'Twas the night before Thanksgiving and all through the cabin...the children were falling asleep, the husband was making a pie and the wife was updating the blog.
We just sent a thankful email...but we know there are people we are thankful for who are missing from that list. Thought we'd add a little bit to the email (mainly some pictures and telling you about Thanksgiving on the ship) and share it here. We're not sure we can ever say "Thank You" enough...
We've had a thankful tree in our cabin these last few weeks...the tree has slowly grown lovely leaves - one of my favorite parts was when people who had stopped by our cabin to visit or play or for a meal added a leaf to the tree.A Sampling of the leaves:
cheese...friends and family...indecipherable jibber jabber (but, boy, is emma thankful!), blue bunny, cheeseburgers...you know, the basics.
There were plenty of other wonderful thanksgivings....God, Jesus, Mom & Dad, packages, other indecipherables from Emma, peaceful mornings, grace, accepted apologies, sunsets...
We have a plate here in the Cash Family that we use on birthdays and other special occasions to celebrate a certain person and/or their accomplishments. It says "You are special. Especially today."
In light of Thanksgiving, we want to say "We are thankful for you. Especially today."
There should be a leaf with your name on it hanging on our tree.
Thank you for loving us.
Thank you for sharing friendship with us.
Thank you for giving financially to us.
Thank you for praying for us.
Thank you for being a part of God's work through the Africa Mercy.
Thank you for letting God use you to bless us again and again and again.
We are indeed thankful for generous people. We are thankful for you - whether "you" are here on the ship or far across the ocean...whether you've given us one of the above gifts or all 6 (plus more!). You have invested in our lives in so many generous ways and we are grateful.
We are thankful for you. Especially today.
We love this time of year - we are certainly missing family and fall weather and changing leaves and the food we know everyone is going to enjoy tomorrow...but we are still SURE that we are right where God wants us - and that's a good place to be!
Thanksgiving on the ship is....alot like most other days. Since we are an International Community, the ship doesn't celebrate holidays that are specific to one country -- we'd be celebrating something pretty much every day! (which might not actually be a bad thing....but it would probably get in the way of getting any work done!). If people want to celebrate a certain holiday, that's certainly permissible - but we're still expected to work and the kids go to school "as usual."
Tomorrow evening the Galley and Dining Room teams will serve a delicious "Thanksgiving Meal" - turkey, dressing, stuffing, etc....Our plan is to take our meal to the Queen's Lounge -- it's a meeting space here on the ship...a queen really did lounge in it before the ships' name was changed from the "Dronning Ingrid"to the "Africa Mercy." We'll share our delicious meal (that we didn't have to cook) (on plates that we won't have to wash) with some American friends. Everyone is bringing a special dessert (now we're talking!!!) - Nick is putting together a Chocolate Chip Pie as this is being typed (complete with a home made crust!)(I'm kind of really impressed by him right now).
It'll be different...different from what we grew up doing...different from what so many of our friends and family will be doing in Georgia...different...but good nonetheless. Our God is good and so deserving of all the thanksgiving we can pour out - no matter what it looks like!
A friend (who we are very thankful for!) shared this blogpost with us. It has a few printable verses about thankfulness....thought you might like to see them and possibly print them off for your home (they're applicable all year round...not just the 4th Thursday of November) - here's a picture of one of them hanging on a door in our cabin (and a fun blast from the past picture of Eli playing in leaves in our backyard on 19th Ave!)
We are praying that you enjoy your Thanksgiving Day...may you connect well, laugh lots, eat just the right amount & ENJOY those around you. May you take some time to truly give thanks...
Surely there will be more to come.