My house smells delicious. Well, it’s about to anyway. Since everyone in my family will be working or at school tomorrow, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving at the weekend instead of on the actual day.
That means, come the weekend, my sisters will be busy making place cards. My dad will be trying to create a new-and-original centrepiece for the table, my mom will be stuffing the turkey and my pumpkin pie will be on its way into the oven. The doorbell will ring and our friends will arrive. We’ll sit down to eat, filling ourselves with second and third helpings of stuffing and beans and casserole and turkey. At dessert, we’ll have a ‘slither’ of both the pies… and then a bit more after. And of course, we’ll have cinnamon whipped cream and ice cream too. We’ll go round the table and say what we’re thankful for, then my sisters and I will argue over who gets to blow out the candles as we clear the table. We’ll play some games, maybe watch Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving and have a round or two of hide and seek in the dark, all of which will inevitably end in fits of giggles.
The evening will end almost before it’s started, the leftovers will be stored in various tupperware, and we’ll load and reload the dishwasher as many times as it takes to fit everything in. I’ll go to bed that night with a full stomach but an even fuller heart.
I love celebrating Thanksgiving, even if we’re on the wrong side of the ocean, not just because of the good food and company, but because it slows me down. It slows me down and reminds me to be grateful.
I love Thanksgiving for that, but at the same time, I think it’s sad. I think it’s sad that it takes a day- or an entire four day holiday if you’re reading this from America- to slow us down and remind us to count our blessings. I think it’s sad that we live in a society that is so fast-paced that it takes a long weekend to evoke gratitude from within.
For me, the average week looks like school, babysitting, music practice, homework, blogging, more babysitting, back to school, youth group, friends, friends again, Church, work, studying, Netflix, babysitting, homework, cooking dinner, driving lesson, extra maths, band rehearsal, school again, face-timing cousins, blogging even more… you get the idea. I don’t know what your typical week looks like, but chances are it looks something similar to mine… busy, jam-packed and fleeting.
Life is fast. I get that. I get that it can be hard to find time. But maybe that’s not a good enough excuse anymore. Maybe we need to examine our lives and decide that today, no matter how busy we may find ourselves, we’re going to make time.
Maybe we need to make time to look around us and to see the sky, the smiles of the people next to us, the stack of sticky notes, the vibrant autumn leaves. Maybe we need to make time to listen to the uplifting prayers of others, that new worship song, the sweet voice message, the geese as they fly by. Maybe we need to make time to feel the gentle nudges of my friends, the fluffy sweater, the hot shower, the warmth of home. Maybe we need to take time to taste the homecooked meals, the clear water from our taps, that gooey, chocolate cookie, the coffee from breakfast.
Friend, I don’t know if it’s the same for you. Maybe you already have the time in your life, maybe you manage to find a moment here and there, maybe it’s part of your routine. But I know for me, I sure need to be better at turning off my phone, at pausing my music, at taking a step back to look around me and take in how much I really am blessed with.
Because really, truly, I have so much to be grateful for.