A Snapshot From Your World

Hey, Girls!

I’m sitting on the back porch on a lovely Sunday afternoon. Queen Esther is a few feet from me hugging a yellow tennis ball with her front paws and huffing and puffing with a wide, toothy grin in the afterglow of about 30 good cross-yard throws. I use one of these thing…

…for two really good reasons:

1) I wear out long before Star does and I don’t mind saying I don’t wear out all that easy. She never gets enough ball time. Never. I’m no math wizard but hurling that thing twice as far means I only have to throw it half as often.

2) In a word: dog spit. Well, that’s two words. Or let’s just make it a hyphenated word: dog-spit. She may be the Queen but spit is still spitty. I don’t care how lovely the original Queen Esther was, Xerxes wouldn’t have given her a second look with spit all over her chin. It’s just not ladylike. The whole story could have slipped and fallen on it.

Anyway, what I’m trying to get at is that I’ve gotten to have a few days mostly to myself. I hate to even mention those words to you moms of young children but it will happen for you someday, too, and sometimes you’ll be glad it did and other times you’ll pine for those babies like every fine day of your life is long behind you even though you know better than that. That’s when it’s a really good idea to have grandbabies but, unfortunately, it doesn’t always get to be your idea.

My man almost always heads to the ranch Thanksgiving afternoon after the meal.  It was the deer lease before he got some hunting acreage of his own.  I don’t pout about it because I don’t mind and it wouldn’t do much good anyway and it’s simply the way we’re accustomed to doing life. We were laughing at the table a few days ago when he admitted that, in the early years, he’d go to a little extra trouble to be a handful this time of year so that, the second he mentioned heading to the deer camp, I’d yell, “Gooooooo!” and kiss him goodbye in an anxious fury. Anyway, Keith’s idea of closeness has never been clinginess. Sometimes, if he’s been cooped up too long around here, he’ll retreat a tad into his own world like a lot of men do but 30 minutes after his truck tires hit I-10 West (or at least by the first Buccee’s) he’s often calling me and telling me why he ever fell in love with me in the first place. It makes me smile every time.

My man and I do better on this schedule: a lot of time together, a little time apart, a lot of time together, a little time apart, a lot of time together, a little time apart… And that’s how we’ve made it 34 years this coming December 30th.

Instead of getting my nose out of joint when he’s gone (it wouldn’t be a pretty sight anyway), I play like I own the place. I get up a bit later, read a little more, have longer quiet times, come and go as I please, and get with friends (and family, of course, but family is something we do on a regular basis anyway), walk in the woods all by myself (with Star) and I watch movies he’d probably hate.

Yesterday I decided to spend most of the day by myself doing this and that and, lo and behold, I got in the Christmas spirit. I tried to find where our Christmas decorations got stored in this new house last year when we made our monumental move to the country but, for the life of me, I couldn’t find a single box. I don’t know how to navigate the attics yet so I’m sure they’re up there. If they’re not, believe you me, you’ll hear about it. There will be heck to pay by somebody, especially if the stockings I handmade and tediously beaded from a kit for Keith, Amanda, Melissa and myself back in 1982 don’t show up. It was my last act of seamstressness and, without it, there is not the least whiff that I ever walked in craftiness. I’ll not have it.

But I did indeed know exactly where my Christmas dishes were. They were a gift from my “Other.” You know. We girls have a mother then many of us who live in a wide enough circle of women also have an “Other.” I mean, who really gets enough nurturing in this life from one older woman? Spread the love around. She doesn’t take the place of the one who raised you but sometimes you can tell her things you can’t exactly tell your M-Other. That was Miss Mary Helen to me. I have many things from her and most are beyond a retail price but these dishes are the most beautiful ones I’ve ever owned and I have 12 whole place settings. I bet a number of you have this same Spode pattern or one similar. It was the ultimate in Christmas dinnerware to our mothers and grandmothers and, to traditionalists, it can hardly be outdone.

It’s too big a waste to set them aside only for Christmas Eve or Day so I try to get them out nice and early and put some of them on this stand Miss Mary Helen gave me so we’ll use them everyday through the season. It’s a happiness to me.

And that’s all it took. Next thing I knew, I’d downloaded a new Christmas album on my iPhone. I don’t like it yet but I will before long. You know how we are about Christmas music. It’s the memories that surround them that make them our favorites but I’m ripe for some new memories anyway. Bring them on!

Actually, I got on here today just to say that I’d love to hear about one of your favorite moments from your Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Any of the four days will do. It doesn’t have to be life altering. Our community here also appreciates a snippet of simplicity. Just capture something you keep picturing from the weekend. An expression. A taste. A conversation. A sight. Write us up a little snapshot of it so that we can picture it through your words and through your beautiful eyes. Not too long, remember. We bloggers are notorious for ADD, myself included. It’s rare that we really read a long one. I’m so mindful when I write a long post that, by the end of it, I’ve lost most people. Sometimes it’s worth it because I’m working something through but, most of the time, I’d have been the wiser to have been the briefer.

Oh, Amanda snapped this picture of her Daddy and me on Thanksgiving afternoon so I might as well throw it in, too. He’s wheels are heading East and I’ll be mighty glad to see that handsome face. We Moores love you guys. Christmas will be here in exactly one month whether we’re ready for it or not. You may as well not fight it. Tie that house of yours up in red and green and slam the door on your Scrooginess. Don’t be a fossil. Make some wassail. Tis the season, Sweet Thing. Let’s celebrate us some Jesus.


