Every year come November, the turkeys start their frenzied twittering. A level of anxiety invades their farm. And in many homes across the United States, moms start their frenzied cleaning, shopping, polishing, all in preparation for the least commercial holiday on the calendar – Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I relish in the preparations, knowing that all the extended family will descend on my home, each year making new memories. It’s been our tradition for as many years as I can remember.
Because my mother-in-law’s birthday often fell on the day of or near Thanksgiving, and because my in-laws would unhappily choose to go out to a restaurant rather than face the daunting task of preparing a variety of food to be ready simultaneously, I was by default the host. Which I never, ever objected to! And my side of the family, in the spirit of cooperation and being together, always came. It was a big loud extravaganza of food and laughter.
Secretly, my kids and I prefer my cooking, as well as our added elements that in turn became traditions, like our cornucopia fashioned and baked out of bread, a delicious centerpiece.
When my brother asked to host Thanksgiving this year at his college freshman daughter’s request, I had mixed feelings. On reading his email, the disappointment I initially felt was palpable. But this autumn had been the busiest season of my life, and having to just prepare and bring a side dish to their home had tremendous benefits.
If I could only deal with life’s other disappointments so easily.
Too often, I ruminate on what could have been instead of seeing the benefits in the alternative plan God has for me. I fuss over my own desires instead of yielding to God’s desires.
If I could change my focus from the earthly to the eternal, I could not only grasp a clearer picture of God’s perspective, but I could be free from the inner turmoil that results from holding on to the good things when God’s best is what will truly bring peace.
Corrie ten Boom said , “Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.” If she, who lost so much, could focus on God’s plan in the midst of a Holocaust concentration camp, why do I resist to letting go of my desires?
Psalm 37:4 reads, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” This doesn’t mean God will grant you what you wish for like a genie in a bottle. It means He will place His desires for you into your heart when you delight yourself in Him.
O to delight in the Lord and simply leave it at that. Then allow Him to change my heart to align with His.
And to enjoy Thanksgiving with simply expressing thanks!
I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving tomorrow – and every day!
“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:18