My First Thanksgiving
So, I am not sure where to start. Imagine being served a brilliant feast for 35 years by your mother and then recently in the last decade by your mother-in-law and then attempting it yourself. Kind of daunting. This whole post has a theme – it will start and end the same.
God is working on me and
opening my eyes to others like never before.
He just showed me several weeks ago that “hey, why don’t you host? It’s a lot of work for those moms and they’d probably love the weight off.” He said that SO LOUD in the booming voice in my kitchen that my wine glasses broke in the floor.
Ha! I am totally kidding. You know the way it works. It’s just like a nudge and then a thought and then it was a thought that stayed with me. Not that I should just host Thanksgiving but that I should really appreciate the amount of work that goes behind it. And, the OPPORTUNITY I had to SERVE and put OTHERS before this Thanksgiving. Although, I did make them bring some sides because I was so scared. Baby steps, baby steps. 🙂
Again, God is working. I just love when he changes my perspective. Those ladies have NEVER EVER complained and never would, but I’m just glad he prompted me. I think they enjoyed having that duty off their list this year in a season of tough circumstances on both sides.
It’s our choice to serve and love our families really well. I’ve been in seasons (pregnant and with tiny babies) where I have needed them every moment of the day and would NEVER EVER have offered. It was fun to be able to do my part when my “season” is a little easier since the girls are older.
So… let’s get to the good stuff. I had a coach. My neighbor Jill who is like a blasted chef. We had a meeting with her typed up recipes for the turkey, the brine, the compound butter, the stuffing and more. I got to use her oven, brine bucket, and pan because she was out of town. I could’ve ordered one – but it was ON. I HAD TO TAKE IT ON. I sort of dig a challenge. And, I did get a GIANT Honey Baked Ham as backup.
Things people really said:
“We talked about leaving your guests menus for local takeout places.” – one of my kind neighbors
“I mean, I am seriously Bobby Flay.” – My husband Ron after chopping up a few things for the stuffing
“Mom, it smells so gross in here.” – After I proudly spent an hour with FRESH rosemary, sage, syrup, honey, bay leaves, ground peppercorn and more delicious ingredients never seen in our home – for the brine and compound butter
“Babe – seriously – where are the giblets? Did ours come without? Was is THAT thing back there? Where do we look next? Google it.” – Ron
“Mom, why is there a neck in there – what do we do with it” – Ella
“We throw it away (and the bag of giblets mom pulled from what looked like a pooper of the bird)” – Me (gravy in a jar – year one)
“Um, Ron – what are those onions for?” – Me
“Uh… for inside the turkey!” – Ron (as it was already stuff, tied and cooking nicely over at the neighbors)
Other things I need to discuss for the future with my turkey coach: how to tie that dern thing down – like those pointy legs that get burnt on the tips, how exactly I was supposed to get that compound butter everywhere and a live demo – I was sweating and had throw up in my mouth as my hand were under skin of a raw bird; and how I love her dearly and think she rules.
I am not sure if it looks pefect but it tasted AMAZING!!!! I had that image from Christmas Vacation when they cut in and it’s totally dry and empty. Not the case!!!
So, onto the people – the most important part of any Thanksgiving meal.
God is working on me and
opening my eyes to others like never before.
We come back to this point.
I just feel like God has a radar on my heart right now. He doesn’t love me more or less than he did last year. He just knows I’m more committed. I’m more willing to do whatever He needs for His kingdom. I’m open to seeing things through His lens.
One thing I HATE about this blog is that I can sound so flippin BOASTFUL. I hope I have also given you a taste of my flaws. I am also a broken, cranky, sinful human.
I just feel like it’s my place to share when God has showed up and taught me something – even if it makes ME look great – it isn’t. It’s HIM through me. Please see it that way. Oh please.
Anyway, I think I went to the grocery store every day last week. On the day I got my turkey, I launched into a conversation with my cashier on my nerves about my first Thanksgiving. I love talking to people, adults, when I’m with little people all day. So, somehow she started sharing some of her story during my checkout and I got the sense and feeling she didn’t have plans for Thanksgiving. She shared a couple of sad details with me.
So, I invited her to my house. She said maybe and smiled.
I went back again because I had everything or our meal except forgot things like breakfast and milk for my kids. I ran into her on the way out – was not looking. I asked her if she remembered. She said yes with a smile, felt full in my heart this was a GO. Asked her again and she said YES! And she would bring her two daughters!!! I was sooo excited.
Longer story short…. this was a defining moment for me/Ron. We actually had a lot of discussion around it. I tend to throw us (and our entire family) into situations without talking about it. Lesson learned. We need to make these decisions together. In this case, he was totally supportive.
This experience has left a mark on my heart. This woman and her daughter (one was sick) MADE my Thanksgiving.
It brought JOY to my soul to surround her with love and my family and good food. I knew my sister and my mom would be the first to be excited and jump right to her with ease. My in-laws and everyone were so precious with her and her daughter.
I am crying now declaring. As long as me and my family host Thanksgiving – we will serve the Lord. We will say YES when needed. We won’t always “LOOK” for someone to eat with us. However, if God shows that person to me and I stop/pray and talk to Ron and get confirmation, they are coming to our house. I don’t care who it is. I hope it’s every Thanksgiving. Ron likes to unbutton his pants and dive on the floor in food coma. So, he might opt for every other on new peeps. We’ll see what HE has in store. Either way – arms and hearts wide open, Lord.
Everyone deserves a fancy meal surrounded by the love of a family – even if it’s not their own. I want my girls to get in the practice of loving strangers unconditionally and being friends instantly with a new little one.
THANK YOU LORD for my family and their grace and patience as I just toss them into my crazy world. I thank you LORD for T and her sweet little girl A (didn’t photograph the mom for her privacy).
I am excited about my new friend that I will see each week as I shop and how God continues to connect me with lives all over. I know this day didn’t make it the same with her grandmother gone – but I hope it brought some joy and happiness to heart. I just keep telling myself that I felt SO confident asking and she said YES and had the courage to actually come becaue GOD ORCHESTRATED the whole thing and knew we all needed this day.
And…. with full tummies and elastic jammies… I say…
GOOD NIGHT! 🙂