412 Responses to “A Snapshot From Your World”

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  1. 301
    Lyndsey E. says:

    The moment on Saturday evening, when I realized I had survived two Thanksgiving meals (one with each divorced parent, and one of those which I had made pretty much the entire meal myself). For the first time in 7 years since their divorce, I didn’t come out of the weekend battered and my heart broken into a million pieces. My God was my strength and my peace in the chaos and dysfunction …. and finally I’m trusting Him more than my circumstances and the lies that surround me. A blessing of liberty and victory at my Lord’s side… for that I am truly grateful!!

  2. 302
    Wilma says:

    My Mother passed away on the Monday after Thanksgiving in 1999, so the holiday is not one of my favorites as I can’t think about it without missing my Momma…

    This year, though, I made a concerted effort to be a little more chipper and smile a little more for my sister. You see, two of my six sisters went in nursing homes this year with alzheimer’s. One of them is about 6 hours away. Another sister (the one who I am referring to) had a series of strokes that left her paralyzed on her left side 45 years ago.

    She has been so strong and has overcome so many obstacles over those years. She re-gained use of her leg, walked and even drove for many, many years. And! She had a baby! But as she got older, her right side began to show signs of the wear and tear of taking the place of her left side. She has been wheel chair bound for the last several years. In Sept., she made the decision that it was time for her to go into a nursing home, too. She was no longer able to get up and down by herself and simple little tasks to us became huge tasks to her.

    I went to the nursing home before time for her to have lunch on Thanksgiving Day so that I would at least be there with her when they brought her holiday dinner tray. The NA that brought her meal returned just a minute later with a tray on it for me. They had asked her if I would be there that day and arranged for me to have a tray so I could eat with her. We talked about Mom and how good her cooking was before she got so old.

    I spent about 5 hours with her that day. When I left, I leaned down to kiss her on the cheek and told her that I was glad I had my Thanksgiving dinner with her. “I am glad you did too,” she told me. It was a very pleasant afternoon. Yes, it was in a nursing home – but I know she is being cared for and that is a good thing. I love my sister and after a conversation with her doctor last week, I know that she will go into alzheimer’s one day, too. With all the damage to her brain from the strokes she has had over the years, the dr is certain that she will do this since she already has some dementia. I want to make the most of the time that I have with her while she knows me and knows what is going on around her.

    By the way – she was saved on Oct. 18 when my pastor visited her in the hospital! I told her that Mom was waiting for both of us in Heaven and that I expected to see her there!!

    Thanks, Beth, for asking about our holiday, too! Blessings!!

    • 302.1
      Marji says:

      I read your reply. Wow, you have been through a lot of situations with your family. It hurts to see what all can happen in families, but I am glad you found ways to celebrate…even while visiting in a nursing home.

      • Wilma says:

        Thank you, Marji. There is an old song that says something about, “Love will find a way. Where there seems to be no way.” I am glad that I am still able to go see her when I want. God is blessing me in that way I think.

    • 302.2

      This Thanksgiving, my husband, teen boys and I went across the street to play games with all the neighborhood children. They soaked up the love, and I know we’ll all remember it forever! Bless you!!

      • Wilma says:

        Made a better day for everybody involved, I bet! Making memories – isn’t that what it is all about? Or at least it is to me…. Blessings!!

  3. 303
    Michele says:

    My Dh and I have 11 grandchildren. If they live nearby they get to go on a birthday shopping day, lunch and a movie. Lily’s birthday was in September but we didn’t get to go on her shopping day until this Saturday. She is 5 and looks so much like my baby pictures it’s like seeing twins. I asked her if she wanted to see “Rise of the Guardians”? “Oh grandma I’ve always wanted to see that forever!!” She threw in a big hug. So we went to the movie and took our refillable popcorn bucket. When that was done we went to “Toys R Us”. I kept her focused on the Barbie section and she picked her presents out and were checked out in 30 minutes. Then we met up with daddy as we didn’t have time to eat and were pretty full of popcorn.
    Those are great times with my grandchildren. Even the teenagers ask when they will get their shopping day. Next weekend the 13year old twins (1 boy 1 girl) are having their day. They pick out a movie that grandma will watch (No R and a few other criteria). They want to see Life of Pi.
    How blessed I am to have these times with them. I lost my grandma at 7 and still at 56 remember all the special things she did with me. At bedtime she would rock me sing hymns from memory. I can’t wait to see her in heaven. I know that she is the reason that I am saved today after a life of turmoil and pain.
    I want to be remembered like that.

    • 303.1
      Wilma Hill says:

      Cherish each moment you get to spend with them!! I have a niece that is so special to me that I have been known to tell people she is my daughter. She has two girls of her own that are now 22 and 18 years old. Believe me! They used to have all the time in the world for “Aunt Bunny” but now they have lives of their own and I don’t get to see them as much. But I am so proud of them and will take what I can get!

  4. 304
    Adrienne says:

    Lovely picture! I love your take on time away from your man. We need it sometimes! Especially to watch those chic flicks!

