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After Thanksgiving Traditions

After Thanksgiving Traditions

by Terri Bonin

Thanksgiving is over and I sit here pondering the glorious whirlwind week that is now a memory in a digital photo album. I’m not sure which part of Thanksgiving I relish more. I enjoy thumbing through new recipes with my girls and planning the menu, then there’s the guest list. Who should we add this year? How many tables will we set? Where should we seat the first-timers, so they will be comfortable?

How will we BEAUTIFY the tables? Will we need to buy more placemats or cloth napkins to give the array a new look? Oh, the fun we have with EVERY DETAIL– together—the girls and I planning for people we love.

Then there’s the actual day. Savory smells float around the house as busy daughters in aprons check on dishes in between fluffing couch pillows and lighting candles before the hungry company arrives. The males in the house test taste EVERYTHING and set up the outdoor toys.

Pouring ourselves out to bless others FILLS our family with gratefulness for the gift of OTHERS.

People need people.

The day after our Thanksgiving, when we were filled to the brim with food and contentment, from having so many over for a beautiful meal and HOURS of visiting, the girls and I decided to…

Black Friday shop at an ungodly hour.

Driving in the dark, verbally mapping out our plan, Alexis gasped. I swerved narrowly missing a teen walking down the street ALONE.

Is he running away? Why is he by himself in the dark? I have to find out? Turning the car around I mumbled, Daddy’s going to kill me.

Are you ok? You should really walk in the grass; I almost hit you.

I don’t want to walk in the grass. I just want to get to the store (to Black Friday shop)

Silence (I can’t give him a ride. That could land us on the 5 o’clock news. What can I do?)

Ok. PLEASE walk in the grass and BE CAREFUL.

NOT giving him a ride was an EXCRUCIATINGLY painful decision. He, being my teenage son’s size and disposition, tugged at my heart. This young soul lacked a friend with the same excitement for Black Friday shopping—so he walked ALONE, down a dark street, to the nearest store with a pocket full of money, no doubt.

My mother heart cried.

EVERYONE needs SOMEONE.

The girls and I said a prayer for him and it was the most we were free to do in this instance. I know God calls us to be His hands and His feet, but having a car full of daughters, driving down a dark road, I had to trust God to protect and guide this boy without my hands or feet this time.

There are SO MANY lonely people in this world. Alone. Lonely. I know singleness does not necessarily mean lonely just as being in a group does not assure camaraderie. Loneliness is a deep empty, ache, and longing for companionship.

Every soul desires a friend.

Some people are born into unfortunate circumstances and have NO IDEA how to turn their life around, or how to connect and remain in a friendship.

Find one. Befriend a lonely soul. Encourage another.

Make a practice of connecting with the checker at the store you frequent. Ask the waitress that always serves you about herself. Put down your phone. Look with your heart at those around you who are hungry for a friend, or even just a word of encouragement. GIVE your attention for just a few brief moments to brighten someone’s day, and you will be given JOY back in return.

(Luke 14:13-21)

~Terri

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