Monday, November 29, 2010

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord

This no longer looks as appetizing as it did a few days ago...

A plate filled with food on Thanksgiving Day

Starting at noon on the plate above:

Old World Stuffing (my very own creation which includes Tuscany bread, bacon, walnuts and apples)
A tiny dollop of cranberry sauce
Yes, that is the very famous Carrot Souffle
Awesome Broccoli Cheese Casserole with both Ritz Crackers and French Fried Onions on top
Sweet Potato Casserole with roasted pecans in butter and brown sugar
A slice of ham and turkey
Your basic frozen shoe peg corn microwaved before serving...
and in the middle, roasted garlic mashed potatoes with turkey gravy (the gravy was from a jar this year and, well, it worked for me since no one else here likes gravy).

Rachel made four fabulous pies: two pumpkin, one peanut butter, and one coconut cream. Dear goodness, this girl can cook!

And, no, we did not eat four whole pies! We took them to a get together with family later in the day. Thank you, very much!

I've hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our home for the past thirteen years. In all those years, I've never taken a photo of a plate filled with food. I suppose it was because there was between 20 and 25 hungry people milling about as I finished mashing the potatoes (always the last thing I do before dinner is served) and as my dear aunts helped make the gravy and slice the turkey or rib roast or ham. I was always too busy to take pictures and by the time things had settled down, I wanted to sit down with everyone else.

This year was different. It was just us. Four people. We decided to do things quite differently. Rachel set a formal table using our wedding China, silver, and crystal. We decided against the white linen table cloth although we splurged and used the white linen napkins. She insisted on lighting long white taper candles. And so we ate our Thanksgiving dinner with the lights off and the candles flickering. It was a lovely atmosphere and I am thankful for the memory. This was the first year I slept in. And this was the first year I took a nap in the afternoon. I must say, I liked it!

Now, rewind to four days before Thanksgiving.

We went to church and came home knowing we had a short break before we had to leave for Rachel's piano recital. The moment I walked in the door from church, I knew something was wrong. The house was cold. I peeked at the thermostat and sure enough it was cold as it read 65 degrees (we keep the house at 68 during the day). Mr. Wonderful went downstairs and discovered that, once again, the ignitor on the furnace had died. I think this is the third or fourth time this has happened in 15 years. He called the heating and cooling company (remember, it's Sunday) and within a few minutes received a call from the repairman telling him he would arrive at 1 o'clock...exactly the same time we need to be at Rachel's recital. He explained our predicament to the guy, but realized heat in the house was more important than a recital. And so it was decided that Mr. Wonderful would stay home while the kids and I headed for the recital. Within about three minutes, the phone rang again. It was the repairman. He had received a repair call just a few minutes before ours. He called them, told them our situation, and asked if they would switch appointments. Amazingly, they agreed to switch. Even more, he was pulling into our driveway as he spoke!

And so what did Yours Truly do? Why she stood in the kitchen and started sobbing. Because she was thankful? No. Because she was not thankful. She was having a big fat pity party for herself. She could not find a moment of thankfulness in that situation even though it appeared to be a small miracle...a repairman at your house within five minutes, a problem fixed in an hour, and everyone able to go to the recital without delay. No, I wasn't thankful. I was angry.

A dear friend reminded me later that day of the song that ends with these words:

"You give and take away,
You give and take away,
my heart will choose to say,
Lord, blessed be your name."

Well, it's been feeling like a lot of take away for quite some time now and on this particular Sunday, I am sorry to say that I didn't respond with, "Lord, blessed be your name."

Fast forward to the morning after Thanksgiving.

We had made it a very late night on Thanksgiving after visiting with family until midnight. We came home and decided to watch a movie together and so we didn't crawl into bed until after 2:30 a.m. I can't even remember the last time we stayed up that late, or that early, I should say. Anyway, I was the first one up. Jesse puppy was eagerly waiting for me since it was past her regular breakfast time. As I walked into the kitchen and around the island, I stepped into puddle of water. Is it water? Hmmm. Yep, it's water. Actually, it's a huge puddle of water right in front of the refrigerator. So, I open the refrigerator and quickly discover that it had died. And it had been dead for a while because everything in the refrigerator door and freezer door was warm. A few things in the front of the freezer were also thawed, but for the most part, everything was still frozen since the items were stacked closely together.

What a difference five days can make. And knowing dear friends are praying for you. Thank you, dear friends! Instead of standing there and sobbing into the big puddle of water on the floor as I held a bag of warm soggy strawberries, I thanked God the refrigerator didn't die on the morning of Thanksgiving. It could have, but it didn't. It died after Thanksgiving. And, thankfully, we have a smaller refrigerator in the basement where we carried the frozen food and the food that could be salvaged from the refrigerator. I am so thankful!

Oh, that God would find me faithful to be thankful no matter the circumstances. He gives and takes away. He gives and takes away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!


  1. What a beautiful, encouraging post! Thank you so much for sharing your struggles and victories. God bless you guys!!!
    And... carrot souffle` lady... that is one amazing Thanksgiving dinner you had. :) "Spectacular" might even be the word. :)

  2. Michelle,

    It sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Your Thanksgiving dinner sure put mine to shame. :( You should have taken pictures of the pies that your daughter made. I would have loved to see those.

    By the way, I read your message last night in regards to your husband's job, Yeah! I left a reply on my blog if you care to read it. :)

    Anyway, take care dear friend.

    Blessings and Friendship,

    -Lady Rose

    P.S. I still have to send you an email. I'm sorry I am so slow about it. :(

  3. Is it even possible that more than a week has passed since Thanksgiving? We have so much to be thankful for!

    I have to tell you, Dani and Lady Rose, for the past 10 years, we have hosted the Annual Thanksgiving Dessert Contest which took place shortly after dinner. All of the ladies brought a secret dessert to present. This was BIG stuff! Ballots were filled then tallyied and the winner took home the coveted Precious Moments Pilgrim (with the 1st Place prize in her hands!). Most of us looked at recipes for the whole next year before deciding what we would bring to the following year's contest. It has been a blast over the years...I certainly missed it this year. I won the 2nd year the contest was held with Warm Fudge Filled Cheesecake (oh, yes!) and then again last year with pecan pie that had chocolate ganache in the bottom and then a layer of cheesecake on top of that. It was spectacular. Kinda made Thanksgiving dinner seem just a little bit dull :0)

    Thank you for your kind comments and your friendships.

    Much love,