  5. 305
    Julie Valenti says:

    My Thamksgiving memory would have to be spening Friday night playing games with my Hubby,daughter and my niece we were playing the game PIT when I laughed so hard that I wet my pants( was that to grafic ??? ) I havent laughed that had in a long time.
    I wish i could laugh like that every day it made my heart feel good.

    • 305.1
      2b14u says:

      PIT! What a game. I have not played it since the 80’s. I can remember laughing hard when we did. I hope you get to ldeeply laugh at something today and the rest of the week.

  6. 306
    Kirsty says:

    We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving down here in Australia. It’s always fascinated me though. We are however rolling into the Christmas spirit. My husband and I are recording some Christmas songs this year as presents for all our family. Not easy in a small make-shift home studio, but it’s fun.

  7. 307
    Theresa Clark says:

    My favorite memory of the weekend came when our three-week-old great niece was carried into the house. Everyone coulnd not WAIT to get their hands on her. Sweet thing didn’t protest one bit as she was passed and passed and passed around. Everyone had to get in a good snuggle and kiss. Even the littlest ones. The three and four-year-old girls couldn’t keep their lips off her forehead! And then when the three-year-old found out that my new grandson would not be there (he’s four months old and lives in Fort Worth while we are in Kentucky) she laid on the floor in a total pouting fit! The only thing that soothed her was the arrival of this sweet baby girl. My final favorite mental snapshot is a real picture I took – everyone gathered around the baby and her great grandmother taking a TON of pictures. Amazing the effect babies have on us! Especially one special boy we celebrate this time of year….what a gift He has turned out to be! Praise You Jesus for yourself and for all the babies!

  8. 308

    My side of the family had a bit of a falling out a few years ago due to my faith. Since then things have been strained at family gatherings. This Thanksgiving we all gathered in my home where my husband and I fixed a right old feast for the ones who had hurt me so deeply. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing. They knew not what they did, but I did. I have since forgiven them and have been working on getting past the hurt to a new level intimacy with them. I really feel like that was achieved in a big way this weekend. Laughter came naturally and freely and that’s always a good sign. 🙂

  9. 309
    esperanza says:

    Thanks for your blog and your commintment to love the Christian way. I love your writing so natural and sincere. I am by nature a lonely person even though i have a great family. Do not have a social life or cicle. I tried but my man won’t participate. Only the family. I guess we have had and intense and trying life. We left our Country of birth under political unrest and threats to our lives. We were able to start a new and better life here. We are very greatful for that but i am sure we carry deep scars. I am trying to love with Christian love too. My husband has been and is a very difficult man to love but i am still here after 54 years and greatful for the happinnes that comes for loving the way God ask us to. God bless you for sharing so much. Esp

  10. 310
    Jaime says:

    My son bowls and has since he was in 2nd grade (he’s 15 now). Every Thanksgiving there is a bowling tournament for the youth on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. He won the tournament and seeing the sheer joy on his face doing what he loves was Amazing!!! He is normally very quite and reserved but at the bowling alley he comes alive. I LOVE watching him do what he loves. That smile can brighten the darkest night….

  11. 311
    Yanna Westmoreland says:

    Keith, I give thanks to God for you and the sacrifice you make giving us Beth time. You are a man of God.

    My holiday memory that will always bring a smile between God and I…playing Scrabble with my husband, 22yr old daughter and 19yr old son. I usually loose. I am often challenged, like using the word Jeep, which is a pronoun, but then they said okay. So the next time it was my turn I had the right letters and triple word spot to spell God. I debated in my mind, they will not let it pass this time it is a proper noun, then I thought no I am going to do it. So I put the word God on the board and dared them to take God out of Scrabble!! My husband said, I think we better let her keep God in Scrabble, my son said “mom, do you know who the church lady is?” My daughter did not say a word. I was a tiny bit disappointed they did not challenge me I felt a Bible lesson coming on…thanks to Beth and her examples. LOL by the way I won by just a few points (God put me over the top). Loving all my Siesta’s and Mama Beth, signed the church lady.

  12. 312
    Barbara Ball says:

    My favorite thing of the Thanksgiving holiday is a feeling. My husband had been estranged from his son for 6 years and they just reconciled this past spring. This was the first time his son and family visited. It was an amazing visit and the feeling after they left is indescribable. Joy? Love? Contentment? Happiness? Satisfaction? Warm and fuzzy? It is one of the best Thanksgiving holidays I’ve had. Praise God!!!!!

  13. 313
    Debbi says:

    My favorite memory was when my 6-year old grandson spotted wrapped Christmas gifts…one small gift each for him and his brothers and two very large ones for their little sister. Apparently, he thought my Christmas shopping was completed because he came into the kitchen where I was preparing Thanksgiving dinner and informed me, “I see how it is.”

  14. 314
    Carrie says:

    Getting to tell extended family that we are pregnant!!!!! Best Christmas gift ever.

  15. 315
    Julianne says:

    My little family of three (Hubs, me and our college age son) planned to have a quiet little Thanksgiving to ourselves, but ending up inviting a sweet friend to join us at the last minute. She is a single mom who did not have her kids with her and was going to be alone. After a lovely dinner and lengthy table conversation, the men retired to the basement big screen for football and the gals set up shop in the family room with pie, coffee, twinkling white Christmas lights and a movie. Just when I was thinking that my boys were going to be frustrated at the lack of family bonding (we normally play games, watch a movie together, go for a family walk…), my friend sighs a big sigh, settles back in her chair and says “This is my favorite Thanksgiving, ever.”

