For most people that I know, Christmas is the big holiday! I totally get that. With all the tinsel, and gifts, and trees, and celebrating Jesus, Christmas is really amazing!
However, for our family, because of Navy deployments and airline schedules, Christmas has always been hit-or-miss. We could never be quite sure whether dad would be home or not. This might surprise you, but for years he flew as a reserve pilot filling in for pilots who fell ill, went to training, or for some other reason had to drop a flight. It’s strange just how many illnesses cropped up the day before Christmas…
Thanksgiving though, now that's a different story. For whatever reason, Steve has almost always been home for Thanksgiving and over the years it’s become our favorite holiday.
Anyway… I was planning our Thanksgiving Dinner and plotting my next blog, (that’s just how my brain works) and I had a thought. Every year I pray about life changes that need to be incorporated in the New Year; resolutions if you will. As I looked at the turkey and envisioned our table, suddenly it all came together. Each part of our meal became a visual picture of the growth I need. Wow! I got so excited in my nerdy bookwormy kind of way and so I wanted to share those visual thoughts with you!
So here we go: Turkey, Stuffing, Resolutions and Remembering!
You’ve gotta love a Big Golden Bird! We’re a big family and we need a big bird! That turkey is a great reminder to me about the family that fills this house. Sometimes they’re loud. Sometimes they’re messy. Sometimes they annoy me with their constant chatter and jokes. Sometimes, quite frankly, they’re just a bunch of Turkeys!
But that’s okay! It’s okay to be loud and silly. It’s okay to make messes. (And clean them up) It isn’t my family that needs to change; it’s me.
So bring on the Turkeys this year Lord, I promise to help them grow. I’ll purpose to feed them and not to chop their heads off prematurely!
Mashed Potatoes are comfort food pure and simple. Sometimes, I just try too hard. I want my family to have new adventures, meet new people, to fill their days with busyness and productivity. But do you know what? Sometimes, my family just needs me to provide them comfort. They need a mom who’s welcoming, and cozy, and cuddly, and well…comfortable.
Help me Lord to slow down this year. Help me to remember the need for comfort in our home.
Green Bean Casserole isn’t very pretty to look at. In fact, the day-after leftovers of green bean casserole can be somewhat disturbing. However, it’s still one of our favorite dishes each Thanksgiving.
Sometimes I’m like that green bean casserole. I feel dumpy and mushy and downright homely. But, my family loves me anyway! Their lives wouldn’t be the same without me! I’m their favorite mom.
Lord, remind me of that truth, even on the days that I feel unworthy and unlovely. I’m still loved! Teach me to live, as one who is deeply adored, even when I feel alone or unwanted. Teach me to live by the truth, not by my feelings!
Sweet potatoes with marshmallows are such a fun dish! (Why don’t I make it more often?) Those plump marshmallows on top are a great reminder that it’s okay to be childlike! In fact, the more I can stop, laugh, and enjoy “playing” with my family, the more they will enjoy life, too.
Remind me Lord that I don’t have to be all “Adultish” all the time. Yes, we have our share of problems and dilemmas, but they’ll still be there in an hour. Help me to laugh, play, and remember what it’s like to be a child.
My stuffing recipe is a closely guarded family secret. The very suggestion that I might skip making it this year was enough to cause a family uprising. That silly stuffing is part of what makes us Scheibners! Sometimes, I’m so busy with running our home or reaching out in ministry that I forget to take the time to cherish our family traditions. Yes, sometimes they make more work, (That stuffing is a labor of love!) but to skip them because I’m too busy, or too tired, or just too lazy, is to rob my family of the security of our family traditions and identity.
Slow me down Lord! Help me to remember what’s really important and to spend my time investing there first!
In our family, cranberry sauce isn't a condiment, it's a main dish! My kids learned that from me. God made me a little like cranberry sauce. I'm such a mix…sassy and tart, but sweet at the same time.
This year Lord, can you remind me to temper the snarkiness with a heaping portion of sweetness? Without the sweet, my snappy comments begin to look a lot like sarcasm and contentiousness and nagging. I want to be that nice balance of tart and sweet! Only you can help me with that one Lord, so I'm turning it over to You.
For me, Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without creamed peas. For Steve, it has to be creamed corn. For years, as the chief cook, I tried to eliminate his tradition. I tried to change his palate and convince him that my way was the only way. Why? It’s those very differences that make us who we are. It isn’t about corn or peas, or who’s right and who’s wrong. No, it’s about the quirky little differences that are the building blocks of our family identity.
Lord, this year will you help me to remember that it's not a competition, but a compilation. And maybe, just maybe, when I discard the win/lose mentality, we’ll develop a delicious family succotash!
Do you ever wonder if those silly condiments are really necessary with all of the abundance of other foods? I do! Seems like I end up putting way too many pickles and olives back in the jar, just to languish in the dark recesses of my fridge. Why bother?
I bother because it’s those little touches that make my family feel special. It’s the little extras that remind them that they are loved. As I warm their blankets, or pour hot chocolate, I am saying, “I love you!”
Lord, help me to notice the little things that will envelope my family with love. Teach me to serve them in an abundant and overflowing way, not from a “Just get ‘er done” attitude. Let the little things build a solid structure of love in our home.
There’s always time for pie! Whether it’s, “Stop and smell the roses,” or “Remember they grow up fast,” I need to remember to stop and enjoy today. Rushing through life will leave me with nothing but regrets and missed opportunities.
Lord, help me to recognize each day’s blessings. Help me to communicate the importance of each moment and to be an example to my family of one who is Spirit-led and sensitive to the needs of the moment.
Sometimes, my life is a mess. I wish we were always sailing smoothly with no disorder or disarray to slow us down. But that just isn’t reality. What is reality is the fact that I have a God who is eager to help me clean up the messes. He is anxiously waiting for me to cry out, “Help! It’s too much… I can’t do this alone!”
This year Lord, remind me to call out to you. Remind me to cast my burdens on You because You care for me.
Above all, Lord, teach me to be thankful. Not just at Thanksgiving, but every day, every moment, and with every thought. Remind me to, “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!”
Change me Lord and help me to remember to thank You in the process!
May you have a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving!