I am Thanksgiving Day full of joy from this weekend! Friday was my birthday so my parents (in-law) came up to spend the weekend taking care of the girls so that I could rest and my huni took the day off to hang out with me. (sweeeet, right?) We saw a movie, did some light shopping, ate frozen yogurt and topped off the night having dinner with friends.
Then for Saturday he had secretly spoken to my family and friends and arranged a surprise party in my honor!! It was wonderful!! We ate some yummy food, danced, danced, danced, laughed, laughed and laughed some more and just had an all around good time. One of my sisters came in from out of town, my aunts and cousins pulled together and made the food, decorated my home and really set the atmosphere for a book lover’s themed party. And then, some of them pitched in and bought me a Nook!!! (cheering, smiling, crying, fist pumping, so excited!!) I am so grateful for my family and friends. This weekend was wonderful.
I know that there are great things happening in other people’s lives. At the same time there are people with great, basic needs and a Nook may seem such a trivial thing to cheer about. This was not necessarily a milestone birthday . . .yet . . .I am so happy and so grateful because some people I care about took a bit of their time and resources to show how much they care about me. I needed that.
I often get so caught up in trying to deny my need for people and my longing for connection. It’s a rallying theme with many familiar mantras: “Be strong!,” “Be independent!,” “Go for yours!”, do whatever you can to uphold the front that you are sufficient in and of yourself. Deny vulnerability because vulnerability is a sure sign of weakness, and weakness is not favorable. Yowza!!! And it is this very attitude that has made me feign strength and nurture pridefulness. I feel so much better when I offer help than I do when I receive it. The issue is that this has little to do with my tender, giving heart but more to do with the rancid stench of pride compromising anything good that I attempt to do. And what I’ve noticed is that I can be this way with God. (ouch) I remember one time talking to Emmanuel (my husband) telling him that I didn’t want to have to run to God for every little thing; I wanted to be able to show Him that I could handle some things on my own. (covering my face with my hands) Missing the big problem in my statement? God never intended for me to live independent from Him. He wants me to depend on Him for every little thing. And most times He’ll use people to help me and give me what I want and need. If I isolate myself and set myself up as this super-Pam who needs no one and can handle everything, I dismiss God, I dismiss His people and I dismiss myself because I am not giving myself a chance to receive from God.
This birthday weekend, my need wasn’t gifts, neither food nor shelter. My needs were rest, peace, joy, and love. And the Lord saw fit to use my family and friends to fill me to the measure. And I reveled in it. And I am full. Thanksgiving Day full. For reals.