Friday, November 21, 2008

Giving Thanks

It is my year to do Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law, Debbie, and I switch off every year, and it is my turn.

(Note to self: Be thankful for doing Thanksgiving at my house.)

The thing is, I was really hoping to have a new kitchen by Thanksgiving. I have one of those old, Brady-Bunch style double ovens. Which would be great, if both of the ovens worked. But the door on the bottom one doesn’t actually close, so you can’t really cook anything in there. So now, the bottom oven is used for storage.

I have to be careful about what I store in there, though, since the door doesn’t close. If I store anything heavy and breakable, well . . . you figure it out. But, at least I have an oven, right? I mean, think of all the pioneer women who had to cook over an open fire. (Note to self: Be thankful for oven. And for being born in the twentieth century, instead of the nineteenth.)

Not only that, but my house still has its original 1977 yellow gold countertop and sink. (Note to self: Be thankful that the retro look is in right now.) But new kitchen or no new kitchen, the fact remains. Next Thursday, I’m going to have a house full of people.

So, as I prepare myself and my refrigerator for more food than we will ever possibly consume, I have decided to make a list of things I am thankful for. And lucky for you, I’m going to share it.

I am thankful for:

1. My husband. He offered to buy a pre-cooked turkey this year, so I wouldn’t have to bother with it.

2. Pre-cooked turkeys.

3. Instant mashed potatoes. Is it cheating if I stand over a bowl with a potato masher and pretend to work the lumps out of them?

4. Candles. If I light candles, they make the house smell like I’ve been baking, and my guests will never know I bought the apple pie at Wal-Mart. Also, I can dim the lights, and my guests will be impressed with the mood lighting. They’ll never know I’m trying to hide the stains in my carpet.

5. Paper plates. If I put a pretty tablecloth and centerpiece on my table, maybe no one will notice the Chinette. Then, I won’t have to do dishes.

Alright, already. I can hear you saying, “Doesn’t this woman do anything? She doesn’t want to cook a turkey or bake or do dishes. What does she do all day long?” The truth is, I will cook for Thanksgiving. I will bake pies and make desserts and casseroles and cute little veggie trays. But I have to leave a little time so that I can sit here and type these words to you.

Thus, the pre-cooked turkey and the Chinette.

But in all seriousness, I have more to be thankful for than I could ever hope to fit into this space. I am thankful beyond measure for my wonderful family, who loves me. I am thankful that, at present, we all are healthy and happy and strong. I am thankful for my children, who fill my heart with joy, bubbling over.

I am thankful for my husband, who makes me feel loved and special. I am thankful for my parents, who, even though I am forty years old, still think I am young. I am thankful for my wonderful, curmudgeonly older brother who still treats me like I am a child. Some things never change.

I am thankful for a roof over my head, a car to drive, food on the table, and money to pay the bills. I am thankful that I live in a land of possibility and promise, a land where, with a little integrity and a lot of hard work, any of us can reach our full potential.

I am thankful for the men and women who will be spending the holidays in a far-away land, separated from those they love the most, so that I can enjoy the holidays in peace. I am thankful for their families, who sacrifice so that the rest of us don’t have to.

Most of all, I am thankful for a God who loves me, even when I’m not lovable. I’m thankful that He wants to be my friend, and spend time with me. His is a love that will never end. It just keeps going and going.

Yep, I have much to be thankful for. My cup overflows.

1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

6 comments:

Cheryl Barker said...

Renae, my cup overflows, too. How I thank Him for all His many blessings to me!

Have a great Thanksgiving -- and good luck with all the baking! :)

Renae said...

Thanks, Cheryl! You too! :-)

Jean Matthew Hall said...

Me, too, Renae. My heart is flooded with gratitude as I read your list. So much. We have so much while most of the people in the world have so little.

I will bake a turkey, I will baste it with love for those who will gather around my table. I will baste it with gratitude for this wonderful life I've been privileged to live for 60 years.

I will baste it with prayers for those who live with hunger their constant companion.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Jean

Renae said...

Your family is very blessed to have you to love them, Jean. And yes, the list of things to be thankful for goes on and on, doesn't it?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jeanette said...

I'm thankful for this post, Renae, and thankful for the place you have in my life through blogworld! What a big blessing to me!

Thanksgiving is almost always at my house, and I will be baking a turkey. We, too, will be enjoying more food than we need.

I'm thankful that, because I love God, I can count everything in my life as a blessing! I can't always see it, to be sure, but He is working everything out to be GOOD for me, and that means I can't even begin to count all my blessings!

Renae said...

Hi Jeanette! I'm thankful for you, too. I hope we can meet in person one day! ;-)