Heart – “Hey, I have an idea, let’s host Thanksgiving this year in the new house!”
Brain – “Didn’t we just move and come back from a massive trip and still have work to do on paint and other projects in the house?
Heart – “Eh, what do you know? Let’s do it!”
*one week before the big day*
“What was I thinking?!?”
Sometimes the greatest ideas are also the craziest; this was one of those times.
But, in the end, and after a lot of stressing, crying, working, and receiving help from gracious friends and family, it turned out beautifully!
When Michael and I were looking at houses, one of the most important aspects we looked for was the ability to host family and friends without being too crowded. Houses with cramped kitchens or ones that lacked open dining space were quickly cut from the list. Michael and I are not super social people and we have three little people who take up 99.9% of our time and efforts, but we do love to have family and close friends over on special days.
Thankfully, God blessed us with the opportunity to buy this house which, is not huge, but has a good openness to it which can allow for crazy ideas like hosting Thanksgiving.
It was a mad rush to the finish as we painted in the kitchen, hung wall decor, picked out curtains, and rearranged the front room to accommodate the twenty two members of our family and chosen family that were coming to share our turkey. I never would have been able to pull it all off on my own. Michael was my right hand with helping to paint and do all the little fixes like door stoppers and wall anchors. Mom and Dad helped keep the kids one day to allow us to paint the kitchen. And Ms Becky (or “Aunt Becky” as my minions call her) made two trips over to help advise on where things should go and help decorate the massive table.
The very best part of Thanksgiving is how people come together to make the day special. Each person brings their best efforts in the forms of cranberry sauce, squash, pies, or other goodies to contribute to the meal that will be shared. I think that’s why the food on Thanksgiving always tastes so good, it is made with an extra helping of love and generosity to be shared with those we choose as family.
Not all of the people around my table were biologically related but we were all family. We were a group of people from age 2 to age 86, men, women, kids, some with professional careers and passions, some as full time parents, some who prefer football, some who prefer baseball, all with differing personalities and strengths, but all united in gratefulness to our God who has chosen to bless us with the gift of Jesus Christ.
No matter what happens in this life, the bottom line is that we are a blessed people because we are loved by a holy and powerful God who sacrificed His Son for us before we even knew Him. The rest are just details, the point is to share this love that we have been lavished with so that more people can know Him as Savior.
God Is Love
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
My heart is so full and my soul is so grateful for my family and chosen family. We are not perfect people, but we are loved by a perfect God, and that is what I am truly thankful for this year.
The big grocery trip before the big day! The buggy was overflowing and the kids were beginning to feel the excitement building!
Then it was back home to make German Chocolate Pecan Pie, Fresh Apple Cake with Walnuts and Salted Caramel, and Haven’s Cranberry Chip Cookies! It was her idea to make cookies for all our family and friends to take home with them as gifts. I love her kind heart!
Oh my goodness, so much food and so many hands in the kitchen!!
I don’t have the words to express how it felt to sit at the table all of these people and share such a scrumptious dinner.
I had a lot of help with setting up and decorating and it turned out beautiful!!
The guys enjoyed watching football, the girls enjoyed talking and working together in the kitchen, and the kiddos enjoyed decorating a gingerbread house after dinner.
And because we are picture addicts…more pictures before we said goodnight