Thanksgiving is here and I have found it came up on me all of a sudden. What should I do to celebrate this day that I love? This is my first Thanksgiving away from my family in the States and it is bittersweet. I have always loved this day and remember fondly the times we would spend it with our dear friends the Matthews famliy.
(My best friend Sarah and I cooking for Thanksgiving 2007)
(Best friends, Thanksgiving 2007)
We all have traditions that are “ours”. They have been started at one time or another and seemed to stick. One of my favorites for Thanksgiving is we would always have Krispy Kreme donuts and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I don’t know why this has always been the way we did things, but it was and I will always remember that. This year, there is no Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to watch from Lebanon, however, I did manage to get Krispy Kreme donuts. 🙂
This year, I need to create new traditions with my husband and set a precedent of celebrating this time of year that will carry on and on when we have children of our own. I was reflecting on what this day means to me and noticing all the “thankful” posts day-by-day on Facebook. I am so glad that there are still people that choose to be thankful. We serve a God who is in control and who loves us and cares for us no matter our circumstances or those of the world around us. How can we help but be thankful?
So, I am going to do what I can to preserve this time of year as a time of sincere thanksgiving to the God who I owe everything I am and all that I have. May He be glorified in my life this time of year and always.
(Noelle and Wissam, Engagement photo 2012)
Since I have been in Lebanon I have felt I am learning one thing after another. One day it’s cooking, one day it’s customs, one day it’s language (who am I kidding, EVERY day it’s language!). There are so many “new” things. My personality is such that I struggle with perfectionism (big surprise, huh?). I want to put this behind me and so lately I have been really seeking to notice when I am falling into this habit and work on changing how I think and act in regard to this area. It is very hard to be a perfectionist and at the same time adjust to all the “new” things around me without exhausting yourself. Hmmm….go figure. This is exactly what I have experienced the last few days. I feel exhausted. Last night, I finally broke down and had a good cry. My husband asked me what was wrong and I told him, “I am just tired”. I then went on to explain to him how I was trying to “fix” everything around me, make everyone happy and that it was making me very tired. He patiently listened and offered some very good advice which I want to always remember. He said someone once told him, “carry things lightly”. Hmm, doesn’t that bring to mind a certain scripture verse? Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
This really resonated with me and I realize that when I worry and am fearful that is going against what God has already told me that He is in control and will never leave me or forsake me. I should learn from Him. He is gentle and in Him I can find rest for my soul. Isn’t that what we all long for, rest? Each day has enough trouble of it’s own without worrying about what is coming next or how I can “fix” things. I realized that I can never “truly” make things right because anything I would do would always be temporary compared to how God makes things whole and complete. When I focus on the Truth and remember Whose I am and that He holds my future, it really puts everything into perspective. Thank you, Lord for this reminder. I am going to focus on ONLY You and there find rest for my soul. Amen.
I am back from being away in the States visiting my family and friends. It was a good trip and I enjoyed my time so much. I wish I could have seen more people while I was there but the time was too short!
My sister-in-law, Diana, went with me and that was nice to have her there to get to know my parents and sister better and to spend a little time with my brothers as well.
Before I left for the trip, I was contemplating what it would be like going back after being married and moving. I wondered if I would feel strange being back in the house and if I would feel “at home”. I quickly discovered I fit right back into things and did pretty well remembering where things were. 🙂 However, something had changed. I no longer felt it was “home”. I started asking myself. What is home? What does it really mean? I miss my family and friends in the States when I am in Lebanon and I miss my family and friends in Lebanon when I am in the States. So, to me, this meant that “home” was really wherever my family and friends are. So, it is up to me to work at making both places “home” whenever I am in the States and when in Lebanon. Ultimately my true home is heaven and I know that when I arrive there I won’t feel out of place anymore. But until that day comes, I will work on making wherever I am the best home I can.