Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Anticipating Thanksgiving Anyway

"But godliness with contentment is great gain."   ... 1 Timothy 6:6


So. Way back last March (April?) we invited our friends, Roger and Liz over to lunch and then the next day Roger emailed and asked if we'd spend Thanksgiving with them. 

I wrote back right away and said sure! How nice to plan something different.

Well. This will be shocking news (yeah, right), but guess who has to work on Thanksgiving Day? Yep, good ol' Tom.

(During those 20  months of unemployment, at least Tom was home for every major holiday. See, there really is a silver lining behind those grey clouds.)

And not only will Tom be working, but Naomi will be way down there in Nashville (she'll spend the day with friends), so that means this will be our first Thanksgiving without her. It also means I'll spend the day alone.

Of course, not alone-alone. Nope! Around Hobbit Cottage I'll have Jesus, Grace and Daniel and Sammy The Cats. And my kitchen radio with its retro tunes and my Miracle On 34th Street dvd which I always watch on Thanksgiving. And a ton of books and food to cook and windows to stare through and be happy.

My oh my. I remember earlier years in this blog when you, my poor readers, had to wade through whole whiny paragraphs about how unfair it is that Tom nearly always works on every major holiday.

Truly, I am hanging-my-head sorry about that. 

But over the last few years, God's made this huge change within me: contentment in being 'alone' on holidays. Whew. What a challenge for Him! I made everything so darn hard because I kept complaining (bad, bad) about the unfairness of it all. I kept imagining the rest of America having giddy, everybody's-getting-along family gatherings (ha!) while I sat around for 12 (long) hours waiting for Tom and (often) Naomi to arrive home, long after dark.

But oh! Now that I've accepted that I'm a happy introvert, now that I've stopped trying to make my holidays look like everybody else's (how silly when we ask God to grant us our illusions), now that I've learned extreme gratitude and to find my contentment in Jesus, well, I'm actually looking forward to a Thanksgiving 'alone'.

No, really.

You know that verse which says "Where sin abounds, Grace much more abounds"? Well, I've tweaked that a bit: "Where aloneness abounds, Grace much more abounds to make up for it."

Oh! Grace, Grace and more Grace. What will she have in mind for me this next Thanksgiving?


“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.” 
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


 "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."   ... Philippians 4:11,12


Okay, it's a bit dreary on this cold, grey morning, but such is the view from my library window.



Anonymous said...

Well, now that hubby is retired, of course, our lives are different. Seems we rarely if ever had holidays with him there, when the kids were home at least. But we just celebrated WHENEVER he was at home. It was good training for today I suppose because though we are supposed to be with 2 of our kids and families for Thanksgiving, we doubt we will be for any of the other holidays in the year. At least it has been kind of like this for quite a few years now...we are maybe with them on 1 holiday, though up until this Fall, we only lived an hour away. But we are quite content to be just us alone too. It is harder when you are all alone as you are, alone from humans anyway. But hope you can figure out how to make a nice celebration whenever Tom is home!!

Pat said...

Being married to a retired fireman, I am well aware of holidays without him while he worked his shift. We missed him, but I also remember being so thankful he had a job after many years of struggling.
I'm glad your glass is still half full, God honors your sweet heart!

Elizabeth said...

Yes, God does honor your sweet heart! You have also showed me that I should be thankful for those I do have with me on holidays. I have been sad that I could not always have my entire family together on all holidays. This year we are celebrating Thanksgiving this Sunday and I will have everyone here. My daughter helped to realize that it can be celebrated on any day, her husband, a police officer is working that day and my other grandchildren are going to there step-mothers family on Thursday, so this year I will have my bunch all together just not on Thursday!