

We’ll have to add more chairs so that everyone can fit. Of course, the chairs don’t all match; that’s another lovely picture of the exquisiteness of these humans around my table.

I can see my beautiful grands fidgeting while trying to wait patiently for their plates to be filled. I love how my grown kids want to sit in the same exact seat they did when they lived here.

There will be many games played around this table with hearty discussions and lots of laughter. And yet, there will be someone missing; someone who left us too soon, whose presence is forever missed at every family gathering.

Because my daughter left us for heaven 5 years ago, it changed the look around our table. Not only is she gone, but her family lives far away and has started over in their new life.

I’m sad for those changes. I miss her in unspeakable ways.

Is it possible to be thankful during the holidays when we are carrying grief for those who are gone? I would say a definite “yes.” It’s possible to live with the ache of loss and fully embrace the joyful moments with gratitude. But, it’s only through God’s grace that it can happen.

I can speak from experience and not from theological expertise; I have been given that amazing grace from the Holy Spirit.

This may be one of the most life-changing things that grief has taught me: It is not only possible, but promised. We can live fully and abundantly, our days intertwined in the sacredness of both joy and sorrow.

To experience lament and grief, for any reason, brings a richer understanding to the brevity of our days here; “for the things which are seen are temporal.” (2 Corinthians 4:1)

To embrace the pain of searing loss is a way to deeper joy.

“The joy of the Lord is our strength.” (Neh. 8:10)

The joy of the Lord; not my joy, but His. The promised fruit of the Holy Spirit that fills us with this overflowing joy is ours in Christ.

You can name your pain, recognize the losses, and feel the hurt deeply. It’s vital for healing.

Otherwise, we’re just hiding behind our fig leaves of fake laughter and “I’m fine” quips. And in the very next breath, whisper a “thank you, God” for every bit of it.

Your Presence has carried us through the darkness, into your glorious Light.

Isn’t that worth celebrating?

The people around my table are lit up with crinkling eyes as they smile with their whole faces, enjoying mounds of food and telling stories, probably on each other.

And we share stories of our sweet Jordan, her voracious love for life and family and friends, her wit and silly jokes, and the way she always had to read the rules for every board game we played.

And it’s all so very good;

Even the salty tears mixed with mashed potatoes.

I pray that you are filled to the brim this Thanksgiving season.

And if you are missing someone at your table this year, I pray you can remember them, talk of them, cry for missing them, and thank God for letting them walk through this life with you, even if for a short time.

And then look, really look, at those who are sitting around your table. Throw your head back, laugh out loud, and enJOY the bounty of the Lord.

Kim Stanley is a worship leader, speaker, writer, and is the worship leader for Touching Hearts Ministries. She and her husband Joe have been in itinerant worship ministry for over 30 years. She is the founder and director of One Thing Worship, a retreat ministry for women that provides sacred time and space to be still and hear the voice of God. She also co-hosts a podcast called “A Burst Of Hope” with Martha Wilson. She and Joe have been married for 40 years; they have 4 grown children, one in heaven, and 6 grandchildren. They live in the south metro Atlanta area. You can connect with Kim on her website,, and on Facebook and Instagram @onethingworship.

4 comentários

23 de nov. de 2023

Kim what a blessing this post is to me this Thanksgiving Eve. Your faith and faithfulness, as you continue to navigate and process the loss of your daughter gives me hope. God's light shines through your encouraging words.

23 de nov. de 2023
Respondendo a

Thank you for your encouragement. God of grace is our everything!


22 de nov. de 2023

Kim, this is such a beautiful post! So timely, so true and so heartfelt! We do have so much to be thankful for! May you enJOY each moment around your table! Much love to you! ❤️

23 de nov. de 2023
Respondendo a

Thank you Friend! His Presence is our refuge!

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