Being from New Zealand, Thanksgiving is one holiday that we were looking forward to experiencing. Thanksgiving in the U.S. (it is also celebrated in Canada but on a different day) is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November and is a day where families gather and through food and fellowship, they give thanks to God for the blessings they have received throughout the year. The day is a bit like Christmas in that it has a very festive feel about it and of course, there is mountains of food.
Although the Thanksgiving Day and the day after (called ‘Black Friday’) are national holidays, the Seminary breaks for the whole week. I assume they break for the week to allow students who are from out of state, time to travel back to their respective home states and spend Thanksgiving Day with their families.
Today, our family and the Burlings were invited by the Hoglos, a family from Placerita Baptist Church, to their house to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with them. We are very grateful to Chris, Georgina, Wyatt and Luke for their kind hospitality.
The meal was a traditional turkey meal with all the trimmings followed by pumpkin and apple pies for dessert. As usual, we ate far too much but the food, especially the turkey and home-made cranberry sauce was fantastic.
After the meal, we sat down to watch a recording of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which is a traditional parade stretching all the way back to 1924. It is a massive three-hour long event featuring many floats, balloons and performances by current Broadway shows.
After the parade, we had a very entertaining game of (boys vs girls) charades which the boys won with relative ease followed by some general blobbing out.
Of course, Thanksgiving Day cannot be complete without reflecting upon the things which we are thankful for, especially in a year that has seen a lot of change and upheaval for our family.
We are thankful for our family and for our wider families and friends back home in New Zealand.
We are thankful to be in California and living out an experience that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
We are thankful for the new friends we are making here in the U.S. and for the wonderful hospitality of the Americans.
We are thankful to the Lord who, despite our many flaws and failings, bestows upon us His overflowing, abounding and abundant grace.
We are thankful for His daily provision and care.
We are thankful for the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who by doing so, became the propitiation for our sins and took upon Himself our punishment that is ours by right.
We are thankful for the inheritance that is being built up for us.
We are thankful for the privilege of serving a wonderful and gracious God.
It’s been a great day.