I woke up on Thursday morning in a BAD mood. I was tired, frustrated about Ellie's pain and the lack of sleep and just wanted to lay in bed all day and catch up on much needed rest. Instead, I looked ahead to the plans for the day: we were hosting our guards (plus one of their families) and the woman who helps us in the house for a Thanksgiving meal. We wanted to share the American Thanksgiving tradition with these wonderful people whom we are so grateful for each day. Hosting them sounded like a great idea earlier in the week, but by Thursday morning, I was in NO mood to see anyone, much less be in the kitchen cooking all day... while juggling a teething 4 month old.
So, I woke up mad about Thanksgiving. Because having a bad attitude is not a new thing for me, I immediately (well, maybe I moped a bit first...) turned to the Lord in prayer.
I asked the Lord if I could skip Thanksgiving.
I'm not kidding.
I was tired and missed family and I thought it would be easier to skip the day all together. Once I got over my toddler moment, I realized the symbolism is what I had asked the Lord. I basically asked if I could have a reason to not be thankful. If I could give up on gratitude.. because, lack of sleep of course! This realization brought me to my knees. Oh how I needed grace. Instead of continuing my prayers to be able to give up on Thanksgiving altogether, I asked God to change my attitude. I realized I was in desperate need of an attitude-check. So I prayed all morning for a better attitude and perspective on the day. At one point, Will came into the room and, seeing me in my zombi state, asked if I was okay. To which I replied, "NO! I'm not okay! Please pray for God to change my attitude!". Yes... another toddler moment. A little while later he asked again and I again pleaded for prayer. This time he responded with, "Oh, I've been praying..."(meaning, oh trust me, I'm pleading with God to change your attitude today! haha).
Well, by 9:30am, I found myself in the kitchen, blaring praise music and dancing along while kneading bread dough. There was an obvious shift in my demeanor and I was actually looking forward to the cooking that laid ahead! God had met me in my temper tantrums and changed my attitude around. I found myself extremely grateful the whole day. Little by little, I saw more and more that I was thankful for. There were so many reasons for gratitude and praise!
Violet helped me peel potatoes, chop and peel apples, boil pumpkin, etc. We worked hard all day long and were ready for our (condensed version of) Thanksgiving by 4:00. Everyone arrived and Will explained why we celebrate Thanksgiving in the US and why we wanted to celebrate with all of them this year. He read a verse about gratitude from the Bible and prayed over out time together. We served roasted chickens, green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls, boiled pumpkin and apple pie. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food and fellowship.
During the meal we discussed what we were thankful for from this year. One of our guards, Tony, said, "It is so good to have a time to publicly thank God for all He has done in my life!". I loved this line because this is such an important practice as believers. The art of coming together to give thanks and acknowledge what God has done for us is a beautiful thing! It made me very grateful that God didn't allow me to skip Thanksgiving, but instead gave me an attitude of thankfulness and joy. What a patient and loving God! Here are some pictures from the day.
|Our dinner crew!|
|How can I not be grateful when we have this little turkey around?!|
|Violet and I working on the apple pie.|
|Will's explanation of Thanksgiving before dinner. (please take note|
of Will's stylish sock/flip flop combo- I married him for his style ;))
|How do you get cooking done when your baby refuses to nap and you need|
to start the rolls? Strap her in the carrier, of course :)!