I think I know how the pilgrims felt...okay, so my last few months in Mexico haven't exactly been equivalent to the pilgrims' miserable, probably scary and extremely difficult first year in America BUT on some level I think I share their sentiments. To be in a new place is sometimes hard, exhausting, interesting, sad, funny, exciting, encouraging and a range of other emotions, but after the pilgrims' first year...they were ready to celebrate! Ready to celebrate that they survived and that the Lord took care of them. (Right? I apologize in advance if I botch any Thanksgiving history that I might have forgotten since the 3rd grade when we did the whole pilgrims and indians play.) They struggled and they sacrificed a lot- their homes, their comforts and even family members. While I do not know the loss of my family members, they are currently VERY far away. And I am not having to build a house with my bear hands and wood that I chopped myself- my general surroundings and comforts have changed and some all but disappeared. But despite all these things, we find the strength, joy and peace to say THANK YOU, LORD! Thank you for the last year and all the good things, thank you for the hard things, thank you for providing and caring, loving, stretching and helping us survive. I think that today, for maybe the first time in my life, I actually put myself in the shoes of our great ancestors, the first Americans, the Pilgrims- and truly understood the meaning- their meaning and intention of Thanksgiving. It took being just a few thousand miles away to reach this point in my life but I feel so grateful just to understand it.
And like the pilgrims, I had a few "Indians" to help me with the meal. While we are so unfortunately unable to purchase canned pumpkin here in Mexico, hence the pumpkin pie that was missing from our otherwise lavish spread of pies and cakes left-over from Hiram's birthday, we do however have just about every other traditional Thanksgiving food. Praise the Lord for that! I mean what's Thanksgiving without the food, right? The Indians knew this! This might be another reason why my family's favorite line about me is, "Caroline...she always did love a good indian."- we think alike and I'm very proud of my Cherokee heritage too. But all jokes aside, I could not be more grateful for my "Mexican family" that God has blessed me with this year. And new friends that feel like old friends.
While I missed my family tremendously today on one of the most special holidays in my family and all of America, it was a Thanksgiving day that I will never forget. Today we changed the usual phrase of "I am thankful for..." to "I am thankful to God for..." because really, who else is there to which we are to be thankful? He has so graciously given, taken and cared for each and every one of us.
I hope that you and yours enjoyed today with family, friends and lots of good food (maybe a pumpkin pie for me too!) But most importantly I hope that today was a day to remember what the Lord has done for you this year. "Give the thanks to the Lord for HE IS GOOD...His love endures forever."
And friend, I am thankful for you.