    It was a lovely moment and a great reminder that our little plans sometimes have to flex to make room for someone who needs a little love and warmth. She has a lot of dysfunction in her life and just needed a quiet, simple holiday. We wanted what we wanted, but the Lord knew we simply had to make room and have our day altered just a bit. What a blessing!

  16. 316
    Linda says:

    I think this memory will go down as a classic in our family….i had just picked up my 4 1/2 year old granddaughter from preschool right before thanksgiving . I was asking her about her “day” at school, and she proceeded to tell me about the pilgrims and Indians and what they had to eat together. She then started telling me that they all got to ride in a big boat called the mayflower , that is was very big and you had to be a pilgrim to ride in it. Then very innocently from the back seat she asked “Nana, did you get to ride on the mayflower with the pilgrims ?” Of course I tried to keep from roaring with laughter at the time !!!! It still makes me giggle when I think of it 🙂

  17. 317
    Jenny says:

    Thinking of whatall I’m thankful for,…. I’m studying Ruth ‘The Girl’s Still Got It’ by Liz Curtis Higgs. Her comment that ‘Ruth is most remembered for guiding another woman on her journey from misery to joy ‘ , stilled my soul on what a powerful purpose God can use us for in another’s life. And then I paused to let that settle on me, and you came to mind. How often I’ve heard you say how you love “me” as your sister. I looked to see how I could thank you for your mentoring me, and read this post– while we are close to the same age, “Othering” is what you have and still are doing for me. I thank my God for my every remembrance of you, and how you’ve been used to encourage and exhort me in my walk with Christ.
    Blessings to you,

  18. 318
    Dana Armstrong says:

    That moment….that moment happened when I opened my handmade cookbook I received as a wedding gift from my “other”. It is filled with handwritten old family recipes, neatly placed in photo binding pages. I searched for the dressing and carrot cake recipes that have been passed down to me. Tears stung my eyes and a lump grew in my throat as I stared at the familiar handwriting of my mother and my dearest aunt, both gone to be with Jesus now. I am 51 and the mother of 3 daughters, and yet, I feel like the capable hands of my Mother and Aunt Linda should be preparing these scrumptious delicacies that remind me of Thanksgivings gone by filled with cousins and uncles and aunts and grandparents laughing and hugging and loving. I fought back tears and memories as we sat around the table: my family of 5 and my father. It seemed sparse and uncomfortably quiet. My 13 year old daughter, the youngest of us all, grabbed the hands of those beside her and said “Okay folks, it’s time to smile and say what were thankful for…..let me start…” We all laughed and moved forward with a new season in our lives……Happy Thanksgiving….everyday!

  19. 319
    Valerie Robertson says:

    My two by birth sisters and I have ‘adopted’another sister, Carol. She has just been through a double mastectomy and chemo and is – PRAISE GOD – cancer free! So, my favorite moment of this particular Thanksgiving day was seeing her walk in to the house with her cute little knit cap on and sit down and eat the outstandingly delicious meal with us. Thankful for you, sweet Carol 🙂
    Praise you Lord for Healing!

  20. 320
    Belina Walley says:

    Thanksgiving Day at our son and daughter-in-laws. We always have it at my mothers, but we buried my dad on Nov. 9th after a 7 month battle with cancer, we were all a little sad, when my daughter-in-law gave her a dad a gift box for a birthday present, low and behold it contained bibs!! God is good all the time. We can’t wait to be grandparents!!

  21. 321
    Sally says:

    Our annual Thanksgiving tradition is to invite Chinese students at OSU to our home to experience a traditional American holiday. One of the students also brought her Mom, here for a visit from China. My snapshot was the conversation I got to have with her Mom, all interpreted by her daughter. The daughter came to Christ back in 2006, and had the joy of leading her Mom to Jesus a couple of years ago. It was so special to hear her Mom talk about the Lord! What an awesome God we serve!

  22. 322
    Marji says:

    After saying my goodbyes and giving out the last of the hugs before getting into my car to travel the 500 miles back home, I turned to see my Dad standing there with a genuine smile in his eyes and on his face. Of course it could have been the morning sun causing that expression, but it made me feel wonderful because the lines of grief and tension in his face were missing for the first time in three years. Sunshine can not take away empty eyes or grief lines…only time and God’s grace can work a wonder like that.

  23. 323
    Donna says:

    Thank you so much for taking time for all of us on your blog. I thought I wouldn’t be in a Christmas spirit this year because of a lot of things going on with the family. But I woke up about 4:00am and prayed for all the illness, troubles going on. Then today, while doing the laundry I read you blog and thought, “YES LORD, I’M READY FOR SOME NEW MEMORIES.”
    We enjoyed all the family visit for Thanksgiving but one of the sweetest things too me has been while I’ve been cleaning the house the past two days I’ve found “art work” on a pad of paper the little ones were drawing on, a little baby sock that got pushed under the bed, a sippy cup in the back of the frig with alittle milk left in it, and a plastic dish with a little dog food left. (We love our dogs like family so they come too.) In those sweet quiet moments after all the family has gone I’m truely thankful and have a heart full of love for them ALL!

