Yes, I know what you’re thinking, American Thanksgiving in August? Don’t I mean November?
My answer this year is yes to both! We celebrate every fourth Thursday in November, like all Americans I know in America and abroad, but this year we had an incredibly special reason to celebrate a second Thanksgiving: my parents came to visit us!
After three long years since experiencing our daily life in England and being two years since seeing my husband and the kids, it was so wonderful and very surreal to pick my mom and dad up from the airport! With health complications for my dad and the Covid pandemic posing challenges, it felt truly like a miraculous gift to hug and be reunited in person. Hence, the desire for a Thanksgiving this August!
Along with feasting on some of our favourite Thanksgiving foods like Sweet Potato Bake and Broccoli Rice Casserole, we were just so thankful to be together. By bringing out some special foods, it reminded us that the moments God allows our overseas family to share around our table are incredibly valuable. Having my parents with us was like eating a most nourishing plate of wholesome food but even better, as their words, hugs, and encouragement replenished our emotionally weary souls.
After a delightful and precious time catching up, our hearts felt the weight of sadness, as we dropped them back to the airport for their return flight home. Equally so, our hearts were and are still filled full of thankfulness and gratitude for being able to see my parents at all. We remember that even just a few months ago, it seemed uncertain if a visit was going to be possible this summer.
One thing I have learned well through living ‘across the pond’ and five thousand plus miles from my parents, is that each day and moment is precious. The global pandemic has solidified my perspective yet again, that each of us must embrace TODAY, for that is all we tangibly have. We need to make each day count as worthwhile and an important stepping stone in our life journey.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.Proverbs 27:1
Absorbing the smiles, releasing the tears, embracing the laughter, eating way too much chocolate (cake, biscuits, iced lollies), having tourist adventures in Covid style, dining outside in our garden, and having the most honest and real chats we’ve ever had, are the reasons the joy outweighs the sadness of separation.
I hope that this week, each of us can find a daily something or someone to be thankful for. We are here to love God and each other (Mark 12:30-31), so embracing that as our sense of purpose, we can be grounded in who we are no matter what circumstances are thrown our way.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.Psalm 100:1-3
To my parents, thank you for all of the efforts made on your very long journeys to and from seeing us. Your perseverance and determination to see us has been such a beautiful reminder of how God unconditionally loves each one of us, even when we don’t always embrace Him back. He patiently waits for us with open arms and is willing to go great lengths to show us He cares. Our love and blessings are with you always even across the miles! Au revoir…