I never imagined it would be like this

Happy Thanksgiving, blessed ones!

I write this on Thanksgiving morning and as I reflect, I marvel at what I thought would be versus what is. When I decided to move back to Indiana last year, I imagined my first Thanksgiving home in about 14 years. I imagined the build up, arriving at my sister’s house early in the morning to start the creation process of cooking the most labor-intensive meal of the year and the camaraderie of sharing the kitchen with my lifelong best friend. I imagined people arriving and the hugs I would give and receive. I imagined myself sitting around a huge table with family members and the shouts I would later hear as football brought the men to the living room and the women stayed around the table to talk. I imagined the few who stayed late to help my sister decorate her Christmas tree, the cookies we’d eat, and the laughter…..

Never once did I imagine I’d be quarantined, still experiencing symptoms of the Coronavirus, having a Thanksgiving meal delivered by Faye’s Restaurant. There are no smells in my house wafting up the stairs, and if there were, I wouldn’t be able to smell them as the virus has claimed my sense of taste and smell. My sister is just a few blocks away from me and yet I will not sit over a single cup of tea with her today as she and her husband have the virus too.

I could stop here and paint a rather dismal picture, but God never wastes an opportunity to bless us. During our time of quarantine, I’ve grown closer to my family. We’ve played board games and card games. I can’t tell you how many paper airplanes I’ve made and flown. I have time to slowly decorate this big new house and the Christmas decorations have made me feel alive and connected. I delight in lighting up the house and every ornament I touch brings back a memory. I saw a life-sized angel at Big Lots before I got ill and even though my logical self said I didn’t need it, just looking at her brought me joy so I brought her home and last night I put her together and she does, indeed, bring me joy. And that dinner, well, Faye’s Restaurant has the best home-cooked food I could ask for and all I have to do it pop it in the oven in a little bit and I will have a delicious meal that I didn’t have to cook and I can throw the pans away! The people I love the most live right here in my house and we’ll say what we’re grateful for as we hold clean hands and pray. I’m grateful that my sister is right down the street and when we’re both well again, I’ll be having that cup of tea in person. In the meantime, I’m going to pour myself a cup of tea and facetime her.

I can sit back and reflect on all the good that has happened since I set in motion a move that would alter all of our lives. I have a new church with people I already feel like I’ve known forever and loved forever, too. I know that the time will come that we will be physically together and I so look forward to it. Until then we have zoom – the prayer service and book study will both be on zoom at 11:00; prayer on Wednesday and Book Study on Thursday. And phone calls…. and text messages … and emails. Help me find ways to stay connected.

I have so much to be grateful for and my heart is full and overflowing. I hope you and your family find ways to bring joy to one another today and may you all experience grateful hearts.

I wish for you and yours a very blessed Thanksgiving.

With love and gratitude,

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