Friday, November 21, 2014

Monthly Musings [a linkup]

Spending Thanksgiving as an American expat is weird. Christmas is different - it's hard being away from our family in the US, but at least the holiday is celebrated, and some familiar things like nativity scenes and Christmas carols help make me feel more homey. Thanksgiving is kind of like Independence Day. The day comes and goes like any other. No one is off work. No one is celebrating. I had a very hard time my first Thanksgiving outside of the US, during which our Thanksgiving dinner had to be postponed for about 7 weeks.

Thanksgiving dinner in the dining room of a ship in the Philippines, 2006

Since then, with help from Rodgers, I try to introduce the holiday to my non-American friends. It is a lot of work for me in the kitchen, but so much fun! We get to teach a tiny bit of American history and introduce our friends to some super yummy American foods. It helps that I make cornbread dressing and the staple food here is corn (as in maize). The dressing and turkey are always eaten up very quickly. Not so much the veggies, but that's ok with me - I can eat creamy green beans for days!

Our first Thanksgiving in Kenya, 2012

As Christians, it is important to us to have a day set aside to particularly focus on giving thanks to God for providing for us. Of course, we give thanks every day, every time we pray. But we have holidays to pay special attention. We celebrate Christmas to pay special attention to the coming of Christ. We celebrate Easter to pay special attention to Jesus' death and resurrection, even though we worship on Sundays every week for the same reason. In Deuteronomy, the Hebrews were commanded to celebrate God's provision for seven days! (The Feast of Tabernacles) We don't personally celebrate the Jewish feasts, but I believe Thanksgiving Day serves the same purpose to us as the Feast of Tabernacles.

Our second Thanksgiving in Kenya, 2013

We invite Christian friends to celebrate with us. We thank God for what he has done for us, for the ways he has worked in all of our lives, for the ways he has made his presence known in the world around us. We eat before the Lord our God, and we rejoice! (Deut 12:7)

This is a monthly linkup. Check it out for more musings about thankfulness:
The Rambling Llama

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for linking up with us. It's so cool that you're combining your traditions with theirs. I think it's hilarious that they love the turkey and dressing the most! I'm with you on the green beans! YUM! :) I hope y'all have a wonderful Thanksgiving next week!