Thanksgiving has always been a highlight in our house. Growing up, we usually wound up hosting several families at our house. My brothers and I would always be delighted. Usually, we’d have an Amish meal of mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, salad, pie, and the likes.

Etched in my memory are the times the Stutzman siblings would play with us even though they were a couple of years older than us. They simply had a way of doing fun things on our level, never pining to be with others their age. I wonder if it’s real that we are now the ones making memories for our children.

I wonder am I focused on doing what I want, or am I concerned the most about my children? As the years go by, I ask myself why we celebrate holidays. Is it to have a grand time and eating to our heart’s content, or is there another reason for me personally, to celebrate the occasion? There have been Thanksgiving seasons where I was bubbling with gratitude and a few where I felt like gratitude was at the bottom of the list, if on it at all.

You know what I’m talking about. You can fill in the blanks of when you’ve had a loss right over the holidays, and the zip and spark for the occasion just drained out right on the spot. Then somehow and some way, even though it looked like a complete dead end, things change in perspective as I’ve mustered the courage to whisper, “Thank you, Lord,” for the first time. Every fiber of my being felt like screaming instead of thanking God for a stitch of it, yet this simple act of faith was a profound starting point for the Lord to work things out for His glory even if it still hurt.

Today as I think of Thanksgiving, it’s difficult to find any words that fit. This past year it felt like I had a million questions with no answers. Yesterday another foster mother with adopted children told me that there is no such thing as a perfect parent and of course, what a relief. I knew it, but needed to hear it. I’m just so thankful God’s resources don’t end where my frail ones do. And you know, somehow I wouldn’t ask to have had the past year on easy street.

So this year, let’s join hands, thanking God, not only for what He has done for us but for what He will continue to do for all of us as we praise Him. I want to pass on our stuffing recipe, or dressing, as us Amish folks call it, for you to try this Thanksgiving. Before Grandma passed away a year and a half ago, she was known for her excellent dressing.

GRANDMA’S STUFFING

1 loaf of bread, cubed

1 /2 cup butter

1 /2 cup potatoes, diced

1 /2 cup carrots, diced

1 cup chicken broth

1 1 /2 cup cooked chicken, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1 /2 cup parsley, cut fine

5 eggs

4 cups milk

1 teaspoon chicken base

1 teaspoon salt

3 /4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon onion salt

Boil carrots and onions together until tender. Then, in a large kettle toast bread cubes in butter until crisp. Dump bread cubes into a large bowl. Add carrots and onions and rest of the ingredients. Beat eggs and milk in a separate bowl. Mix well and add to the rest. Put into a large roaster and bake at 45 minutes or fry on top of the stove.

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