Thanksgiving Prayer for Standing Rock

God of theĀ oppressed, God of the opposed, God of the losing side,

To the God who chooses the side of the lonely, the God who takes up the hopeless cause,

To the God who reveals yourself in the face of the neighbor,

To you we pray.

When your people say no to profit and yes to people, you are there. (We are your people, not your profit)

When your people say no to oil and yes to clean water, you are there. (We were born in water, not oil)

When your people say no to empire and yes to community, you are there. (We are neighbors, not subjects)

When your people dance and pray for transformation while rubber bullets rain down upon their skin, you are there. When arrests are made and people removed, and more begin to show up, like the multiplying fish and loaves, like the properly invested talents, like the pruned vine, you are there.When the dogs come snarling and biting, when the buffalo come stampeding, when the wind rises and the sun sets, you are there. When it is freezing and your people shiver in the face of the water cannon and stand firm, you are there.

When it seems hopeless you are there.

God, on this Thanksgiving Day, as millions gather around tables and symbolically proclaim unity and mutual respect with those unlike us, we pray you would make those symbolic gestures reality. When we celebrate the false historical narrative of Euro-Native relations around our Thanksgiving tables, remind us of the genocide perpetrated against Native peoples and connect that with what is happening in Standing Rock. Call us to action, to send prayers and aid, to call representatives and join the movement in voice and solidarity.

We ask that you would continue to strengthen those protecting their life’s water. Send your Spirit to dwell on Standing Rock. Transform the hearts of those more interested in profit than in human life and dignity. Only you can.

With gratitude and thanksgiving we pray to you now God, and we celebrate your miracles and blessings. We are thankful that you remain steadfast in your love of your people.

Amen.

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Thankfulness Alphabet*

*I got the idea for this blog (slash maybe stole it) from my blogging hero, the Pioneer Woman.

A: Asparagus. It’s just good and healthy. Or maybe avocado. Artichokes. Almonds. Apricots. Apples. A foods are just delicious.

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B: Baby Slowey! She currently weighs about 2.5 pounds and is the size of a butternut squash. And she is feisty! She loves to twist and kick, but as soon as Stephan puts his hands on my belly to feel her wiggle she gets still. Such a tease!

C: Charlie Weasley. My first-born cat son. He’s been feeling a little neglected and over stimulated with the new kitten, but he’s handled it like a true stoic. He’s been spending more time outdoors to get away from Jinx, but he’ll always be my baby Charlie.

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D: Dad. The man who taught me what it means to love unconditionally. My crazy daddy. He taught me what a good husband and father looks like. He taught me how to apologize well. He taught me to never be ashamed of who I am as a person. He taught me how to care deeply about others.

E: Eating. I love food with an almost obscene energy and passion. I wouldn’t call myself a foodie, because I couldn’t actually care less about what the food actually is. Just so long as it feeds me and satisfies. Right now I’m eating string cheese. How delicious! How marvelous! How calcium fortified! What better time to be thankful for the joy of eating than Thanksgiving?

F: Family. I am so incredibly lucky to have come from the family I come from. Parents that love me unconditionally and encourage me in all that I do. Grandparents, though gone now, that showed up to support me in all my childhood activities. Siblings who are so different from me in so many ways, but who can always make me laugh and challenge me to think deeply about the world I live in. And then I’m doubly blessed to have married into a family of equal quality! I can’t count the family dinners, game nights, and holidays spent together just enjoying the company. That’s what makes a life.

G: Game of Thrones. The HBO series hooked me, and now I’m obsessed with the books. Just started A Dance with Dragons. George R.R. Martin’s writing truly is superb. I am sucked into Westeros or Essos every time I crack the spine. I am so thankful for a good story!

H: Health. I am thankful for my health, though I sometimes put it at risk with inactivity and junk food. I hope to value it more as I enter into the third trimester of pregnancy and prepare for life as a new mom.

I: Intelligent debate. I love when two people with different opinions can speak their minds without shaming or dumbing down the other person. I can follow debates when the opposing sides are truly listening to understand rather than to just respond. Most of the time it’s just a screaming match. Nobody got time for that.

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J: Jinx, the monster kitty. His name suits him perfectly. To watch him stalk around the house, preying on anything from paper receipts to plastic bags, pencils to the dogs’ wagging tails, he makes me laugh daily. He is a fierce ball of fuzz, but when he’s ready to cuddle, you are in for an all night session of purring and him trying to sit on your face.

K: Kathryn Elizabeth Lucas. My baby sister. What would I do with her bleeding heart hippie attitude and her refusal to settle for injustice? She’s going to change the world (once she decides to).

L: Louie and Lola, my two cuddly, stinky, muddy, shedding, adorable, annoying, obnoxious, in-your-face, tail-wagging, slobbering, happy, rambunctious pooches! Life just isn’t as wonderfully funny or dirty without them around.

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M: Mom. My first best friend. She taught me to be kind, and how to balance my check book. She taught me self-reliance and independence. She always changed the endings of every fairy tale she told me, so I was brought up believing to be a princess meant to take care of business and go to college. I owe my fierce feminism to her.

N: No. The power of the word “No” cannot be understated. (See “Yes”)

O: Organ music. Is that weird? Since being in Nashville, I’ve worshiped at not just one, but two congregations privileged to have not only organs, but dedicated and talented organists! I just love singing praises to God on a Sunday morning with that organ blasting through the air. And I think baby likes it too!

P: Prayer. I’m thankful that I seem to be overcoming my fear of public prayer, and that my own private prayers have deepened and strengthened as a result. It brings me a sense of peace and steadiness that I can’t get from anything else.

Q: Quality time. Be it with friends, family, or myself, I am so thankful for time to spend loving people.

R: Rest. I have always been somewhat of a sloth. But I’m learning to value rest as a sabbath practice, and not just as a way to stay in bed watching netflix all day. I can practice finding rest in the midst of busy-ness and in the stillness of nature, in the simple tasks of the everyday and the mind-blowing miracles and tragedies of life. Rest is a state of being, the ability to find comfort and peace in something greater than myself.

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S: Stephan Shane Slowey, Jr. My husband, my sense of humor, my rock, the father of our child. He is my everything. I’ve discovered so many things about myself and the world with him by my side. Words can’t express the love I have for him!

T: Tennessee and Texas (Yeehaw!) These two states have shaped me into who I am today. I wouldn’t trade growing up in Texas or putting roots down in Tennessee for the whole world. I used to think I wanted to live in a new part of the world each year, but now I am so thankful to be a Tennessee girl by way of Texas.

U: Umbrellas. Just a darn good invention.

V: Violins. I love the sound of a well-played violin. I hope my children will continue to play past the 6th grade, when I stopped. I remember it bringing me a lot of joy to make my own music.

W: Water. More specifically, access to clean, drinkable water at all places I am likely to be. Home, restaurants, gas stations, water fountains… I never have to worry about not being able to find water to keep me alive. Now if only the same could be true all over the globe.

X: Let’s just be honest. No good words start with X. At least none that I know the meaning of. Scrabble word finder was not helpful. So instead, I’m thankful for eXpectation. The season of advent is all about expectation and the hope of something wonderful just around corner. It’s what makes hope possible.

Y: Yes. The power of the word “Yes” cannot be understated. (See “No”)

Z: Zachary Thomas Lucas. My brother the adventurer. We may not talk all that often, and he may get fed up with my day dreaming and idealism at times (he likes the cold hard facts). But he is a big Dr. Who/Star Wars/Michael Chrichton dork, don’t let him fool you. And he’s an excellent cook, and will be cooking Thanksgiving, and if that’s not something to be thankful for, I’m not sure what is.