Where was My Thankful Heart?

I had to work Thanksgiving eve day and on my drive home, it was raining.   I tried to be excited about the Holiday; we were to celebrate Thanksgiving with Bob’s dad up at the farm as we have done the past few years.  It was even going to be more of a treat for me because my baby twin brothers and their family were going to be up there.  But, to be honest, I had a complaining spirit.   All I could think about was the Thanksgiving meal and meals that had to be made for the entire weekend. I had even made up a three day menu of what I was going to make (breakfast, lunch, dinner).  I did not have the time to get the things on my grocery list, or the money,  so the thought of going to the store with every other last minute shopper in the rain didn’t help my attitude.

I got home and as started to pack for the week end Bob’s dad had called and said that we didn’t need to go to the store.  He had bought everything needed and to just to drive safely up there.  He had even made us dinner to eat when we got settled in.                                   You think that would have relieved some stress for me but it didn’t.

I hate the extreme pressure I feel every year on Thanksgiving Day.  Breakfast is just as important on turkey day, because it has to hold everyone over until the feast is ready, which is always at least an hour after the announced time dinner would be done.

By the way, did I mention that several families drive in for the Holiday and stay at the farm?  It is truly wonderful but can be a lot of work.  My poor father in law has gotten used to his big old house being quiet, with only the occasional noise of his two dogs chasing the old fat cat.  I know that he loves us and loves it when we “all” come into town but the sweet sound of silence has to be a relief for him after the 3 days of listening to all our voices.

Thanksgiving day I woke up with this horrible headache, probably because the drive up the night before I had attitude and was having quite the conversation in my head.  And with that attitude I got a stiff neck from holding a “pouting” posture for two and half hours as we drove up to the farm.

I was asked to make one of Dale’s favorite breakfast meals, it was out of the ordinary but I did it for him. I had no excuse he bought up the store and had everything need for me, and his other daughter in law, to make all his favorite meals.  By the time I got that done and the kitchen cleaned up my head was pounding!  I was walking around somewhat like a zombie, asking myself what I needed to do next.

My sister in law, Sallyanne, jumped into action, she had cleaned out the two roasters that we use every year and started to prep the casseroles dishes.  As I stood there, not really thinking about anything, and not aware of the expression on my face she stopped suddenly from her prep and asked, “Am I doing it wrong?”  The look on her eyes made me feel horrible, did she really think that I was judging her the way she was putting the ingredients together?  What kind of maniac have I been over the years in the kitchen?  I by no means claim to be some master chief but she looked at me as if I was the “Iron Chief”.   I assured her that she wasn’t doing it wrong and that I was so thankful for the help.

We worked together in the kitchen getting things ready.  This year we actually had ovens to bake in but decided to use the roasters, again, for the turkeys to free up the ovens (it’s a double oven).  Not only did we have two turkeys to cook but a ham to bake along with all the casseroles.  Needless to say once everything was on and cooking we sat down and chatted.  That is when Sallyanne told me that over the years she had always thought she was in my way in the kitchen and felt very uncomfortable around me.

I felt awful!  Every year as I stressed out and in my head thinking the whole thing was on my shoulders, I was making everyone feel as if I didn’t want their help; which is the farthest thing from the truth!  Wow I guess I have been a total pain in the “neck”.  What a wake up call.  With me stressing out every year and thinking everyone is counting on me to make the meal, the whole time I was making them stress because of my attitude.

Well 45 minutes after we walked away from the kitchen we noticed the roaster light was no longer on, they weren’t even hot anymore.  To our horror we realized that we had too much plugged in on the wall outlet and had tripped the breaker on the fuse box.  This whole time those ugly turkeys were not cooking.
Again, Thanksgiving Day 2010 the people starve as they all anxiously wait for the button to pop “up” from the turkey’s behind.  With one question on their minds; “When will it be done?”

That final 30 minutes was a race to the finish!  Mashing potatoes, pulling casseroles out of the oven in enough time to cool but not get cold, heating the up the dinner roles without burning them, carving the turkey and ham, and oh yeah make the gravy I had enough!  I announced; “It is finally done, get in her in eat before it all gets too cold!”

Yeah, again I made everyone feel uncomfortable.  They all timidly fill their plates as they walked around the banquet of food almost afraid to ask, “Is anyone going to give thanks?”  I can’t imagine the look on my face by that time, and I am embarrassed to say, that we did not give thanks before we ate.

And I as I type this out to you today I have tears of regret and shame, that I let my emotions get the best of me on the very day people, that don’t usually pray, take the time to bow their head and give thanks.

I have so much to be thankful for how could I have done such a thing.  I feel as if God himself was waiting anxiously that day too, waiting for me to say thank you.  As I think back at that moment, I can almost see Him walk away as everyone started to eat and it breaks my heart to think that my own attitude grieved Him so much that He was not invited at our meal.

With Thanksgiving Day 2010 gone I now want to say this:
Lord God, you have so much mercy on me, and have given me so much more than I am worthy of. I  may be a little late but I want to thank you for all you have done in this past year for me and my family.  I am truly blessed beyond belief.  Forgive me for grieving you with my unthankful heart.  Always remind me when my attitude is not becoming, of the vision of You quietly walking away like you did on Thanksgiving Day.  I never want to feel your presence walk away from me again. In Your Name, I pray, Amen.

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