Home » Blog » The Gathered Round

The Gathered Round

Nicole Staples | Oct 23, 2014

Thanksgiving is not too far away! Can you believe it? The holidays are upon us and it is during this time that we collectively take time out of our fast-paced schedule to stop. To stop and gather with family and friends over food, fellowship, and reflection. Or do we really stop? Our lives tend to become even faster during the holiday season, filled with stuffing turkeys, checking off Christmas lists, road-trips to Grandma’s . . . you name it!

Today we have the honor of having our friend, Barbara Rainey, on our blog. She writes about just that – taking the time to stop. To stop and really celebrate the people and moments in our lives amidst our fast-lane living. I have a feeling there will be many of us that can relate.

But before you read her post, I want to share a giveaway she’s having for our readers! She’s written a book called Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember and we are excited to give away a copy to three of our readers. You will also receive beautiful “gratitude” napkin ties that are great conversation starters and perfect for your Thanksgiving table decor. You’ll receive them just in time for your Thanksgiving dinner spread but these will be great additions to any table year-round!

Time for Remembering book

Napkin Ties

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Once you’ve read Barbara’s post, leave a brief comment telling us what your “spotlight” is.
  2. Be sure to include your email address in your comment so that we may contact you if you are selected.
  3. Tweet, Facebook, Instagram, or send an email with a link to this giveaway to spread the word!
  4. There really isn’t a 4.  We just can’t wait to hear what your “spotlight” is. 🙂

Winners will be selected Monday, October 27th.  Enjoy Barbara’s post below!

Barbara Rainey

Stop. Think on this.

Sometimes it seems that my life is following the speeding pace of my iPhone, and not the other way around. I don’t know if it’s become more complicated now than when my kids were scattering Cheerios throughout the house like Hansel and Gretel, or dropping sports equipment inside the door and pounding up the stairs.

But either way – I find the need to surround myself with “stoplights” of some sort, points that make me slow down, that bring me pause in the freeway that is so often my life. Even in the Old Testament, I hear God’s prompting to “cease striving and know that I am God”: His feasts strategically spaced throughout the calendar year. An abstract art sculpture of twelve stones by the Jordan, reminding generations that God moved in this place. Or His simple, gentle word of Selah in the Psalms, like a flat palm held up: Stop. Think on this. Or His calls to singing and celebration.

Family Life

So, tangibly, one of my “stoplights” I’ve recently placed around me is a reminder I created to revel a bit in my family and these days that seem to evaporate before me. The Gathered Round draws me with its scrolling metalwork and its ease—a few photos there; a ticket or program tucked there; a memo held there; a cheerful, simple message in chalk to honor someone I love. Somehow it’s become this easily-assembled, vertical scrapbook that helps my family to Stop. Think on this. Think on this person, this moment, this snippet of God and His goodness that we’ve all witnessed. It’s become a simple way to celebrate the people I care about so much, without a great deal of fuss, but with all the fanfare.

So without totally neglecting all those people represented on my iPhone – yes, I feel like I can drink in a bit of life rather than watching it pass in a blur.