  24. 324
    Carissa says:

    Oh what fun, Beth! Fave Thanksgiving moment: my little brother’s prayer, “God, thank you for this food! Please heal every poor person and feed them.” That is all of our prayers in a nutshell now isn’t it? Bless you.

  25. 325
    Jennifer says:

    This was the first Thanksgiving without our extended family. My mother-in-law went to Louisiana to spend Thanksgiving with my sister-in-law. It was just my husband, my three girls and me. It was different, but it was nice. All five of us worked in the kitchen to prepare our meal. I loved every minute of it. After the kitchen was squared away, I decided to retreat to my room to read a book and/or nap. As I was laying there, I heard my mother-in-law and sister-in-law’s voice. I thought I must have been dreaming, but then I realized that it was no dream. They decided to brave the 3 hour drive from Bossier City to Fort Worth after lunch. It was SO wonderful to have them there. Pretty soon, my brother-in-law and his niece also showed up. We set up the game table and played a rowdy games. It did my heart good.

  26. 326
    Gwen says:

    Thanksgiving in the home of our newlywed daughter & son-in-law stationed at Ft. Hood, TX. Helping her serve up her first feast in her new home. What a blessing to get to visit & see where our baby girl has moved and how well they are doing.

  27. 327
    Christine says:

    Thank you for the reminder that it is okay to have time alone. On Saturday while my hubbie and his brother were doing man stuff in the garage 🙂 I was feeling a little bad about the fact that I was content being alone and was thinking I was anti social but I too did my own thing..watched Hallmark movies and put up Christmas decorations which never get up before December 20th in the past 🙂 So thank you for the reminder that it is okay to enjoy just being with just your own self and wishing everyone a season of remembering the reason.. Our Savior

  28. 328
    ashlie mcdonald says:

    Getting to hold my almost 3 month old nephew was my favorite part of Thanksgiving. He is my first real deal nephew, and i treasure him with all of me!!!

  29. 329
    Amy says:

    My favorite Thanksgiving memory this year was my two boys (ages 7 and 9) and their two precious cousins(ages 10 and 8) riding home from their aunt’s house to spend the night with us. These boys have been seperated for 3 1/2 years while their family serves in Botswana as missionaries. They are all four cramed in my little SUV, heads bobbing, voices singing LOUDLY to the new Toby Mac CD…for almost 2 whole hours! They loved it and I loved it even more. Hearing those precious voices praising a great God they know so very little about, but they know He deserves their endless praise! Awesome!

  30. 330
    Leigh says:

    The sound of the laughter of my four children is my Thanksgiving treat. With three off to college, a time with all four at home at the same time is precious beyond words. God is good!

  31. 331
    glenwood says:

    The day after Thanksgiving my two sisters and I went shopping. We went to Krispy Kreme doughnut shop when the hot light was on and adopted two pets from the animal shelter. When we got back home my sister and I decorated my mother’s front porch for Christmas.

  32. 332
    Lisa Curtis says:

    Our Thanksgiving Holiday this year was the same as much as it was different in so many ways but it’s funny that Beth has asked us to answer her question. As I sat, by myself, on Saturday afternoon eating a plate of leftovers on a plastic plate I felt a strong sense of peace and contentment about our day of Thanksgiving but also that the second reheated plate of food tasted better and with less stress than just two days before. Thank you God for leftovers and surprising me again. Much love

  33. 333
    Carol says:

    Thanksgiving was a blast for our family of five (soon to be six with son’s fiancee). Our youngest son decided to plan games for us to draw names for Christmas gift giving. We had so much fun: playing charades with Christmas song titles, golf with a plastic candy cane as the putter and shatterproof ornaments as the balls. But the hit of the day was our original story we wrote in 5 minutes incorporating the two Christmas song titles we used in charades. Such a hoot!

  34. 334
    Sandy Brandow says:

    This Thanksgiving was a day to be thankful and full of joy as this was my son’s first holiday home after being discharged from the Air Force and returning home safely from deployment. A time to rejoice as I was able to enjoy my family another year after being diagnosed with cancer and having a bone marrow transplant last year. Missing my brother after his sudden death this last year at the age of 50 and the loss of our jobs! God is so good and He is worthy to be praised no matter what the circumstance! We played games and laughed and laughed. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine!

  35. 335
    Cheryl says:

    The star of our Thanksgiving table, my first grandchild age 14 months, grabbed a homemade roll from the basket, stuck it in his sweet little mouth and said, “mmmmmm.” Thank you, Jesus, for this sweet baby!

  36. 336

    My favorite recollection of last Thursday smells of a well roasted turkey with apple spiced stuffing and fresh baked rolls. My entire family assembled in my parent’s oak paneled kitchen as my mother, sister-in-law and my daughters assisted me in putting the finishing touches on the dining room table.

    Bright sun splayed itself through the large kitchen window across the room as my mother beckoned the moment we had all gathered to celebrate. She nodded to my father. “Ted, will you pray?”

