We in the Mahaney clan look forward to Thanksgiving all year long. Only, as you know by now, this Thanksgiving didn’t go as planned.
It all started when Janelle got the stomach virus two days before the holiday. Mom and Kristin tried to watch Caly and do the grocery shopping. I ran some extra errands to help out. Things were a little crazy, but she seemed to be recovering.
Then—mother of all Thanksgiving disasters—Mom got sick on Thanksgiving day! Of all days in the year for Mom to get sick, this might have been the worst. As you may have read, Thanksgiving dinner was not exactly a triumph (I’m determined now to learn how to make gravy!). And even though she’s the quietest of this noisy bunch, it wasn’t the same without her at the table.
Friday morning everyone woke up healthy, and we thought we might salvage the weekend after all. But by mid-morning Mike was in bed. The guy’s morning out had to be cut short, and the Turkey Bowl cancelled for first time in recent memory.
Saturday was a repeat performance. We girls got away for a little while before Chad got sick. In the end we fed everyone an early dinner and Steve and I packed up the kids and traveled home.
To be honest, there were moments we girls were tempted to be not-so-thankful for this Thanksgiving. But then Mom reminded us of the example of Mrs. Spurgeon. It is said that when her husband, the great preacher Charles Spurgeon died, she knelt by the bed and “thanked the Lord for the precious treasure so long lent to her.”
She focused on the undeserved goodness of God, instead of her indescribable loss.
For starters, we experienced no real loss this Thanksgiving. No one passed away. No one was seriously ill. That alone put things in perspective. We were not suffering.
But it also helped to remember the thirty odd Thanksgivings we have enjoyed together. To be grateful for the Turkey Bowls and the delicious meals and the memories—instead of focusing on the one year that didn’t go the way we had hoped. To thank the Lord for the precious treasure of our family, so long lent (not earned or deserved) to us.
We’re already looking forward to next year, when hopefully, no one will have the stomach virus. But we’re also thanking God for this Thanksgiving and His many undeserved blessing in our lives.
“What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?...I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving.” Psalm 116:12, 17