You should know that I love Thanksgiving more than almost any other holiday. I love the theme of gratitude and the love of family, that go with it. I love trying to make good food all day long and having the people I love the most, enjoy it. Most of all, I love spending time with my family. It is so nice to get everyone together again and remember that feeling of belonging for the rest of the year.
A couple of years ago, we drove down to the valley for Thanksgiving at the home of one of our daughters. Most of the adult kids were going to be there, along with the grandkids and the friends. We were so excited to get to spend the day with our family. We were excited to enjoy the company of everyone.
My son was bringing the turkey and a fryer. He wanted us to taste the 'fried turkey' sensation that everyone else was raving about. So, we drove the three hours to my daughters house and tried to get everything ready. We had a set time for dinner, we had everything prepared and organized to be done at the same time, everything was assembled,waiting, except for the turkey. My son and his family finally arrived, an hour or so late, with the much coveted turkey fryer. He put the peanut oil into the pan which proceeded to dump the oil back out onto the ground almost as fast as it was being poured in. Imagine our feelings as our anticipation turned to dread and despair!
You see, a turkey takes about an hour to fry, but several hours to cook in an oven the conventional way. It was dinner time with no turkey in sight and no way to cook it.
So, what do you do when life throws a few lemons your way?? I did what any self respecting guru of a large tribe of kids would do. I dumped the potatoes out of the pressure cooker, cut the turkey in half, put it inside the cooker and started pressuring it! We baked our stuffing, put everything else in the oven to warm, and in less than an hour, we were eating our fill of thanksgiving dinner.
I honestly can't say it was the most beautiful dinner I have ever seen, but I can say that it tasted amazing and we were so grateful to be able to eat everything together, that we really did not mind it.
For me, Thanksgiving is about family. It is about working together, playing together, eating together and just being appreciative of everyone's efforts. For me, it would not matter what time the dinner was, or what we had to eat, as long as everyone shows up. For me, it is the coming together from our own various activities and lives that make this a special and joyful holiday. It is finding the time to take the things that matter most and give them priority.
Today, the memories of this most unique Thanksgiving are what we laugh about and kid each other about. This was probably (I am pretty sure most definately) our most memoriable Thanksgiving ever! The kids tease me about pressuring the turkey and ask if I am sure that I don't want to try that this year. I must admit, it was a lot faster to cook and we did not spend all day waiting for it to finish! Nor did I have to fight to use the oven, the roaster, or the grill. However, there is no way to pleasingly present a turkey that has been pressure cooked. There is just so much you can do with turkey shreds. It is just cooked turkey. You make it look the best you can, and you are grateful that you are actually eating a home-cooked turkey and not having to take the entire family out to dinner somewhere else!
No matter how hard we try, we are going to have things go wrong in our lives from time to time. Somebody is going to be mad, someone is going to get their feelings hurt, someone is going to be sick, someone is going to be late. There are so many things that could happen, and so many things that will happen as time goes on. We can't change what is happening to us. We can't change the things that are just part of life. The only thing we can change is our own attitude about it and how we will deal with it. We can't change the past, but we can start today and change our own future. We can cheerfully learn to deal with our difficulties. We can learn to laugh every once in awhile. We can learn to be grateful for all of our other blessings, because, you see, when you focus on the blessings, your whole world changes. You start to see what your Heavenly Father sees when He looks at you. Regardless of our faults and failings, we are each aspiring to be more like Christ and giving Him our very best efforts. As we do that, we get all kinds of fabulous blessings in return, and the good stuff far, far outweighs the bad stuff in the grand sum of life's adventures
So, work today to develop a habit of gratitude, Shift your focus from that one thing you don't have, to all the marvelous things the Lord has given you. As you focus on your blessings and define yourself by what and who you are, you'll be surprised by how much you really do have to be grateful for.
And, no matter what life throws at you, remember that you really CAN pressure cook a turkey!