Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions

Traditions are especially important to our kids. Perhaps the rootedness that comes with observing traditions compensates for missing much of American childhood traditions while our family was overseas.

Thanksgiving traditions have evolved to include a lot of things besides the Thanksgiving meal, that centerpiece of American Thanksgiving tradition. First and foremost, Thanksgiving originated from a deep gratitude to God for His gracious providence through the previous year and a bountiful harvest of good things He has granted to sustain us and for us to enjoy. Thanksgiving is a great big pause in our normal routine designed simply to thank God.

But the annual meal of bounty has become an American mainstay of the long weekend reunion gathering. For traditional reasons, the baked whole turkey is the sine qua non of Thanksgiving cuisine. The rest of the food rates a separate blog someday. The choices and presentations are a wide variety of expectations and add-ons from all the families of the clan.

Here's a list of what our clan considers part of the immutable (?) traditions of Thanksgiving weekend:
drive 600 miles to West Liberty OH,
watch lots of football and movies,
eat a huge meal with 20+ people for lunch on Thanksgiving Day,
shop on Friday and cheer for people running past the house in the Luminaria 5K Run,
wander the Christmas Open House shops in downtown West Liberty,
listen to the Grace Chapel choir and watch the West Liberty Thanksgivnig day parade,
open Christmas family gift exchange gifts,
play parlor games with the clan (e.g. Trivial Pursuit & Buzzwords),
visit the Maries Candies Christmas open house,
go to church on Sunday,
and drive back home bringing Grandma Taft with us to stay with us for a some weeks/months.

What do you do?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Verrrry Interesting

These are very interesting days. Our son recently severely broke his lower left leg and had to withdraw from classes at GT. My wife is still not 100% after falling backward a few feet off a ladder. Difficult days force us to cling tighter to God and His word, assured of His sovereignty, but also assured of the fact that we are engaged in spiritual warfare. Whew! We're praising God for His faithfulness and progress in terms of His glory and His gospel, in spite of and by means of our weaknesses. This is a heavenly algebra or calculus unlike anything of earthly invention. So, we plod and pray onward and upward -- following the Captain of our Salvation.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Days of Preparation

We should not denigrate the importance of days of preparation. Victory or defeat often stems from the unseen work of preparation. Now that we have some beginners level of adequacy in language and culture and a familiarity with the target, we feel drowned in the swelling flood of details in preparation for a more complete invasion. Funding, studying, training, language learning, praying, communicating ... all preparation for the final push. We want to be faithful!