Victoria Advocate, A Different Perspective
Thanksgiving proved unusual this year. Normally, we have lots of family, but this year, it was my mom, my brother, my son, and my grandsons. Mom and I felt outnumbered.
We’d also scaled down the amount of food. My husband outdid himself as usual. He cooked the turkey and baked a cake and homemade rolls. I fixed several sides, but no dressing, gravy, or potatoes. I should have taken a picture of our buffet with the lone dessert, though there was ice cream too. Some may think we missed the point of a traditional dinner. Actually, it was a relief not to have so much food. We still had plenty of leftovers and didn’t miss what wasn’t there.
My brother brought my grandsons an early Christmas present. It’s an enormous book with exceptional illustrations entitled, The Book, with the subtitle, “How To Rebuild a Civilization.” It enthralled the eleven-year-old. He pored through the pages, drawn to the pictures.
After dinner, we drove a short distance to see my cousins who live in town, and other cousins who came for the holiday. I cherished the brief visit. One cousin brought me an envelope of printed copies of book reviews and guest columns that I’d written years ago for The Advocate. Oh. My. Goodness. It was a wonderful reminder that God was leading me to write all along. Do you ever wonder if you’re on the right track? Almost every week or every day, I wonder if I’ve missed out on what I should be doing. Or I fall into the comparison trap, comparing my writing to other more experienced authors. Note to self: Don’t go there. It’s a surefire way to feel you never measure up. The printed pages were a lovely treasure—tangible proof that I’ve always been bent in this direction.
After a sweet, much-too-short visit with my cousins, we drove back to our house for the Cowboy’s kickoff. And, of course, we cleared off the table for a jigsaw puzzle. By the end of the evening, my son admitted it might have been a larger project than he anticipated. A thousand pieces, it’s a painting of a military scene, with no clean lines or sharp delineations between the different objects. The puzzle has been in the stack for a while, but this is the first time it’s been opened. It’s still on the table, patiently waiting for willing hands to put it together. My son told us that the Portuguese word for puzzle means “to break the head.” We all agreed the literal definition suited this particular puzzle.
The boys may have been a little bored when the adults worked the puzzle and watched the game. I did go over the Table of Contents of The Book with the oldest. His quick mind grasped the concept and he went back and forth looking up subjects that interested him. The Cowboys stomped all over the Commanders. On one hand, I was happy about the win—Bland’s interception was poetry on the field—but my heart went out to the Commander fans—the blowout in the fourth quarter made for a terribly disappointing Turkey Day.
As I race to meet my writing deadlines, I’m thankful for the opportunity to write this column. It nourishes my soul to reflect on the blessings of family, and a career that I love. Now with Christmas closer than ever, I’m thankful that Jesus is truly the reason for the season. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)