This Thanksgiving

We haven’t even made it through Thanksgiving as I sit and type this post, but that hasn’t stopped the local Wal-Mart and other big box stores from inundating their customers with Christmas music, to enhance shopping experience perhaps? It hasn’t impeded upon the numerous Christmas displays and red and green everything consuming the shelves on just about every aisle…except for maybe the automotive departments or the place where they stock the toilet paper.

For all intense purposes, it’s Christmas, people. Once again, the turkey gets the shaft. 

I like this little holiday. It’s just big enough. It isn’t the biggest or the flashiest of them all, but it’s respectable and meaningful in its own right. I’m happy to oblige the notion that we need to eat until our pants don’t button, then take turkey induced naps on the sofa afterward, and still be able to indulge in left over pie and stuffing for days to come. I’m happy to reflect and ponder all that I have been given and acknowledge just how much it changes from year to year.

More importantly, I’m glad that I am finally in a place in my life where instead of just showing up to indulge in a holiday feast with all of the trimmings, I am instead thrilled to be a part of its construction. This is a complete 180 for me. Thanksgiving preparation either always intimidated or simply didn’t appeal to me. Now, it’s quite the opposite. I want to be up to my elbows in a turkey’s butt or putting a dish of green bean casserole into the oven.

It feels right. It feels like I have arrived. Sort of.

Isn’t that somewhat true of life? There is a time where you’re happy to merely be a consumer, happy to be the recipient of the goods that others are ready and willing to offer up. There is a time when that is what you NEED to be due to necessity or the season of life that you are in. And in a sudden, or sometimes gradual, turn of events, we come to find that though it is stressful and hard work, it becomes a greater joy to be involved in the preparation, in the giving and service part of everything. I know that this is true for me, at least.

It is greater to give rather than receive. 

Even though I will hate that alarm clock tomorrow morning when it chimes in my face at 5 a.m., and even though I won’t ever be alright with getting out of bed to put food into the oven in the wee hours of the morning. Even though I would rather not have to get my house in order or clean up after all is said, done and eaten, I’m actually kind of excited about it.

Just don’t tell anyone. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Thank you so much for reading all of the junk that I have to say. I hope that you have a wonderfully blessed holiday!

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22 Days For…You Know What. — Day 12…Yesterday

We all know what yesterday was…(Hint: THANKSGIVING.)

Yesterday was somewhat different from I thought it would be. I had my well laid plans for what I would be cooking, I planned to be finished and ready on time and most importantly – the coffee was brewed and ready to assist in my preparations. Because you can’t cook without coffee. I was ready to make my green bean casserole and dutch apple pie, among other things. I really enjoy cooking and baking so I was looking forward to some time in the kitchen to make things that I don’t normally make. But yesterday was unexpectedly harder than I thought it was going to be. I have had quite a bit on my mind in recent days. There are things looming in the background and in the (potentially) not so distant future that I am downright afraid of. And those things were as annoying as a ringing in my ears yesterday as I was crumbling up streusel for my pie and tried to get my mind to travel anywhere else than the worry. I was tired, I was preoccupied and could think of nothing other than the future, in all of it’s hazy and unforeseeable glory.

I have heard it said before that the pilgrims dug more graves than they built homes here in the new world. There weren’t very many reasons to be thankful, or so it would seem. But not only did they rejoice and give thanks for what they still had and for what they had to look forward too, they had a big stinking feast in order to do so. In the midst of turmoil, in the aftermath of despair, they poured out thanksgiving from their hearts anyway. That is a true heart of gratitude. They weren’t so preoccupied with what was lost that it immobilized them or let it take the edge off of the wonders of this new world that were unfolding everyday. On the contrary, they knew that they had more reason than ever to be grateful for all they had because they had seen and lived through the worst. Consider their frame of mind during those times and our current culture’s state of mind now, as people are currently knocking one another over, the masses rushing around the Black Friday Sales.

This is the frame of mind that I hope to choose as the future becomes…not so distant. That I would be bold and would be ready. And that my eyes would be opened amongst the haze so that I would see what truly matters. That I would see all of the things that I have to be thankful for.  I pray that a spirit of thanksgiving would not be something superficial for you, either. That even though Thanksgiving has now passed, that we would stay within this state of mind especially throughout the holiday season.

I must go, my coffee is ready. ::grin::

Happy Friday

22 Days For Gratitude — Day 11: Dr. Pepper

<Gushing>

It really is the little things…

The other night, Rob decided to take Jerry for a walk around the block while I finished making dinner. Usually when the boys go for a walk they stop at Grand-mom and Grandpa’s house to be nosey and see what they’re up to. Normally, this works out great for Jerry in some way and this time was no exception – Grandpa gave him some change to bring back home and put into his piggy bank. On the way back home, Jerry began yammering and insisting that he wanted to surprise mommy with something. Rob finally figured out that Jerry wanted to buy me a soda at the vending machine in front of the local country store and give it to me as a surprise. Rob didn’t have any change, but checked Jerry’s pocket and found that Grandpa had given him three quarters amongst other coins. Rob asked Jerry several times to see if he really wanted to use his money to buy something for mommy, and Jerry kept insisting that he did. So they bought mommy and soda and hurried home to give it to me.

I was just sitting on the couch, thankful for at least a little bit of peace and quiet. I was tired. And I was actually trying to not have anymore soda since I have had so much of it lately. And Jerry came barreling into the room, in a wonderful mood and waving a Dr. Pepper in his hands, so very proud of what he did and so very happy that he had done something nice. I am not ashamed to say that I cried over a Dr. Pepper, because it really wasn’t the Dr. Pepper that I was so glad to see. It was such an immense blessing to see my little boy SO excited to have done something thoughtful and kind for his mommy. And it was something that he thought up all on his own, with hardly any assistance from daddy. Daddy did take the time to share with Jerry that it was a wonderful thing that he was doing for mommy because mommy does so much for him, which only made Jerry all the more excited to give mommy her treat. Which made it all the more moving that Rob would have taken the time to use this as an opportunity to instill an appreciation for mommy into Jerry’s heart even more.

Seeing one of my children overflowing with such goodness when just the night before I prayed that my children would have hearts that love and serve God in all that they do was one of the most  moving things I’ve ever experienced. It may not seem like much, but as I have said before, it isn’t quite the time for my children to rise up and call me blessed. That will hopefully (Lord willing) come sometime down the road. Every time I think that I have a handle on or have forgotten just how good God is, He finds some meager way to say, “No, LOOK and UNDERSTAND just how good I am.” I always thought that there were only a handful of things that little kids could be preoccupied with or focus on. I thought that these things can be somewhat limited to only a certain range of ideas, thoughts or feelings. It isn’t that I thought that they weren’t smart enough or able to do more, it’s just what I knew or figured was true…until I had children of my own.  As my children have gotten older and I see the differences between them, I realize just how immature and unfounded that notion was. My children continue to blow me away with all of the things that they are capable of, and one of those things is showing their affections. In some ways, I think that kids having it more together than we grown up’s do.

So today, I’m thankful for Dr. Pepper…but really, I’m thankful for my little boy and for his heart. I’m thankful that God can take the scales off of my eyes time and time again to see how good He is.

</Gushing>

(but not really)