Last Year's Table--this year, I will be in a retreat center, celebrating with new friends and family!
I am off for a 5 hour drive with Joel and Joy to Pagosa Springs, Co, where we will join Sarah and other families for a Thanksgiving celebration at a Summit Ministries Retreat. I haven't seen her in several months, so can't wait to talk and hug and hear all the adventures she has had. Tonight, I will make 110 homemade rolls to share at the feast tomorrow. Sweet Clay will be home resting, as 5 hours is a lot for a tender back to bear, but we will be thanking God for him!
I was thinking this morning about how to prepare myself for this wonderful holiday weekend. I love Thanksgiving and enjoy the feast. But sometimes with all the cooking and work and family and ideals flying about, we can find ourselves in the midst of a lot of extra stress. I wish I had known earlier in my life that holidays can be so delightful and so stressful. Children have more sugar, less sleep, have to share more, are in unexpected places, and so the potential for disaster is higher. Knowing this, the best way to arm ourselves is by clothing ourselves with the Holy Spirit and give them the gift of a Spirit-filled mom!
Galatians 5:22 "And the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control!"
So today, as I leave, I am going to mentally and spiritually clothe myself with:
Love--seeking to love, affirm, look at my sweet ones with eyes of gratefulness that they are my beloved
Joy--I am so blessed. God is good. He is with us. I will choose to be joyful in what He has provided
Peace--Peace will rule my inside no matter what happens, spills, fusses, pettiness, I will keep peace and give peace in every situation
Patience--If I choose to exercise my patience in every situation and prepare my heart to be patient in every situation, I will bring the music of God's heart to the atmosphere of our holiday--no matter who wants to destroy the harmony.
Kindness--Giving a kind spirit to each person, seeing their heart needs, serving them, will bring a spirit of His presence to my day.
Goodness--Because He is good, I will rejoice and be glad in the reality of His promises and in His willingness to provide
Gentleness--on a day heightened with emotion and expectations, I will bring Jesus' gentleness to each person, each moment. A gentle answer turns away wrath--today is not a time for confrontation or arguing--gentleness will soothe tired bodies
Faithfulness--I will be faithful to serve all in my wake--to do the hard work of cooking, washing, serving, that others might know the joy of celebration and beauty that comes from my heart of gratefulness to God for His faithfulness.
Self-control--I will also be a little more weary today. I will choose to control my spirit, my tongue, my attitudes, my complaining and give to God my worship through my spirit-controlled attitudes and heart. My thanksgiving will be through choosing to obey and submit my heart to Him, my precious Lord.