    One by one my family circled up and joined hands. Young and old alike. Young Wyatt scrambled his four-year-old self down off the chair and inserted himself between me and his Granpa. And just as we bowed our heads, his one-year-old sister, Peyton, snapped her strawberry blonde head in our direction. The next thing I knew my typically aloof neice slid her chubby little body off her mother’s lap and inserted herself between me and her cousin, Bennett. All of us bowed our heads as my father prayed, thanking God for the many blessings we received this year, the gift of time with family and a bountiful meal, and as his voice trembled he thanked the Lord for our military service men and women and the country he loves so much. He asked God to bless his family, bless his country and the men and women who sacrifice so much so we may be free.

    And for just a moment, I wished for time to turn back. I lingered there smiling down at my nephew winking and waggling his little eyebrows at his Aunt Ma-chelle. And I looked over to my baby neice Peyton and for just a moment I wished one other of our family could join us again. I missed my boy for just a moment. No ache. No pain – just a wistful heart acknowledging the one her heart loves who has gone before us to heaven. And then, my father said, “Amen.” And we all worked our way around the table, filling plates for the young ‘uns and then ourselves. After the children were seated around the living room at tv dinner stands, the adults, my grown girls included, began to eat and talk over the meal the women in our family slaved over for two days. It is the sweetest time of year when we welcome the holidays and celebrate God, life and family in a grateful and flavorful way.

  37. 337
    Lynn says:

    I had a wonderful Thanksgiving day with my daughter and future son-in-law. They were very sweet to me.

  38. 338
    Joan says:

    My memory of this Thanksgiving is my 4 grown children all home. We are sitting at the table, along with my son in law whom I love, playing Yatzee and laughing so hard the tears are falling. Moments like these are the “forever” kind. The biggest moment though was when my daughter, my sweet, sweet, first born, announces that SHE IS PREGNANT WITH MY FIRST GRANDBABY!! (and safely past the first trimester) Can God give me any greater joy?? An amazing, wonderful, blessed 4 days. (and I probably only gained 5 pounds!!)

  39. 339
    SKay Fires says:

    A fabulous, fun-filled, Fires’ family Thanksgiving! All three of our children, spouses, grandsons, in-laws, and grand-dogs, were present for our weekend reunion. This is the first time I can remember all of us being together in many years. We also celebrated our oldest son’s 40th birthday and my father-in-law’s 90th birthday. Last month, my in-laws also celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary! Since our home is small, all the kids and grand-kids stayed at a camp cabin not far from our home. The weather was beautiful, so the guys were able to go out on the boat to fish. Everyone also enjoyed shooting guns at the rifle range. Lots of food and fellowship made it a wonderful holiday. Since we seldom get together, we also enjoyed celebrating an early Christmas. What a blessing to enjoy so many celebrations at once.

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    Thelma says:

    Beth, I like to write too, I’m not as good as you, but I am with you, if I can’t write, then I can’t breath. It is just what it is like. And if I don’t put it on paper, it will boggle up in my head where I am about to explode, until I go to typing. It doesn’t matter if it is good or bad, just the communication between yourself, I guess, boy does that sound like I have a split personallity & in need of a rubber room, LOL. Well anyways here are two articles I wrote once that reminded me of the value of family. God bless you. Thelma

