Happy Thanksgiving to all! I pray each of your homes will be filled with laughter, family, friends, and food. I don't know what annual traditions your family holds, other than the usual stuffing the turkey and then stuffing yourself! We tend to attempt the Norman Rockwell spread minus the creepy eyes staring at you from the corner of the scene. :-D No insult intended---I love Norman Rockwell pictures. Each year we prepare a feast-laden table, situate ourselves around it somehow (did you know it can be difficult to seat seven people around a six-person table?), and eat to our heart's content. Then, for the next few days, we munch on leftovers creatively disguised as casseroles. Although, to be honest, with each added member of our family, the amount of leftovers has dwindled proportionately!
Do you have just turkey or do you serve ham as well? We try to save the ham for Christmas dinner, but I think one year we may have had both. My husband loves lots of marshmallows on the candied yams, which makes the kiddies happy---except Emily Rose, who can't stand sweet potatoes. Something wrong with that one, I'm afraid! We have green bean casserole (no leftovers there), cranberry sauce (the family's split on this one), rolls, corn, and the oh-so-necessary pumpkin pie with whipped cream (a must-have). I fix gravy for everyone else, but I really don't care for it myself. Sometimes we have mashed potatoes; sometimes not. Regardless of the food, our family gets to gather once more and praise our Father for His goodness.
No matter what we do or don't have on our table tomorrow, we have much to be thankful for. God has blessed us bountifully this year through friends, family, and our church. His hand is evident in our lives, from the smallest detail of seeming little consequence to the biggest, most pressing need. He has shown us again and again just how big He really is and how far-reaching His arm is to help. Over and over we've had some problem---sometimes small, like missing car keys, and sometimes big, like this-bill-must-be-paid-NOW! We will deliberately stop and pray, asking God to help us and solve our problem, and He has. He'll reveal the location of the missing item even after we've looked there ten times, or He'll have a check show up in the mail, one we were not expecting but definitely needed. Our God loves us and wants to meet our needs. He said so in Philippians 4:19: "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Now, to be honest, sometimes what we define as a need is actually just a want. We don't need satellite TV or a new van, even though we desire those things. We have to want what God wants us to have and be thankful for what He chooses to give us. Not always easy but definitely worthwhile!
On a more personal note.........we have had to increase Dale's medication dosage because he had a seizure Sunday morning. He was making his way into his Sunday school classroom when, just inside the doorway, his legs buckled. I was on one side of him and his teacher was on the other to catch him; we both thought that supporting Dale until he got his legs under him was a good idea. Dale didn't agree. He said, "Mom!" in an urgent voice which let me know he needed to sit down all the way and relax. (He's said before that he has felt a seizure coming on. It starts in his feet, making them feel like jello, and, if he stops trying to stand up, his feet will be fine and cooperate.) The teacher and I lowered Dale to the floor, but there was not enough room for Dale to stretch his legs out. As a result, his knees were up under his chin, and Dale just couldn't stop the seizure from taking over this time. He said, "Mom.....Mom!" and then began seizing, thrusting his arms out in a stiffened position and blinking rapidly. This seizure was no different from any other he has had in length of time or evident posturing. I held him as best I could until he began relaxing, then laid him back on the floor and straightened his legs out. There were a few junior high kids already in the classroom when Dale arrived; they sat quietly during the episode, not terribly scared since there were adults present but still concerned for Dale. Once Dale relaxed, I asked his teacher to find Chad. Ashley, Dale's next younger sister, was present the whole time, having seen what was happening and come to help if she could.
Within about fifteen seconds, Dale began crying, showing that he was aware of what had happened and was coming out of it. He actually began getting movement back quickly, lifting his head when his dad arrived on the scene, sitting up on his own (although he was still weak and as limp as a noodle!), and pushing himself off the floor when his teacher assisted him into a chair. Chad opted to take Dale home and let him rest. His teacher found an office chair (with rollers) and scooted him out to the van that Chad pulled up to the building. Dale was able to climb in on his own and buckle himself and all. When I called between services to check on him, Chad said he had fed Dale breakfast, after which Dale adjourned to the living room to play video games. Yep, he's back to normal! :-)
Dale has been fine since. While still lying on the floor right after the seizure, Dale said, "Oh, great! Now everyone saw me fall." I replied, "Yes, but do they look upset about it?" and was glad to hear several giggles from the kids in the classroom. One of the girls came up to me during the morning service to ask how Dale was doing, and I was able to assure her that he was fine. Dale has decided not to let this bother him. He is walking around even more than ever, not staying in one place for more than a couple of minutes. Those who have not seen him so mobile cannot stop expressing their shock over how well he's doing. I checked with Dale to be sure his constant motion was not a medical issue; it's not---he's just so glad to not be stuck sitting somewhere anymore until someone comes and gets him. He gets up and walks all over creation! He did take a tumble a few days ago. Apparently the combination of the pounding rain and gusty winds we've been experiencing caused his legs to wiggle underneath him, and down he went. A kind school mom helped him up and walked with him to my classroom. Dale has accepted that weak legs and occasional falls are a part of life now, and he refuses to let that keep him down.
I told Dale that, since he's so much more independent now, he should not need as much "watching" at home. In other words, I can walk with him up the stairs, give him a hug and kiss goodnight, and let him put himself to bed. When he wants something to drink, he can get it himself. (Monday, he actually poured himself a glass of milk for the first time since the accident!) He can probably even begin to unload the dishwasher, being careful to only take a few dishes at a time to the counter to be put away. All these things will go even farther toward helping Dale feel normal and independent again. Praise the Lord!
As you can see, we do have much to be thankful for. Our Heavenly Father is truly wonderful and, in His wisdom, has allowed us to be a visible part of His great master plan. May we ever thank Him for His goodness to us and keep our hearts and lives open to His leading.
Psalm 119: 165 "Great peace have they which love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them."