There was a Moment…

. Thanksgiving Dinner Ready to Eat

Most of the time, to be honest, holidays don’t turn out exactly the way we’ve planned. Someone is sick, or the food doesn’t turn out as we wanted, or the weather is bad, or Uncle Grumpy sets everyone’s teeth on edge. You know what I mean. We’ve all had high hopes for joy and unity that were dashed at some family gathering.

But it doesn’t always happen that way.We had high hopes this year, ourselves. One of the hardships of missionary life is separation from families at home. We came back from Guam this past year after serving for nine years on that beautiful island. One of the things we pictured about life back on the mainland was having holidays together again.

This Thanksgiving would be our first big one. Our son and daughter-in-law from Colorado decided to stay at home with their four children to be with his parents, since they’ll be here for Christmas. But all three sons, including our youngest, who still lives on Guam, were going to be with us, plus a nephew who teaches here in Arizona a few hours away. Our oldest granddaughter reminded us of how grown-up she is getting to be when she came with her pleasant and helpful boyfriend for the first time.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I cooked the foods that could be prepared ahead, and then on Thursday, the family gathered here in Holbrook. The turkey decided to be more than cooperative and was done earlier than planned, so we quickly prepared the last minute dishes. Various family members helped with setting the table, dishing up the food, and arranging the serving table. And then it happened.

There was a moment in the midst of the busy-ness, when our son Matt was playing the piano, I was slicing turkey, and Jeff and the others were chatting and helping put things together when I realized we were doing exactly what I’d dreamed we’d be doing at a holiday time–taking joy in working side by side, loving each other, being a family together instead of a family separated. It doesn’t always happen, I know. It won’t always happen for us. But there was this moment, a little perfect glimpse of joy. I don’t know when I’ve ever felt more thankful.

We Gather Together



11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Wes on November 28, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Merry Christmas to you both!


    • Thanks for your good wishes, Wes. We’ll have our four youngest grandchildren here with their parents, so it ought to be a fun time. I’ll be tired out when they leave, but in the best possible way. Hope you will have a delightful and meaningful holiday, too. Greetings to Linda and the kids!


  2. Posted by Jeff Johnson on December 1, 2012 at 7:09 am



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