Early this month, I asked God what He wanted me to do for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, as I’ve mentioned before, is my FAVORITE holiday. My premise for asking Him about Thanksgiving plans this year was because our family tradition was in transition. There is a new addition to the family. Our newest little cousin lives a couple of hours away. This is her first Thanksgiving. I know from experience in driving back and forth to get Anthony that infants do not hold up well on long car trips. Even though, in this case, the newest cousin would not be in the car nonstop going back and forth like Jazmine was, it would still be rough for her and especially the new parents. Because of this, I suggested that they not come this year. Because they weren’t coming, I knew my aunt and uncle would not be making the trip either, as well they shouldn’t.
At this point I was nervous because I didn’t think Thanksgiving would be as special to me as it has always been because my out-of-town family would not be here this year. The attendance of the rest of my local family was in question as well due to other circumstances. I was really, initially, seeking God’s face to direct me to other people I could invite over so I didn’t feel the emptiness I was afraid would follow from having only 7 of the 20 people we normally have Thanksgiving Day. I wanted a house full so I could cook for them. (A friend posted a recipe for a bacon wrapped turkey and I just had to try it. Cooking it for Jazmine, my husband, my mother-in-law and myself would have been a waste. I don’t think I could have found a bird small enough) I usually cook and/or bake something for Thanksgiving dinner. One old faithful recipe and another new one to test on everyone. I make all the Thanksgiving guests my guinea pigs 🙂 I enjoy it. So, as you can see, my motives were completely selfish although I had a hard time accepting that was the case at the time.
God’s answer was surprising. He said, “You host Thanksgiving.”
Well, I immediately thought I had heard wrong. For one thing, we live in a town house that, though we have done it before, does not host a lot of people comfortably, at least not for my liking. My parents usually host Thanksgiving, and there is plenty of space for everyone and then some over there. So, I assumed (was hoping actually) God meant He would provide us with a home of our own between then and Thanksgiving so I could host Thanksgiving dinner. That didn’t happen.
I didn’t reject what I believed I heard but I did test it to see if it was true.
I had a series of two to two-and-a-half tests.
Test #1 Run it past Brian. If he said “no” than I know it must not have been from God.
Test #2 Run it past my Dad. He would be the ultimate authority on the decision. I didn’t think he would easily let go of hosting Thanksgiving even with most of the family not being there. I can remember only one year my parents did not host Thanksgiving and I was in Kindergarten or first-grade I think. Since then, it’s always been at there house.
Test #3 Inform my mother-in-law. This part really wasn’t a test per se hence the half a test. She would have to know of course but I know she would go with whatever we wanted to do.
Test #1 Brian was on board and excited about it. Boy was I surprised!
Test #2 Daddy was on board and excited! I was shocked and started to get nervous because this was really happening.
Test #3 My mother-in-law agreed as expected but she was excited too! That part threw me. I did not expect her joyous reaction.
Now that it was settled, it was time to plan. This might be a good time to mention that the finalization of who was hosting what did not occur until the afternoon of Sunday, November 18. That’s right! Just four days before Thanksgiving!
But it turned out beautifully! My dinner was good. I was able to cook for all nine of us (Anthony was here!) and we had it right here in the ark. I was able to cook just like I wanted to (bacon wrapped turkey and all). No emptiness was felt because the space was just the right size for the amount of people. There was one “guest” and the rest was immediate family. Our “guest” which is a family friend, was guest enough. Everyone had a great time. I enjoyed myself immensely.
The entire day I relished in knowing that I was in the will of God. I was doing EXACTLY what He wanted me to do right when He wanted me to do it. It is the only moment that I can think of to date without further need of clarity that I was standing in the will of God! And it was AWESOME!