Thanksgiving 2010. What a day. I am grateful today for God’s grace and provision for us through this year. We have ventured into new territory in founding ChosenFamilies.org. It has been exciting and sometimes pretty scary.
Today was a good day. Different than I would imagine in my best laid plans. But good all the same. We fulfilled a wish of many years today. We organized our neighborhood and served our firefighters and police a Thanksgiving feast. It was pure joy. Really. Every time I would think about it during the month of planning I would smile. Then today as the ladies of the neighborhood brought their bounty and we loaded up 3 cars with traditional Thanksgiving fare I smiled again. It came together. The Royce family delivered to the firehouse and again I smiled.
Later we had our own Thanksgiving feast. My dear husband fried a turkey. Yes, I know. For those of us who eat healthfully it sounds REALLY GROSS. But it is remarkably delicious. The hot oil sears the outside of the bird and cooks in all the juicy goodness. It was a first attempt since 16 years ago when a similar effort was a joyful disaster. But I digress.
As we sat around our table and ate our meal I tried to do the Thanksgiving of my dream — each person goes around the table and expresses their thanks. I envision this as a beautiful exchange of affirmation and love. But alas, it never is as I see it in my mind. As we went around the table and each took a turn to express thanks things got a little messy a couple of times. It wasn’t what I would hope but it is what God has given. And it was good.
Sometimes we have to let go of our unrealistic hopes for our life to accept the life God has graciously given. Wow. That is a life lesson to live out daily. Accepting what comes from God’s hand. Paul expressed it this way in Philippians 4: 11-13:
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
We tend to forget that Paul said this from a prison cell. Nothing about my world can match that. So I give thanks today for God’s blessings and His gracious presence.
As we move into the coming days we will reflect on this latter concept: Immanuel. God with us.
Happy Thanksgiving. Be thankful today.