Good morning, Mini-Women! I am LOVING the entries you're sending in for the Taming Siblings Contest -- Before and After. I'm trying to answer individual questions a few at a time, so if you've posted one and I haven't gotten back to you, hang in there. You're doing a great job -- and remember, you have until December 1, a week from today, so there's still lots of time. No stressing allowed!December 1. Can you BELIEVE we're heading into the last month of the year -- the month of Christmas -- the season of Advent. You know about Advent, right? If not, you will -- because that's our next topic -- ways to observe the season of preparation for the coming of Christ that I think you're going to like -- a LOT. If you have The Year 'Round Holiday book, now would be a good time to dig it out and dust it off. I won't be posting again until next Tuesday, so even if you want to buy the book before then you have a whole week to do that. Of course, you don't HAVE to have the book to enjoy the blog. It just gives way more detail -- sort of the way a novel always has more detail than the movie they make from it.
Now, on to today! Those of you who live in the United States are probably getting ready for Thanksgiving Day on Thursday. Turkeys are thawing in refrigerators. Cans of cranberry sauce and pumpkin filling are being pulled from the back of the pantry. Moms are calling THEIR moms asking how to make good gravy. If you're in public or private school, you might even be gearing up to put on a Puritan or Native American costume for the school celebration. I personally love Thanksgiving -- not only for the mashed potatoes and the Macy's parade on TV and our traditional viewing of Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street (the really OLD one in black and white) -- but because it's one day when a lot of people (more than usual) really think about the blessings in their lives. Maybe at your feast you go around the table and have everybody say one thing they're grateful for (while the stuffing gets cold!). Maybe a special Thanksgiving Prayer is said (somewhere between the football games) Or perhaps somebody reads these verses from I Thessalonians (5:16-18)
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
It's all so special. But then after we get on with the sweet potato casserole with the little marshmallows on it that we only eat once a year, we sort of tend to turn our attention to Christmas decorations and cookies and shopping and wish lists. That's all special, too -- but it makes us miss something -- because Thanksgiving isn't just a day set aside to count up all the ways God has been good to us. It's really a reminder of how we're supposed to LIVE. It sets us up to look for the blessings EVERYDAY, not just the day when you get to have pumpkin pie (with loads of whipped cream .. . loads of it) Its about Thanks-LIVING.
Here's the deal: you've been given the greatest gift of all -- so all the little annoying stuff looks pretty wimpy compared to that. Not thanks-living, then, is like getting that HUGE present at Christmas -- the thing you've wanted for MONTHS -- and complaining that you broke a fingernail while you were opening it, or freaking out because batteries aren't included. Sure, little stuff is going to bother us. Right now I'm annoyed that I have to take my car for its smog inspection, when I would rather be here working on my book and making pie crust dough. I'll whine about it and then go do it. Because that minor irritation is nothing compared to the deep-down freedom I feel . I feel it because I know I'm loved and cared for by a God who sacrificed his own son so I would know how to live now and will have perfect freedom for all of eternity.
So what if you make Thanksgiving Day, no matter where you live, (for those of you outside the U.S., it's this Thursday) the start of Thanks-Living EVERY day? Little sisters and absurd little creep boys and running out of toothpaste will still make you want to scream -- but only until you remember what God really has going on for you.
Have a wonderful, wonderful holiday. As I count my blessings, you will all be at the top of my list. That turkey is definitely going to get cold!