“I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the lord has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he has granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. For he said, “Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely.”
And He became their Savior.”
This season… this Thanksgiving… oh Heavenly Father how GOOD you have been to your children.
I worked at the hospital all day Wednesday and Thursday. Jeremy worked the night shift (Yes, we work in the same unit of the hospital.) Our Thanksgiving was spent in a new but wonderful way. It was hard, the days were long, but I would not have traded that precious time in the hospital, having the opportunity to encourage those who could not leave, for anything.
Because I did day-shift and Jeremy did night-shift, I got to “report” off to him each evening, and he reported off to me in the morning.
The bus stopped running Wednesday afternoon, so I had to walk home (not a long walk, but one that I don’t usually prefer to do when it’s dark.) To make it “safer” I called “home” (aka: China) and chatted with Lily. Because chatting with your eight year-old sister who is in Inner Mongolia makes everything safer, yeah? On my Wednesday evening phone call I got a little taste of the craziness that was Thursday morning in our little apartment on the 15th floor in the middle of the city in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia.
A turkey was ordered online. And the 20 pound turkey arrived. Qimuge, our dearest Ayi, helped chop piles of veggies the day before. Elisabeth and Naomi worked on the 4+ pies (I think that there were five?). Daddy fried onions to top the green bean casserole. And the turkey…
…it’s always the turkey, yeah?
So, the Turkey came in all of it’s 20lb goodness and my mother plopped it into the rice cooker to cook, just like anyone would do, right? You cook your 20lb purchased-online-turkey in the rice cooker, don’t you? (remember, our “oven” is a large toaster). The rice cooker was turned on and the poor turkey started burning. No worries, we’ll put a steamer rack on the bottom of the rice cooker, and then thread a string through the turkey so that when it’s done, it’s easier to lift out. Makes sense, right? The turkey didn’t come with it’s own string, so… hmm… a-ha! let’s use a kite string.
Sounds good so far, right? (no? why not?)
So the turkey stopped burning. But something else started burning… or smoking… and the beginning wafts of Thanksgiving-scents that were filling the apartment were suddenly overtaken with an awful stench. Someone opened the windows. It’s 0 degrees outside. “My eyes are burning!” “This stinks.” “What is that awful smell?”
is this what an purchased-online-turkey smells like? Is it even turkey? 20+ guests are only coming over in 2.5 hours and the turkey is not only not done, it smells horrible!!
That’s about when I hung up to let them figure out the turkey madness themselves and I went to bed.
So, what happened? It was the kite string. Chinese kite strings are coated in who knows what and I highly suggest that you do NOT put your made-in-China kite strings in the rice cooker. Just sayin’. Not recommended.
The kite string was removed and the turkey was put into the toaster oven and fast-forward a few hours… most of the 20+ guests came early… and they ate every single bite of turkey. Itty bitty Granny from down the street ate the drumstick. The sweet potatoes were all gone, but one serving… and there are pies for breakfast for days… (guess they filled up on turkey?).
Happy Thanksgiving from Hohhot!
a day later, Jeremy and I were done with our holiday shifts and we found a few friends and drove down to Charlottesville to eat Nana’s leftovers. She was kind enough to save us half of a turkey. Most of the family had celebrated on Thursday, but Tim also works one of those “busier on the holidays jobs” at a restaurant, so he joined us with Kate and their incredibly adorable child.
After lunch we sipped proper English tea, played cards, and talked about tea… Kate, Christine and I are rather enthusiastic about it.
…so after the cards, I loaded up my mini van without cousins and friends and drove us all downtown to check out a teahouse that Kate has been telling about for months and months. We sipped Chai and Turkish blends and sang Christmas carols at the top of (some of our) lungs while walking up and down the Downtown Mall. The obvious pro of celebrating Thanksgiving on Friday is that as soon as you slice the pie it’s Christmasstime.
As I work furiously on finishing my reading of the Old Testament within the next few weeks, I’m struck and overwhelmed and choked up at how the Gospel is there – in every single chapter of the whole Bible. It’s there in Job and it’s there in 2 Chronicles and as I begin reading through the Psalms… it’s there too. I keep finding myself flipping over to Isaiah, to bridge the gap between Deuteronomy and God’s Word to His people, and the Gospels according to Matthew and Mark and Luke and John.
The verse I began this post with was a breathtaking discovery today… “And He will be their Savior.” Tomorrow is the first Sunday of advent, and because I’ve been singing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” to myself for weeks already, I’m ready. So ready. Come, Lord Jesus.
“But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage….” Ezra 9:8