    Monday, January 09, 2012
    The most giving time of the year is Christmas. It started with Jesus and the wise-men giving gifts. And nothing puts a smile on ones face as giving to each other. I love giving, and probably like all grandmas , I went a little over-board on gifts this year. My kids gave me strict orders for next year, a hand written contract, sign here & here, initial here, etc. I did go a tad over-board. Let’s just say it was so bad that we couldn’t find our 5 ft. Christmas tree until the presents were distributed. But to see the smiles on those grandchildren; it was just priceless.
    God has countless scriptures on being generous. To be givers and not takers of the world. To test Him and that we can’t out-give Him. He tells us to obey and our cup will runeth over.
    During the Christmas holidays, I have watched my share of Christmas movies. “The Grinch that stole Christmas.” How his heart grew so enormous once he started giving the presents back. My all-time favorite, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” How one man’s walk through life made such a difference in each person’s life. In the movie, the character George Baily did nothing but gave through-out his life, he didn’t know any other way. He saw a need and he gave. And it wasn’t always in joy, but it was just the right thing to do. Sometimes our joy doesn’t come instantly. Jn.16:19, tells us that our grievances will turn into joy. Just as a woman is in labor, pain comes at first, then joy after the delivery. That’s the way it was in the story with George Baily. He got to see something that we miss out on; he got to see what good his life brought to others. The difference he made in this world.
    Another movie I watched, was “Good Sam”, starring Gary Cooper. For any of you who are over fifty will probably recognize this name, oh how cute his face is. I love classic movies, him and Jimmy Stewart, they say so much with their expressions. This man, (Gary Cooper) anytime there was a need, he gave, so much it was driving his wife crazy. So much to the point, he gave the money they had saved for a down payment on a house. He did learn there is a balance, but more than that, his wife learned you can’t out give God. No matter what happened to him, he loaned / it was restored and then some. He started a program to feed the hungry, and while taking the money donations to the bank, he was robbed. The money wasn’t replaced, but they count their blessings that all worked out good.
    It is true that we need to take care of ourselves. God does hold us responsible, “For if a man does not work, he does not eat. My family tells me all the time, that all though it is a blessing that I love to give, there is a balance. But I’ve tested God. You really can’t out give Him. Jesus had neither a home, a study job, or nice camels. He even borrowed the donkey He rode on. He was not a scholar or an educated man, but He gave what He had, and taught His disciples to do as well. He is more remembered than any king. Mother Theresa, more remembered than any other lady except Mary, and I imagine if you went through her belonging, there would not be what the world would call wealth.
    The Widow’s Offering in Luke 21, Jesus said that the poor woman gave more than any of the wealthy did. Giving is a joy, but it is a sacrifice as well. If it was an easy task, then there would be an abundance of it. Jesus gave the greatest gift… His life. Can you imagine giving up immortality to become a baby, a human being, a mortal person, and just before that, you were the almighty God. Being a trillionaire and losing it, doesn’t even compare of the sacrifice that Jesus gave up. He was perfect, immortal, painless, could do and have anything He wanted. He had eternal life, had angels obeying His every command, and yet He humbled Himself, sacrificed, and became a human being.
    How could He have done that? How could Mother Theresa or Good Sam? Their eyes were focused on giving. No greater gift than to lay down your life for your fellowman. Wealth and security is nice, but they do not save us. Every nice and secure thing we have can be here today and gone tomorrow. Am I saying it is wrong to have nice things? No, of course not. It’s kind of silly if God blesses you and it’s not appreciate it. Each gives according to what his heart tells him. And we all have different gifts to give; to some it could be money. For others, it could be the gift speaking or teaching. To some it could be sending a card or giving of time. It could be friendship, music; the list goes on and on. Have you ever seen a mood change on a person’s face when you just smile at them? God tells us to use our gift and to its fullness. But the important thing is… to be generous, it will put a smile on everyone’s face.
    The Institution of Family
    Tuesday, September 06, 2011
    You ever wonder why God instilled family in our lives. He didn’t need to, God was strong enough to be on His own, but I think right from the start, He set out to show us an example. His God family, the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit, and the three of them became one, the trinity. From there He started with Adam & Eve, the beginning of family. He knew that anything we would love more than ourselves, would be something from ourselves and us giving it life, nourishing it to it’s full potential. God has always been the definition of two things to me, love and family. With us having families it teaches so much.
    It not only gives us the joy of love, and how that love reveals to us just a glimpse of the unconditional love God has and wants to pass on. Family has a lifetime of experiences of what God wants us to have in His kingdom, His God family.
    We recently had our children over to the house, and like I’m sure with your families, you have the joy surrounding the house. My husband and I don’t have very much in common, but one thing we both love that keeps us close and close to God, is our family. In the spring, we will have eighteen totaling in our intermediate family. I have my own Sutherly dynasty cropping up over here. The children were coming for dinner, you just don’t know the joy of fixing a meal for all your family. Just knowing that they will be here soon. My daughter always ask me why I fix so much, she doesn’t realize I am preparing all of theirs favorite dishes. While the girls finished helping me prepare the meal, the boys went out to help their dad with a roofing project on the swing-set he built for the grandkids. We ate, we laughed, we talked, and played. And then after the last one left, my husband, myself, and our house was filled with sweet memories.
    My husband and I immediately started talking about the joyous event we had that night, what this little one did, who did what, said what, etc.. we both looked around our house and pictured our children and grandchildren there and the funny little things that were said. That joy will last for days in our memories, and then go up on the shelf with other memories our family has built together. Up there on that shelf is some memories I had when we visit my mom’s house.
    The reason for families, people just don’t get it, they think they are doing their own thing, living their own lives when it is the main example training us for God’s kingdom. Satan, a long time ago came to Adam and Eve, and tried to sell them an optical illusion. Telling them that there is a 3rd choice to life, their own choice. He thought he was smart to not convince them to go his way, something people hate terribly is to be told what to do. They like to think it was their own choice, they think they have more control. Satan unfortunately is smarter than us, and he knows there is only two ways to go. Either God’s way or his, and if we decide to go our own way, he knows, that way will eventually end up his way, we just took the longer route. Family leads us to God’s path, Satan also knew that, why do you think he showed up, I even imagine not too long after Adam & Eve knew they were going to have a baby, and he stirred up trouble. He did it then, and he still is at it even today, trying to break up the families. We don’t see it so much in this rural area we live, but families are under attack. A good example of T’V., I grew up on shows like, “ Father knows Best” or “ Leave it to Beaver”, shows that always had the parents involved and giving good sound advice. Our grandchildren watch supposedly, “The family channel” The so-called family channel has episodes of the kids and their friends, and very little family involved.
    Let me give you a run down of what I learned of one night with our family…
    • To sacrifice our time and energy for others. One daughter in law had came early & finished helping me clean up the house. and she made the comment, we wonder why clean up the house, when in only two minutes after everyone is here, the house is a mess. That so called mess was grandchildren getting toys out. Our children chowing down the meal we prepared for them, etc. They were joys being made. I made the comment to an elderly lady once, that every time I visit, her house is so clean. She said there is no one here to dirty it up.

    • To bring laughter to the world. There was so much laughter. I have this trait where I speak before I think, and the girls and I were talking over memories. One was tell us story of the last time she was pregnant . I made what I thought a compliment to her, and told her that it was nice that her face was swelling up with the rest of her body. I couldn’t believe I said that, we laughed so much of that bad comment. That’s love when they put up with you and laugh with you later.

