This week I would like to share with you the story of my Most Memorable Thanksgiving. This particular Thanksgiving takes place while I was a young mom, far away from home, and planning my very first Thanksgiving Dinner. John and I were both college students, trying to work our way through school. Before I go on, I must take you on a trip down "memory lane" so that you have my point of reference for Thanksgivings.
Thanksgiving at the Wright's home was a fun noisy time. Since we were a family of ten there was always something going on. Our home and yard was "the place to be" for the neighborhood kids. Most of the time, Thanksgiving's were celebrated with dinner at our home and then on to Grandma and Grandpa Wright's home on top of the mountain. We would go to visit with family, enjoy grandma's cookies, pies and or cakes. We might even get to play in the snow. I always enjoyed the drive to our grandparent's home after a newly fallen snow. The trees would be bowed over from the weight of the snow forming a canopy over the road. The sun would be shining causing the snow to begin to melt, then it would refreeze forming a sheet of ice over the remaining snow on the trees. This would shimmer and sparkle in the sunlight and create your typical Currier and Ives picture. It would be a veritable winter wonderland. After evening church services we would have a sledding party. The kids would bring their sleds, toboggans, or saucers. The youth leaders would build large bon fires in barrels. There would be tables set up with hot chocolate and we would roast hot dogs and toast marshmallows to make s'mores. Fun times! Our father would get our wagon or sleigh out and harness our horse, Fritz up to the sleigh or wagon. He'd put the bells on the horse, load us up on the sleigh or wagon and off we'd go. I loved the happy sound. My sisters and brothers and I have fond memories of this holiday.
John and I would not be able to go to his home or my home to celebrate Thanksgiving 1978. This year, we would have to stay home and celebrate the holiday for the first time, on our own. We were disappointed. I began to plan and dream about what I would do make our time really special. I had never cooked a turkey or made stuffing before. I had helped but never had I planned or had to do the cooking before. I am about to get a reality check.
Not long after this news, my husband gets laid off from his job. Now there really is no money to go home and we are definitely on a budget for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I began to wonder what I was going to do. I had a garden during the summer and had canned and frozen a lot of things for my family. But I wanted the Thanksgiving I dreamed of having and was determined to have. Slowly, my plans began to crumble and I began to grumble. I had plans and things were not turning out as "I" had planned. My attitude had definitely soured and I was not very happy with the way God was allowing bad things to happen and I began to cry.
I subscribed to a women's magazine called "The Joyful Woman" and sat down with it and my Bible knowing I needed an attitude adjustment. I petitioned God and voiced my complaints and believe me there were many. I was not Joyful. I cannot remember the details of the article I read but I do remember the conviction of my ungrateful spirit. IThess 5:18 says, In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I did not understand that nothing comes my way unless it first passes by God. He is aware of everything going on in my life and it is not by happenstance. Roman 8:18 says, I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Our sufferings in this world will produce in us the character that will enable us to live a life that brings honor and glory to His name and bring others into His kingdom. I was able to get up from that chair with a different perspective. I was able, with guidance from the Lord, to go into the kitchen and prepare the best Thanksgiving Feast ever.
That particular Thanksgiving, though not what I had envisioned, has become my fondest Thanksgiving memory because of a work he began in my life and continues, to this day. It has not always been an easy journey but it has been a worthwhile journey. Phillipians 1:6 says, Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Praise God!
Lest I leave you hanging, we did not do without. I had preserved a lot of food for my family and we were able to have a true feast even with our skinny chicken. If memory serves me correctly, I believe we had:
THANKSGIVING DINNER 1978
Most of the food was grown in our garden. I even cooked and preserved our own pumpkin and made apple pie filling. I never dreamed how handy it would become to our family. See, God always supplies our needs.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM MARY AMON