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Twas the night before Thanksgiving...


and I'm still getting things ready!

So much to do, and so little time. I have a lot of catching up to do since I was gone for 9 days. I will be doing it right up til' the time everyone gets here tomorrow.

I want to get all of this done and then relax and enjoy my husband, children and friends on Thanksgiving Day once the festivities begin. We have a wedding on Friday, however with the rest of the time this Thurs-Sat, I would really like to enjoy some time off with my family. Larry had the wedding rehearsal today for Cathy and David and normally I would have gone but since I had an overwhelming amount to do I stayed home and worked on everything. By the way, guess what Cathy and David gave Larry and I as a gift? A cruise! Yes, can you believe that?! I must say, that's the nicest gift we've ever received from any couple for doing counseling/wedding ceremony. WOW-EE and double WOW-EE. I have to check out all the details of this but looks like it's a short Carribean cruise that promises to be awesome! I can't wait!!! What a wonderful, incredibly thoughtful gift.

You know...side note: ministry can be such a rollercoaster. I think when anyone goes into full time ministry or is ordained instead of giving them a Bible, you need to give them a seatbelt and say, 'HANG ON FOR DEAR LIFE.' One moment you'll be dealing with a carnal antagonist who will try to half kill you and the next moment you'll have some sweet couple from the church give you a cruise. One moment somebody will say, "you're the most inept Pastor I've ever met" and the next moment somebody else will step up and say, "your ministry has impacted my life and meant more to me than anything." One day someone you least expected to leave the church will walk out the door and it will hurt like the dickens and the next Sunday somebody wonderful will come in and say, "this is just what I've been looking for." Hang on dear friends in ministry, hang on. The ride gets interesting but we shall all arrive at the same place one day and hear WELL DONE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANTS. Glory to God!

Back to Thanksgiving prep...I've been cleaning, making 7-layer salad, peeling potatoes, making Paula Deen's stuffed cranberry recipe, prepping sweet rolls for in the morning, washing loads of dishes, loads of clothes, lining up everything to make my homemade yeast rolls for Thanksgiving dinner, making many quarts of iced tea, setting both tables in a formal setting for 15 people, and doing general house cleaning. Like I said, I won't be done til' everyone walks in tomorrow but at least we've got a great jump start going on.

I missed my family so much while I was gone. I loved Kenya with all my heart, but I also missed the daylights out of my family. I remember before I left, I had a countdown going on in my head each night...Larry and I would hold on to each other before bedtime and I would think, "four more nights until I will have to sleep alone..." then the next night, "three more nights until I will have to sleep alone..." and I was dreading it, as excited as I was about the trip. No, not just dreading being without intimacy, but the simple fact of...presence. There's that word again! There is nothing like the presence of the one or ones that you love.

I am slowly catching up, and actually enjoying doing it. I realize now how nothing in my life should be taken for granted. I walk into my walk-in closet and see that I have to straighten up my shoes which have become a mess. Instead of being irritated that I have to do that I think about the fact that my walk-in closet is the size of some people's homes in Africa. I think about the fact that I have about 25 pairs of shoes and some people have none. I think about the fact that even cleaning is something to rejoice in because you actually HAVE SOMETHING TO CLEAN!

Well, I'm off to clean again...and get more things ready for in the morning before I drop - however - please keep checking back because I'll have many more Kenya photos as well as some Thanksgiving ones too. Happy Thanksgiving everyone...this has always been my favorite holiday but now, even more so for obvious reasons.

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