It Was Never about the Turkey

This Thanksgiving Day instead of remembering the past I focused on the future.

In the back of my mind, memories from Thanksgiving Day’s past quietly paraded by. Mama standing in the kitchen with that perfectly browned turkey in the middle of the kitchen table, her pretty dark eyes turning towards me, will always be present in the fabric of this day. Her passing still stings me; the memory of her on Thanksgiving morning all busy and focused makes me laugh. Joy. Mama was joy to me.

My first Thanksgiving as a young wife, in-laws who could never be satisfied, a husband who tried to encourage me in my imagined failings, at once makes me laugh and makes me cry.

Time can be cruel in its passing and its sweeping away from us those whom we loved the most. Holidays have a way of slapping us squarely in the face with regrets at what we may have failed to say and/or do.

Love. That is what I remember most about Thanksgiving. Love. Looking across the table at those whom I loved most. My husband didn’t seem to mind that I had overcooked the turkey (if he did notice, he didn’t mention it).

Love. Remembering Mama. My perfect Mama.

Love. Remembering that husband from so long ago.

Thanksgiving is about love, about gathering to thank God for another year to share the table with those whom we love the most.

Time is cruel in its taking from us those whom we have loved the most.

In this holiday season, I have been reminded of the rapid, cruel passage of time.

But, rather than be sad, rather than give into the darkness of depression, rather than giving into the despair, I ask God to give me the courage to just simply be thankful for the love that I had been blessed with those many years ago.

Thankful for love.

Thankful for those November memories.

Thankful for those memories I will always cherish regardless of the pain of loss they sometimes bring.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2020

Can We Please Just Be Thankful?

This has been a very, very difficult year. The truth is, unfortunately, I am not altogether sure if it has had to be this difficult. Follow me on this for a second. I am baffled by all the conflicting news reports that have joyfully dwelt on darkness, death and destruction. There I said it, joyfully dwelt on darkness, death and destruction. Media outlets, news pundits, politicians, activists, actors, et cetera, et cetera have worked overtime to scare the living daylights out of us. Anxiety, depression, suicide, domestic violence, increased substance abuse have been the results of all this terror we have been subjected to on a 24/7 basis. To listen to news feeds and the talking heads one would think that we are on the brink of destruction. Are we really? Who profits from all this mass hysteria? I call it hysteria. And after almost a year of it, I call it what it is and I declare that I will not listen to any of it anymore.

Life is way too short; we are all living on borrowed time. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, nor is the next breath promised to anyone.

That sobering thought inspires me to cherish each moment, to cherish each sunrise and sunset that God blesses me with. That sobering thought inspires me to call family and friends I haven’t spoken with in years so that I can reconnect. That sobering thought inspires me to stop and enjoy the cool ocean breezes and the warmth of the sun on my skin. That sobering thought inspires me to live each moment with thankfulness. Any moment could be my last, no matter how socially isolated I am, no matter how safe I am by staying home. And no we are not alone together as the slogan goes that is being touted in my community. Truth is, I hunger for community, in person, not on a virtual screen. Truth is, nothing can stop the inevitableness of life’s ending. Nothing at all.

I am exhausted by the restrictions of 2020. I feel as if something precious from my life has been stolen. I am now trying to regain the ground that I felt I lost. I refuse to enter 2021 with fear and trembling.

I rely completely on the words of my Lord Jesus Christ:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

I refuse to be troubled; I refuse to be afraid.

I place my soul in the comforting and protecting hands of God. He keeps his promises. He never fails.

Romans 15:13 says: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Isaiah 26:3-4 says: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (4) Trust ye in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”

Perfect peace. Hope. Joy.

Joy. Hope. Perfect peace.

These are guarantees from God.

As I look towards 2021, I encourage you to join me in turning your heart, mind and soul completely over to the loving, unfailing protection of God.

Switch off the media’s hysterical histrionics and enjoy time with family and friends. Enjoy time outdoors in this beautiful world that God has given to us. Enjoy this brief life, make every precious moment count.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, shine his face upon you, and be gracious to you, lift up your countenance, and give you peace (Numbers 6: 24-26).

God’s peace,

Amen.

Copyright 2020 Jenny W. Andrews