Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Welcome to the Michael Thanksgiving 2011

      Our family just loves this somewhat forgotten holiday between Halloween and Christmas. It is the day to give thanks for all our blessings and gather round the table for a delicious festive feast. It is a day to cherish those whom we hold dear and remember how we got here to enjoy all our freedoms; a day to remember the pilgrims and the sacrifice they made for future generations to go on in this new land; a day to give thanks to the Lord, for without His divine hand we could not be here; a day of traditions…but this year we did something a little different; we honored the sacrifice our 30 lb fowl made to be the honored guest and delicious centerpiece on our dining table. His journey began Thanksgiving eve (history in the making!) as the children kept arriving and toting their laundry baskets, the chefs and apprentices were in the command center (that being the kitchen) prepping and praying over our main guest and loading him with stuffing and garnish. We placed him gingerly in the warm oven, and all through the short night, we could smell the aroma of turkey.

    At the crack of dawn, Hannah joined me to surprise everyone with homemade donuts and rolls as we began the morning full of baking and cooking. When asked if she wanted a donut, Hannah looked at the large baked turkey on the counter top and said, “No, I’d rather have that chicken leg.” We laughed as she was referring to the over-sized drumstick protruding from the foil. It’s so good to have the kids’ home with us. So many beds and bodies in one house. Soon, all were up and helping out. Of course, when we asked for volunteers to help with making the “Michaels Melt-in-Your-Mouth” chocolate chip cookies, Hannah was first in line with her stool. As we measured and mixed, our three year old was in charge of adding the chocolate chips to the batter. More chips ended up in her mouth than in the mixture.

     As I looked around our kitchen, I was so thankful for all our blessings each day. The love and care they showed to others and each other, means that we must have taught them something right. Finally everyone was home and we gathered around our plethora of steaming dishes and garnishes adorning our oversized table. It was so rewarding to see all those faces and hear the chattering. As we prayed over this feast, this year we asked each family member to mention something they were thankful for. It was touching. Most mentioned “family.” Of course our youngest daughter said, her kitty cats and Mommy. Aside from that, we all acknowledged the Lord as the centerpiece of our family with grateful hearts. Our family is a circle of love, with every birth and every union, the circle grows. Every joy shared, adds more love. And every crisis faced together, makes the circle stronger.

    With the clanging of dishes and the roar of football games in the background some of us got to nestle down into our “turkey coma’s” as the Thanksgiving Day wound down into night. Our daughter Savannah then submitted an offering of “thanks” for all to enjoy! O, I don't have to look far to see how blessed I am and what I'm thankful for; breath in my lungs, a heart that beats, eyes that see, ears that hear; food, shelter, clothing; the things we can take for granted every day; things that millions of people don't have; a family, true friends, and a relationship with a very real and very faithful God. God's love and grace is so real and evident to me, I would be lost without him and have him to thank for every good thing in my life. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”Colossians 2:6-7

    As another Thanksgiving Day shows itself I am able to enjoy it at home with my family. Traditions are carried on throughout the day, and it's never dull around here. It's all hands on deck for cooking, cleaning, baking and enjoying each other. Watching my little sister eat more chocolate chips than she put into the cookie dough. Smells of a cooked turkey traveling throughout the house. Little things like laughing and sharing hugs and having a family to do that with. I do have so much to be thankful for.

    I bet you can say the same thing. I hope you can. Yes, life isn't usually a basket of sunshine, but being grateful for the blessings we have while enduring the hardships will be well worth it. They say nothing good in life comes easy. Maybe you have to dig down deep to see what you're grateful for, and how God has blessed you. That's okay; it doesn't mean He is a less faithful God. Take the time to thank him, especially in the midst of hard times. This Thanksgiving remember the littlest to the biggest blessings in your life and walk with a grateful heart.

Thank you Lord, and Happy Thanksgiving !