Turkeys cost money. I found out today that my brother and his family didn’t have enough money to buy a turkey or other groceries for thanksgiving day. When I was little I don’t think I ever thought about how much a Thanksgiving Day dinner really costs. According to google the average cost of a 16 pound bird will set you back 23 dollars. Not to mention the cost of all the other ingredients for things like stuffing or mashed potatoes. What’s a Thanksgiving dinner without all the sides? Luckily my brother has his family who can send money so that he and his wife can go shopping to prepare a family thanksgiving. Others may not be so fortunate, so you may rely on a local food pantry. I am grateful for the provision of a Turkey and sides on this Thanksgiving Day.
Not all cranberry sauce is the same, round. Sometimes even if you dress it up on a crystal plate it still came from the can. I think Holidays are often dressed up so to speak and everyone plays nice just for the show of it. When you are young and sitting at the table surrounded by all your aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents you don’t realize how dysfunctional your family can be. When you become an adult and see how other families act during the holidays, you see all the freakouts that happened on Thanksgiving for what they were- dysfunctional. No matter how it was dressed up it was always going to be drama. As a kid I just thought that’s what all families did on holidays, argue.
Great Grandma use to turn to each of us around the dinner table and ask in german….”Is it Good?” She would expect you to reply in german “This is good.” To this day it is the only german I know. After dinner my great grandmother would sit in the living room and randomly sing christmas songs in german. As a kid, all I thought was how cool it was she spoke another language. I found it silly that she would sometimes put german words in the middle of her sentences. I thought she was being silly. So I would laugh. What I didn’t realize was that she was starting to get dementia and she probably didn’t mean to speak german words in the middle of a sentence. Memories you have are not always the truth. Sometimes when you are young you see the world one way, like an old lady intentionally trying to be silly and make you laugh was really a woman who sometimes couldn’t remember what she was trying to say.
11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Over the summer I lived with several internationals who came to Boston to study or work. One roommate in particular, from Peru, had only been in the US two weeks before she moved into the apartment. Since she didn’t have a car which is a more convenient way to go to the grocery store, I often would offer for her to tag along as I ran my errands. On saturday like most I liked to rest from the long work week. I remember one specific saturday where it ended up being more restful than any other. It wasn’t like I went to the spa and pampered myself. Instead what I did was simple. In the afternoon I went to a park with my roommate to enjoy some live music, we then went to the grocery store, followed by coming back to the apartment and making dinner together. I think what made this day a different kind of peaceful wasn’t what I did but rather my state of mind while I went about my day. I woke up that day feeling full, not a physical fullness but a spiritual one. The night before I put down the netflix and decided to read the bible. I then followed it with journaling describing how I felt in that moment. While background music played I wrote down every worry,and let it go to God. Thanking him for ruling my heart and bringing peace. Something changed in that moment when I let the spirit of christ come into the all of me. When I woke I felt a difference. I walked through the day with a deep Thanksgiving in my heart, and every deed I did knowing that Jesus was with me. I did not know this when I was a kid. I did not know that being full in spirit was a better feeling than when you over stuff on Thanksgiving day and have to let out the top button of your pants. When you cook a meal with thanksgiving in the heart it brings a peace unlike any other. The simple deed of cooking is transformed, and what used to be stressful becomes a source of joy. The words of what you are thankful for this year has more meaning than you could understand before. Feel Christ in you- through you, and be grateful.