Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving: "You Do All Things Well - Just Look at Our Lives"

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. I love it because…
The 5Fs: Father, Food, Football, Family and Friends!

Football: I don’t know if you’ve really picked up on this yet [because I try not to be obsessive about everything], but I’m a BIG Green Bay Packers fan. BIG. Thanksgivings growing up, my dad and brothers would head off to play in their annual Turkey Bowl and come home just in time for dinner. My only request, if I “had” to stay home and cook [I love this precious time with my mom], was that they set up a TV in the kitchen so I could watch football while chopping and stirring. [Yes, you’re right: I’m a genius.]

Food & Family: I kind of have a huge family. Think “My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding” and keep going. My dad’s European and my mom’s American Indian. It gets crazy. There’s drama. People get mad because I only take an obligatory bite of turkey and save the rest of the room for the side dishes. Way more important. [I’m unashamed.]

Friends: Since college, I really haven’t been “home” for many Thanksgivings. With it so close to Christmas, I usually went to a friend’s house instead of traveling home. I’ve learned what’s it’s like to not have family around for a major holiday, what it means to be a guest and how to invite and host friends for stuff like this. Friends are fun… and each one brings his/her own family traditions.

Father: I like being thankful. And I LOVE that we have a holiday for it. At dinner, I insist that we go around the table and each take a turn sharing something we’re thankful for in the past year. For some people, it’s hard to verbalize these things and for others, it’s difficult to narrow it down.

Being the only American in my work setting, I of course, took it upon myself to celebrate and inform those around me about American holidays. And last Thanksgiving was no different. Turns out, the whole world doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving—just the United States. [Canada does, but it’s on a different day.]

For Thanksgiving [a day which I had to go to work on], I did this: I traced my hand on paper, cut it out and wrote all my co-workers names on them. I gave them instructions to write something that they’re thankful for in each person. I wrote mine on all their “turkeys” and provided ultra-fine Sharpie markers. I even offered to… “contact paper” them afterwards so that they’d keep. [We don't have a laminator.]

I really thought this little project was going to fail—that they were going to just make fun of me, ignore it, gossip about me and my naivet√©. But no. They fully embraced it. Until then, I hadn’t seen these ten women more giggly and excited about something. It was like their wedding day or something. Their eyes were dancing, they were hugging, laughing and “my love”ing each other. It. Was. Beautiful.

I love being thankful and telling other people that they’re special to me and why. I don’t do it enough. And since I was the first to go, to be the example for them, I wrote something genuine on each turkey hand. These ladies were giddy.

One of my favorite songs that Roommate would play in our salon on her guitar was Kevin Prosch’s “His Banner Over Me.”

“He brought me to His banqueting table
And His banner… over me… is love… sweet love…

And we can feel the love of God in this place,
We believe Your goodness, we receive Your grace.
We delight ourselves at Your table, O God,
You do all things well—just look at our lives.

His banner over you,
His banner over me,
His banner over us is love, love, love…”

Indeed, He does ALL things well—just look at our lives.

This year, around a table in California, far from my immediate family, but surrounded by friends, I’m going to be most thankful for His goodness and His strong, right hand. He led me on an adventure of ups and downs in the middle of a desert and I’m forever changed. His faithfulness knows no bounds. He’s whispered to me, and continues to, opening my heart with hurts, aches, laughter and love. He’s writing a beautiful story with my life, and I’m so thankful to be His.

Happy Thanks-Giving.
[Make sure you give a lot of it…]

1 comment:

  1. I love that hand idea! And, FYI, Packer fan here, too. My dad's family is all from Wisconsin and my uncle even has seasons tickets every year. =D Happy Thanksgiving!!


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