Everyone arrived at 5:30, and at 6, us interns and Carol started serving soup and salad to everyone. (I love serving people at dinner events! Especially friends.) A while later, the turkey was carved and we were able to join everyone and eat. The food was absolutely amazing! We got three turkeys from Costco and a ham! I'm not a huge fan... or even slightly inclined to enjoy turkey, so I was extremely excited to have ham on the menu. Of course there were gobs of mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE!!!! All the usual Thanksgiving things.
While 50 people on the team were over for dinner, only about half of them were American! There were Australians, Koreans, Japanese, and a visitor from India all at the table! (I must say, it was pretty funny seeing them all saying "Happy Thanksgiving!" to each other. One of my new Australian friends, who was enjoying his first ever Thanksgiving meal, said later that it was like an "eating marathon!")
At the end of the night, after everyone had gone home, every room was cleaned, all the leftovers had containers, and every single one of the gajillions of dishes we had were washed, my friend Emily and I collapsed on the floor in the living room and released the familiar post-Thanksgiving-dinner moan of full stomachs. As we were lying there, I commented about how I felt like we had a glimpse of what God must have felt like after he created the universe and saw that "it was good." Thinking about all the work that had gone into making that evening happen, how much people seemed to have enjoyed themselves, and all of the after-party cleanup, one couldn't help but sit there afterward and look at everything and think that it was good.
As I was looking around the room at dinner last night, I realized how blessed I am to know all of those wonderful people! For that evening, my big thing that I was thankful for was the fact that God called me back to Japan so soon after returning to America. I am so blessed that I get to work with these team members, that I get to teach such amazing students and see them all week, that I get to live with this wonderfully godly family again, that I get to live in this country, and that I am learning so much about the Lord through the people and circumstances around me. I am beyond amazed at His plans for me!
I am also incredibly thankful for my family, for loving and supporting me so much and letting me return to this country I love so dearly! Without their support, I think it would have been unbearably difficult for me to be here. And while they joke all the time about bribing me to stay in America, I know that they love me and will always support me 100%, even if I'm living on the other side of the world. I am one blessed girl!
Another thing I'm thankful for is friends who are patient enough to skype with me, even when skype crashes all the time! I've been able to have long conversations with friends back home recently, and I'm always so encouraged by these people God has put in my life. I'm thankful for the lessons God teaches me about cherishing the people in my life, and to love everyone, just as He first loved us.
|SKYPING WITH SARAH, EMILY, AND HANNAH|
Thank you to everyone who reads this updates, to those who support me financially and especially in prayer! You are all instruments God has used in my life in some way or another, and I am so grateful for your friendship!
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
|THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM|
|50 PEOPLE GATHERED IN OUR DINING ROOM & LIVING ROOM|