Every year my family sits around the most beautiful table with the most beautiful music in the background. A table set by my incredible mother the music chosen by my wonderful dad. They take care of every single little detail in order to ensure it’s perfection. They do this because it’s a day that means so much.
Our tradition has always been to gather around this beautiful table and mingle throughout the house with one another. We talk about life and those who’ve moved on to heaven. We reminisce about the departed and the memories and traditions they instilled in us. We laugh at the funny things and sometimes we cry about the things we wish we could say or do with those who no longer sit as this perfect table.
Every Thanksgiving my mom spends hours making the perfect turkey! (It’s absolutely delicious!!!!) She makes black beans that we all look forward to since she only makes them twice a year! My sister makes the best cranberry sauce from scratch & stuffing and my brother in law always brings the “gravy” from KFC. (It’s his contribution to the culinary world… 😂) I’m responsible for the Sweet Potato casserole and whatever vegetable I choose that particular week. We all bring some sort of dessert and appetizers and basically my brother brings whatever he’s created for us to try! (Always, delish!)
Each year as we get ready to sit around this beautiful table, we find our “assigned” seats (we sit in the same place every year like good little school children). We stand, hold hands, & either my mom or niece (Megan) lead our prayer. Sometimes we mix things up and go around the table allowing each of us to say what we are thankful for. (It makes me feel kind of awkward mostly because I’m a cry baby, but I do it anyway.)
Now that I’ve given you a glimpse into my family’s traditions… I’d like to share with you what I’m thankful for this year…
1. I’m thankful for my faith. My faith, instilled by my parents & grandparents has kept my head above water even when I should be drowning. My faith has given me the will power to believe that during great times God is in charge & that during the toughest times God is still in charge. I’ve learned that I’m human so I doubt, but that if I let go and let God, my life will always play out exactly as God intended. I’m a puppet on a string, in the hands of the greatest!
2. I’m thankful for my family. My husband is my best friend & greatest love. He cheers me on and lifts me up when I doubt my next step or leap off a new ledge! My daughters. They are my biggest blessing and my most prized possession. They keep me grounded but always on my toes. They are my reason to live, the reason I learned to love unconditionally, & the reason I get up even when I am too tired.
My parents… there aren’t enough words. I’m thankful for a set of parents who love each other beyond measure and have taught me what true love and commitment are all about. My mother the nurturing, my father the wise. Together they are impressive. They can make the worst day feel like it never even happened. They carry your burden so as to not make you feel pain. They smile when you’re afraid as to make you find the humor even. My parents have guided me and taught me to be who I am today.
My siblings. Have you ever had that friend that always seems to show up right on time? We are all grown adults now, with families of our own yet we are like children around that perfect table my mom set. We laugh at each other, laugh with each other, & always end up talking about something highly entertaining (or inappropriate) and find humor in seeing my dad’s face of shock or lack there of. We love each other through thick and thin. We are always just a phone call away. Each of our kids feels their aunt or uncle are always cooler and more fun than their parents.
My Mother in Law… that woman officially takes the award! She is at this point the last one of her generation in our family. Sometimes things are challenging, but mostly because she doesn’t understand today’s generation nor electronics. 😂 All kidding aside, she loves a good time, can drink you under the table, & smokes real cigars! She laughs at inappropriate things we say and encourages us to keep enjoying life! She takes care of my kids so we can work and helps in any way she can. Sometimes, she doesn’t get the credit she deserves but today I make that right.
3. I am thankful for my friends. I’ve never been the type to “follow the crowd” or to be a “tons of friends” kind of girl. I’ve been lucky to have some amazing friends as I grew up but none of those still remain in my life today. (Well on social media but you know…) However, I’ve made some incredible friends and learned to trust them & even share with them both the good and the bad. I’ve reached out to them when I’ve needed them & I’m happy to have been there when they’ve needed me. Each one of them is as close to being my sister as it can get without sharing parents! Actually they are my sisters because I said so… I’ll name them… because I think they need to know how thankful I am for each of them.
In alphabetical order:
Janet… although you’re not the lovey dovey emotional type… (you are, but play it off REALLY WELL! 👍🏼) I am so lucky to have you in my life! 7 plus years ago I thought you were crabby and moody. (I was right, but you learned to love me and I broke you just a little! 😂) We have made some great memories and I pray to someday share a room with you in a nursing home. You are my homie for life! 🙌🏼😂🍷🤫🤬🤭
Lindsey… our meeting was merely by chance. I guess I have Lowe’s to thank. Well and JC of course. You (& Jayson) from day 1 welcomed me in as part of your family. Even though we don’t spend a lot of time together (because WORK is always in our way!) when we are together it’s PERFECT! Like we never missed a beat! Everything is like fresh made biscuits & homemade blueberry jelly! (I’m patiently waiting Jayson!) We just clicked and it is a forever friendship! ❤️🤪🍷🍻😜
Meagan…. oh Meagan… 10 years ago we met on a whim! God knew the day we met we would be friends forever! We shared some incredible moments in life including babies, marriage, loss, & change. We had each other to lean on and without you I would’ve never survived the Fall of 2016. You literally held my hand and helped me through one of the scariest times in my life. I am thankful for you & “YaYa” forever! I’m even thankful for the night I got “escorted” out of the Bluffs because you wanted me to “smell” your Diet Coke and coconut rum!🤰🏻😴😭🤬😂❤️👰🏻🤰🏻😘
There are many other friends I’m thankful for. They make life more pleasant and a whole lot more bearable!
Last but not least… I’m thankful for every single person who has taken the time to read, repost, comment, encourage, & support me on this “journey” through this blog. Writing it gives me an escape and a chance to fulfill my hobby of writing! I never imagined it would reach as many people as it has. Thank you!
This Thanksgiving I felt compelled to take an extra moment and reflect on the great things God has given me on a deeper level. I of course am thankful for my jobs, my home, the food in my fridge. But the people in my life are the one thing I’ve learned that make the biggest impact and leave the greatest impression.
This Thanksgiving, I’m going to dive into my memory bank and retrieve the lessons and moments that my grandparents who are no longer with me created & instilled. They always made it a point to say family is always and forever. At the end of everyday they are what make you who you are. My grandparents were exceptional people & my parents have continued their traditions. I pray, that God always keeps us close in spirit and in life.
A small Thanksgiving prayer is what I’ll close this blog post with…
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for giving me life. Thank you for allowing me to see through you the greatness of love & compassion. Thank you for reminding me everyday that you alone are in control & that no matter what I should always have faith. This Thanksgiving, I pray that you help those who are alone, afraid, in pain & in need. Give them the key to unlock your grace & and trust in your guidance.
In your name I pray… Amen
May each of you enjoy this Thanksgiving Holiday!
Until Next time… Cheers!