Posted by: deerharas | December 9, 2008

My Belated Thanksgiving Post

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It hasn’t always been so; growing up I was a big fan of Christmas, mostly because of the presents.   However, after I moved away to college, the under-appreciated and overlooked November holiday began nudge its way into my number one spot.  Time with family was suddenly a precious commodity, and Thanksgiving provided the perfect no-pressure (unlike Christmas) excuse for togetherness.  And while we never failed to offer a prayer of thanksgiving before our meal, I think that for many years the meaning of the holiday in some ways eluded us.  A few years ago we started doing the whole “thankfulness circle” thing.  We later added an additional component to the tradition in an effort to infuse humor into what inevitably evolved into a huge cry-fest.  Everyone now shares something serious AND silly that they’re thankful for.  Laughing through the tears makes things a little less awkward.

While I love the quality time with my family (not to mention the food), my favorite thing about Thanksgiving is its reminder to me to be thankful.  Thanking is not an intransitive verb; it requires an object to whom thanks is given.  I need to be reminded to give thanks to the Lord, and for that reason I’m thankful for Thanksgiving.

Over the past couple years, I think I’ve learned a little about this.  I’ve tried to put 1 Thessalonians 5:18 into practice which says to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  It’s not just when things are going good.  IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.  Hard.  I certainly have not experienced much suffering in my life, but in what little hardship I have faced (one instance in particular), I found thanksgiving to be transformational.

Anyway, this Thanksgiving was a little different because my grandmother was in the hospital.  It seemed like a lot of things went wrong, but in retrospect I had a lot to be thankful for.  So here is this year’s offering of Thanksgiving thanksgivings … serious AND silly.

  • My sweet friend Sharon who got up at 5:00 in the morning to give me a ride to the airport.
  • Having a great travel buddy.
  • The ability to wear flip flops every day!
  • Chick-fil-a.
  • My uncle’s truck.  Because my grandmother was in the hospital, our Thanksgiving location changed.  After flying into Amarillo, I had to drive five hours to San Angelo.  I haven’t driven a long way by myself in several months, and I enjoyed the alone time to pray and listen to some albums all the way through.
  • JJ Heller and Jill Phillips.  These girls kept me company on my trip.  🙂  Seriously, it’s like Jill reads my mind and then expresses my thoughts more beautifully than I ever could … “I can’t explain how weak my conviction is.  How I can make up my mind, but it won’t make a difference.  It’s like I am allergic to solutions that will make any sense.  Just a moth around the fire.  But you’re reaching out your arms of forgiveness.  It’s your usual response, I’m afraid.  After all the things I’ve done you love me anyway.”
  • Wide open spaces (cue Dixie Chicks 🙂 ).  I love my current residence, I really do.  This is the first year I feel like I’ve ever really experienced FALL.  However, there are moments driving across Texas that almost make me cry.    I always break out the Caedmon’s  … “Out on these Texas plains, you can see for a million miles …”
  • Unexpected plane ticket assistance from the parents.
  • My brother’s excitement about playing the violin, not to mention his noticeable improvement.
  • Decent cafeteria food on Thanksgiving day … that’s right, we ate in the hospital cafeteria.  Hey, we didn’t have to prepare OR clean up, though.  And it really was pretty good.
  • Getting to meet my cousin’s girlfriend and beating him and my uncle in Rook as her partner!
  • The smell of West Texas rain.
  • SLIDES!  Hilarity, I tell you, hilarity.  I think my favorite was the picture of my mom in her custom made orchid satin dress with matching chiffon sleeves.  Oh my.
  • Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper from Sonic.
  • The first Twilight book … read it in two and a half days.
  • Jack and Kaye.  I am so thankful that my mom has siblings and that they support one another in taking care of my grandmother.
  • Papa John’s stew w/ Texas cornbread (yes, the package specified that it was in fact TEXAS cornbread).
  • The sweet nurses in the ICU.
  • That Grandmommy made it out of the ICU before I left San Angelo (and is currently doing really well).
  • Caring neighbors.  So many people called and stopped by to express their concern for my grandmother.  I met one of her neighbors while out walking, and she was quick to tell me that she and her husband were praying for my grandmother.  They’d never met, but the word was out in this little retirement community.
  • Getting to see the ever increasing Lucas family on my way back to Amarillo.  When I asked Molly what she wanted to name her new baby sister or brother, she told me matter of fact,  “Pablo-Uniqua-Piper Lucas.”  I don’t know, something about the Backyardigans and John Piper, I’m told.
  • Stacey taking care of me when I got sick at her house.
  • Kaye picking me up in Lubbock so I didn’t have to drive back to Amarillo by myself when I was sick.
  • My aunt’s huge bathtub.  I almost didn’t get out.  I did, however, finish several chapters of Twilight.
  • Watching Dan in Real Life for the umpteenth time with Carlee and Jayme.  “You are a murderer of love!”
  • Safe travel all around.  Our flight was delayed coming back, and after landing we spent about an hour just sitting in the plane, but we made it home eventually.  And pretty snow welcomed us back!
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