This was a very different Thanksgiving for our family. For starters I did not cook one single favorite. I did not even wash a single dish, (later that evening I did do dishes, but none in my own home) no smells permeating every room of the house, no aprons to clean, no pie-sweety helping me do our cooking dance, as we have done since she was old enough to stand on a chair and help.
Last year Emily was asked to sing at the Union Gospel Mission (UGM) in Salem. It worked out with the timing of getting all of dinner in the oven, go and do the music, and return in time to sit and devour our wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. Last year I came away wanting my boys to experience what I did while sitting in and visiting with those in need. This year we were invited back, and the invite extended to leading worship for chapel and joining in the dinner. So David agreed that we would go as a family and we did.
One of the first things Eric said..."why does it smell bad in here", Ethan said..."what happened to that man's eye?" and Emerson just lit up the faces of anyone he smiled at.
We can't put our young children on a plane to serve on a mission field. We can show them the genunine need for serving and caring for those in need. How do they ever know what being in need looks like if they live in a cozy warm home, where baths and food are taken for granted. I watched Ethan take a quiet approach. (rare for him) He watched, he listened, and he watched with a heart that began to understand what needy looks like.
I had talked with the boys for a few days leading up to this event. Even trying to explain what to expect so they would understand. On the way home from the UGM they understood. Ethan still wonders what happen to that man's eye.
Eric decided that he wants to have a store that helps "poor" people. He wants to make sure they have food, and can come to his store for anything they will need. He said that if he did not have what they would need, he would go and get it for them. And this such so precious..."Mommy I will not have a cash register, so that they know it really is a free store."
If we can plant the seeds of serving, of caring, and realizing the needs of those around us, in our children at younger age, we are showing them how to be Jesus. Jesus fed the $5000 and we know there was no cash register there. I pray that your Thanksgiving Weekend is blessed, and that you take a moment to step out of your comfort zone to serve those who may be needy.
Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving, elizabeth