Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Mixed Bag

Topping my thanksgiving list every year is family and, I'm ashamed to say, food.  There is nothing like sitting around a big old table with family and friends enjoying a big feast together.  That is one of my favorite occasions of the whole year, when true communion and fellowship happen in the home.

At the same time, I know for many of us the holidays come with a mixed bag of joy and melancholy.  Thanksgiving brings the annual "Why, oh, why can I not find cranberry sauce or canned pumpkin?" and "Why do turkeys have to be so expensive?" all the while anticipating the delight of sharing whatever we can find to serve.

But beyond that, a big family dinner only emphasizes the absence of other loved ones who are dear to us, but not near at all.  I'll be praying for each of you over these next few weeks as you sort through what's most important, and as you enjoy the family (or adopted family) you have, while trying not to excessively miss the ones who live far away.

For me, it's either feast or famine.  This week my son and ddil, who are teaching at the local MK school, are with us, along with ddil's parents who are visiting from Illinois, plus our three teens.  That brings us up to nine, which in the good old days is the number we used to have around our table on a daily basis.  Then of course we have a few other friends who will join us, including the surrogate grandparents next door who will be missing their own family.

Christmas, however, is going to be our time of famine.  None of our married children will be with us, and our two older girls are making an enviable trip to Great Britain over the holidays, leaving us with only the 14- and the almost-16-year-olds at home.  Four people sitting around a table for Christmas dinner seems a bit lonesome to me.  We'll have to come up with an alternative somehow.

My challenge is to focus on the blessings in front of me without being distracted by the if-onlies, and to enjoy the Thanksgiving feast without thinking ahead to the Christmas famine.  Staying in the present is an ongoing struggle of mine.  I am purposing in my heart to live for the moment.  I hope you will, too.

IRL* Surely I am not the only one.... How are you handling the mixed bag the holiday delivers?


  1. Bless your heart, Jamie Jo! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I can so relate to your missing married children, so glad so me of them can be with you.

    My closest Turkish sister/daughter married this last summer, which was thrilling, but sad in that she now lives across town (instead of 5 minutes away). I'm thankful she and her husband can be with us for Thanksgiving, but I'm trying to give them space and not get my hopes up for Christmas too.

    I can imagine how you feel missing flesh and blood children living in another country. I agree: let's stay focused on the blessings God is giving in the present moment!

  2. Hi, Olive. Nice to see you here. Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving with your sister/daughter friend. Mine was just perfect yesterday. I'm sure Christmas will be, too.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...