What a blessed week I’ve had to top off a month of Thanksgiving!
On Monday my sister took me to get my hair done as a belated birthday gift from her and my mom. The afternoon with her and a quick stop for lunch and coffee before our appointment would have been more than enough, but Oh, was it ever lovely to be pampered a bit. And of course, in order for any of this to happen, my wonderful husband had have the eight all to himself for the afternoon, so he gets a whole bunch of awesome points, too.
Of course we see God’s provision in all sorts of ways every single day of our lives, but on Tuesday, we got to see Him provide for our needs in a particularly cool way. Last week at the kids’ AWANA club one of the leaders had heard through the grapevine (okay, let’s just call it what it is: Facebook) that we were in need of an oven. In fact, we had been without one for about a month and managing surprisingly well with various combinations of broiler, microwave, stovetop and crockpot cooking, but it wasn’t a great longterm solution. “Our youth pastor buys and sells ovens on Craigslist,” she told me. Maybe he can help you. About five minutes later, she reappeared with Pastor Sean.
“I hear you need an oven, ” he said.
“I hear you… trade in ovens, ” I replied. (Is this even a thing that people do?!)
He took my details and less than a week later called to tell me he had an oven for us for $100, installed, and he’d take our old one away, too! About an hour later, the Oven Fairy himself arrived at our home. As a bonus, the kids were delighted that Pastor Sean came to our house. And oh, did we ever make cookies that day!
On Wednesday we got to have a pre-Thanksgiving feast with some out-of-state relatives at my dad’s house. I completely flaked out on taking pictures of the kids with their long lost second cousins, but it was such a joy to see them, albeit too briefly.
Today was Thanksgiving proper, and I am feeling properly thankful for the day we had. We stopped to visit my best friend Mary’s family just after lunch, as is our Thanksgiving tradition. The kids had a great time playing with their honorary cousins there (Again, no pictures. What is wrong with me?!) while I got to catch up a bit with the grown-ups.
Then we finally landed at my mom’s house for this bountiful feast:
It wasn’t a huge affair, just us and my mom and grandmom, but I love watching the kids make these simple, enduring memories.
Trevor had to work tonight, but he did get to stop by for an hour and a half just in time for turkey and my sister’s fantabulous apple cupcakes before heading to work. It made everyone’s night to have Daddy there for a little while, even if most of the kids were totally absorbed in the Squanto movie for most of the time he was there. (We can count that as school, right? Just kidding. Mostly.)
I’ve enjoyed a month of paying a bit of extra attention to counting my blessings (beyond the usual blessing-counting that happens frequently whenever we go out in public!) and I’m looking forward, with the kids, to getting out our box of Christmas stuff in the next week or so and shifting our focus to the ultimate object of our thankfulness.
As the kids were chattering away about Christmas in the van yesterday, I heard Coraline’s little voice ask, “But what do we do on Christmas?” I held my breath for a moment before answering to see if one of the other kids would chime in first. I guessed they would probably remind her that we go to church on Christmas eve. That we have a tree and get presents on Christmas day. That we go to grandmom’s for brunch and get more presents. That we go to Pop-pop and Debedee’s house for even more presents at some point… All of that would have been true and fine, and was probably just the sort of answer she would have been looking for.
Instead, without hesitation, Bea answered her, “Coraline, Christmas is when we celebrate Jesus being born!” And last but not least, I am thankful today for that.