This year Riley and I drove 7 hours west to the the panhandle of Oklahoma and visited my in-laws at the Voth Farm and Ranch. We then headed back east to see my family in central Kansas for Thanksgiving. I enjoyed so much of this time!
Here is a recap of our Thanksgiving :
- Riley and I started the journey with fun conversation. Car rides for us are often spent visiting and spending quality time with each other. I think it’s one of Riley’s favorites too because he is able to share A LOT of his ideas (which I’m sure he didn’t even expand on the half of them). His mind is always filled with ideas. Love. it. His ideas help me envision our future and what better time to envision the future than at the end of the year?
- Wednesday we moved some cattle on the ranch. It gave me some serious respect for my father-in-law, Dennis. He road the ATV in the freezing rain for nearly three hours. …and he is 68. This entire weekend gave me so much respect for the Voth family. They are among the hardest working people. Half the family was sick and the weather was terrible with freezing rain and wind; yet no cow was neglected and they went above and beyond to do more unnecessary hard work. Oh and much of it was done after 11 pm – when I was in bed.
- We shared Thanksgiving day at my in-laws. The meal was something I especially enjoyed. My mother-in-law, Jan, is so kind and she chooses to be conscious of the the food I like. She made pies with butter verses Crisco, made real broth, and let me make home-made tapioca.
- Friday was Dennis’s and I’s birthday. He turned 68, and I, 25. I spent the day sewing. I couldn’t of asked for a better day. They keep their house silent and all I could hear was the sound of my machine amongst on and off conversation.
- We made it to my parents’ house a day late because of the icy weather, but I’m sure glad we got the time with them. My family is significantly more noisy than the Voths; however, there is much I love about it. Much of the noise is attributed to the games we play. Every year, we have a new game. My mom has a closet full of them now! This year the game was Say Anything. One of my faves! It enabled a lot of sincere, funny, and opinionated conversation.
- My mom made a feast for the Thanksgiving meal! She also had a lot of deserts that maaaayyybeee didn’t go well with my normal diet. However, with my family this meal is a time for pleasure and not a time for nourishment. Ha! I give no thought to the health of the food I ate then. I was and am soo thankful for the time and effort my mom put into the meal she prepared. I have to say it was super tasty! We also took much of it home which meant I didn’t have to do groceries this week! Yay!
- My dad missed the Thanksgiving meal, because of a serious issue at work. However, the time my dad did spend with the family, he spent it completely engaged and I left feeling like I had quality time with him nonetheless! I love listening to my dad’s excitement about his new job. He is also very great about asking questions about our lives. Love him!
- Oh my niece! She’s a cutie… What baby isn’t? But this baby, she is the only baby in the Sattler family. Walking, talking, hugging and kissing. What could make a holiday better? I don’t know.
The hard things to be thankful for :
The truth is there are some forms of suffering in the lives I spent Thanksgiving with.
It’s easy to think that diving into these issues with family members will put a damper on our fun, however, in a healthy perspective, I think, it’s the best way to love others. It’s a joy to encounter the depths of the hearts of my loved ones.
This means diving into their problems with them, if they so allow. To at least give them the opportunity, then to think, problem solve, pray for, share stories, and to hope. It’s hard, but best, and is one of the most loving things we can do with one another.
To try not to fully disclose others private info, I’ll only share vague issues. Some of my loved ones relationships are not reconciled, for some old age is setting in with illnesses, others have pains of recent loss, and much more.
The thing that brings me to still be thankful for the entire time with my families despite some of the conversations being hard is this fact:
We are reminded in 2 Corinthians the hope we have even in our suffering.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10.
Afflicted in every way, but not crushed.
In the end, even a deathly illness or a neglectful relationship won’t leave those who trust in Jesus (who’s death atones for their sins and gives them eternal life with a caring God) crushed. There is hope – hope to share, and hope to speak of.
It’s a wonderful reminder to those that have circumstances that leave no hope for them on this earth; there is hope in their new life and relationship with Jesus.
Perplexed, but not driven to despair.
We all have those questions of why did this happen to me? Why cancer? Why natural disaster? Why this with my parents? Why this with my child? Why this political decision? They are perplexing, and, after consideration, may leave you baffled, but not in despair. Not in despair, because of one thing:
I have said these things to you, that in me [Jesus] you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I [Jesus] have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
Physically speaking: Through Jesus’s perfect and obedient life to God on earth, he was the only one who deserved eternal life in heaven and peace with God. However, he gave his life so that we could be adopted sons and daughters of God. This gives us a physical hope of a new life (born again), living because of Christ’s death, looking forward to a new body and new home with God in heaven as was intended by and sacrificed for by Jesus.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5
Spiritually speaking: With this perspective in mind, while we are alive on this earth, we can carry this promise into a life of hope – a life of thankfulness for everything, despite anything.