    • There is so many, but the best one is, it was at our house. We have fun at a park, the other kids house, it is great. But here at the house, and my husband will agree , it left us with memories. Him & I talked about that event for days and remising the family there. You see at someone else’s house, the memory were left there. The importance of going to church, is visiting God’s house. It was nice to talk to His children over the phone(prayer). To e-mail or write to back & forth, ( bible study and reading the bible). And it is very nice when He visits us in our house, our cars, places of work, but there is nothing better to Him when we pay Him a visit at His home. Where all His children are gathered. He hears sweet stories, conversations, joy spreading out with singing and laughter. And then after we leave He is left with such sweet memories. Can you picture it, in all the churches, God remising of what just took place in His house.

    There was never a better feeling than seeing my mom’s face when my siblings and I were at my mom’s house together with our families. There was never a better feeling than when my cousins and I were at my grandparent’s house, and seeing my grandma’s face of joy. There was never a better feeling, until now, when I am feeling that joy that my mom and grandma had. And what God experiences every Sabbath Day.

  41. 341
    Marie says:

    I think my favorite part of Thanksgiving was watching the dogs (my two and my parent’s one) passing out in turkey comas. They were, of course, shortly followed by their owners. 🙂 There’s just something about family all curled up and snoozing away that makes me feel extra-blessed.

  42. 342
    Heather says:

    I spent the day watching my husband run with 600 Santa’s run through the forest! We raised lots of money for charity. It was like the Where’s Waldo of the North Pole!

    See photos here:




  43. 343
    Heather says:

    Me and six of my kids trying to play a game of two-hand touch (football). Such amateurs! We were laughing after every play and at everyone…..Priceless =)

  44. 344
    Manna says:

    This year I set a table for 12. Six more than for several years prior. Days before Thanksgiving, I couldn’t wait to put the leaf in the table and surround it with chairs. I stood and stared at leeength of the table and the number of chairs with awe. This…was God! This view of the table shouted “FAMILY!” Not a dish on the table and yet it looked and felt like every picture of Thanksgiving created. Norman Rockwell and there wasn’t a dish on the table!

    What seemed impossible only a few months prior was happening. God was healing. God is healing. He is ever at work on our behalf…yours and mine. Oh, that I will bask in that thought at the most impossible times!

  45. 345
    Heather says:

    If you would be so kind as to allow me to indulge and add another(grin). I don’t know how I forgot this one but it was HUGE to me.
    We live in a very small house with eight children and have a very small kitchen and kitchen table. I have literally prayed to the Lord, “PLEASE just give me a kitchen table big enough for all of us to sit around.” We can’t all fit around the existing table so some eat in the living room, in the bedroom, in shifts, it all depends but there is no way we are all getting around that table.
    Well, we also home school and have a home school table. And Thanksgiving morning I got the idea to set up the school table for Thanksgiving dinner! (why this never dawned on me before is beyond me.) Anyway, the kids got all into decorating the table with place tags for each person, they put the table cloth on and set out the “after dinner mints” which were almost gone BEFORE dinner.
    I was so blessed to see all 8 beautiful faces at the dinner table I was almost in tears. It was a little tight, but we managed. Now they want to do it all the time! Thank you, Jesus.

  46. 346
    Dora says:

    Our Thanksgiving was bittersweet this year. We had to put my mother in a nursing home during the summer and have to decide what to do with her house. It’s a 106-year-old house with porches (and swings) on 3 sides, all the rooms “run together” and has a couple of acres of pecan trees. The family (55 of us – 20 were missing) met there for one last Thanksgiving. So many memories of Thanksgivings in that old house. I wish I could attach a picture of it.

  47. 347

    Always so nice and comforting to hear from you Beth. My Thanksgiving was not the best this year. I lost my mom very suddenly on Oct 10th and I hurt, but God in his grace has given me wonderful, loving friends and they insisted we go to Thanksgiving dinner at their home and share with their family. That is what I remember best, their act of kindness, love and caring. God is good.

  48. 348
    mdingo98 says:

    I was privileged to care for a critically ill man on the last Thanksgiving he and his family would be together. I’m an ICU nurse.

  49. 349
    Nancy says:

    A first–celebrating on Saturday to include boyfriends, and more family….hearing cousins and friends who had just met, laugh and share and bond and spontaneously singing “10,000 Reasons” at the end of our day together–praising God with a full heart!(And my heart goes out to those of you are hurting and grieving; that was my family last year and what a contrast this year by God’s grace alone. May His love and grace carry you.)

  50. 350

    Your blogs are always wonderful, Beth – brief or not!! :o)
    One of my favorite times this holiday season was seeing all 17 of our family members playing musical chairs on the porch accompanied by George Strait Christmas music. We laughed out loud so much! Ages 9 – 65 and one sweet special needs punkin’, my 13 yr old Caleb. Everyone’s true competitive colors showed up in fully glory. Dearly loved having our Air Force son and lovely wife in from California. Will stop writing now with the smile on my face and twinkle in my eye before the tears threaten to invade my heart due to their departure home. Thanks for the opportunity to share a part of our family time with you all!

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