It has been a BUSY weekend!
You may recall that because Thanksgiving isn't a Haitian holiday, we all have work and class and school on Thanksgiving. However, November 18 is Vertier Day, and everything is closed down for that, so every year our missionary family celebrates Thanksgiving on the 18th. We've gotten so used to that, in fact, I no longer feel sad on the true Thanksgiving to be missing it...because we didn't!
And that was yesterday, and it was a beautiful day.
We were missing a few folks, but yesterday was still the largest group we've ever had! More than having lots of people and tons of good food, however, is the joy of having a truly worshipful day together. Not a lot of families get to make the day all about God's great faithfulness the years past and future.
This year we started out by all answering a different question...some funny, "Would you rather wash your hair in mashed potatoes or take a bath in gravy?" some reflective, "Who would you invite to today from history if you could" and some devotional, "How do you remember to be thankful in the day-to-day?" I just love this portion, love hearing from the kids and teens and adults NOT about work and about their first thoughts.
Then we always join in a time of worship, and this year "Great is Thy Faithfulness" really got to me, not only because it ALWAYS gets to me and is so powerful, but yesterday morning my sister texted that her water had broken, and by the time people started to come by the house, she was heading to the hospital.
And you know me...missing out gracefully is not my strength, and I was desperate to be there to help my sister yesterday, to know more, to be involved, to be there, to cherish and love. And singing that reminder that He gives strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow with all these beautiful voices and the children...that All I have needed, His hand has provided...
yeah. I needed that yesterday. So thankful.
Then, our team patriarch, which has been Uncle Dave every year since I've been here, prays for us all, and I'm just so grateful ANY time we have good time with Dave and Marilyn.
After a wonderful lunch we got the group picture, and then the kids were off to play and the adults had coffee and pie and spent some time praying for Haiti (we're going through a particularly politically charged season right now), for the men and women we work with and serve and love, for our families and team and nations.
Then a dozen dishes, the men were off to play basketball, and we all put our feet up for a few hours. The downside is that we all terribly miss our families on Thanksgiving. The upside is that we're all very grateful to have 40 Christ-followers to celebrate with...and I know one day when Thanksgiving means 6-8 people, the girls won't know what to do with themselves :)
It was a gift of a day, and I'm so thankful.
But that doesn't mean I wasn't checking my phone every 6 minutes. I was as with my sister in my thoughts and prayers as I possibly could have been, and finally fell asleep last night still waiting for news of my new niece. I kept waking up to check my phone, and finally got to meet this DEAR little thing at midnight, and finally got to "talk" with my sister for a while.
LOOK at that. What a fantastic Thanksgiving. Isn't she precious precious?
Meet Adaly Noelle, born perfectly on Vertier Day, which means nothing to most people and means great Thanksgiving to me!
That makes three precious daughters for Lisa, the oldest being three, and she just has some sweet and beautiful days ahead of her with all this LOVE...strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
By the time we got Thanksgiving cleaned up and put away, I was done, but Emily always goes Christmas the night of Thanksgiving, and the girls were THRILLED to be a part of that.
Emily and Julie (and Bill and Phil :) also made a wonderfully special lunch today of RIBS and potatoes and cake to celebrate my birthday slower than it will be by Wednesday, and we ate out in the yard and the breeze and the sunshine and sat there talking and watching the kids play till past dinner...I may have mostly talked about Adaly, but good friends know what you're missing and let you go.
Always thankful for the special crew of family God's miraculously brought around us and for the ways they family so well...All I have needed His hand has provided.
So don't we think He'll continue?