I'm the kind of person who loves celebrations. Any excuse.
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We celebrate Christmas, birthdays and Easter in my extended family in a BIG way, not just immediate family, cousins and second cousins and anyone else we can cram under one roof.
We also celebrate hebrew festivals  in our nuclear family, along with valentines day, 'back to school' and anything else I fancy making into an event. The kids LOVE it.

We also celebrate thanksgiving, ever since I lived with an american family whilst I was studying, and invite friends to come and celebrate with us.

In fact, it's one of my favourite celebrations because
a) It involves inviting all our friends
b) I always host (I have only ever hosted Christmas once) which is fun
c) Gratitude is something I think we could all use a little work on

As I'm writing this, and I'm sure I won't get around to posting until much later, I feel like cancelling it. I'm absolutely wiped out and I can't see how I will possibly get everything I need to done by tomorrow.

Events this weekend have left me totally exhausted, and my washing machine is damaged (my own fault) with a huge back log of laundry, there are tiny white polystyrene balls EVERYWHERE (long story), one of our fridges has broken (yes, we have two, both small, one is to store all our raw milk so that we don't have to drive to the farm more than once a week), it's the first year I'll be making it GAPS legal (so all new recipes) and our dining room table is currently covered in sewing projects, boxes for operation Christmas Child and mail for various previous tenants that we haven't got around to redelivering yet.


I guess God must have decided it's time to put me through another one of those 'refining fires' that will eventually improve my character, but right now it's hard to see how. As someone who generally dislikes change (I'm a routine based person) I genuinely fear the sanctification processes God uses to create more Christ-likeness.

I'm reading Psalm 66 right now and realising that God uses all of life (the sickness, the broken appliances, the nap-refusing children) to test us, try, us and crush us. He lets men ride over us and brings us through fire and water; now why was that never in my word for today?

So in these situations there is only one thing to do; well two things actually.

1) Try to find out what God is doing. Hint - It will involve asking Him. Usually my prayers in this situation go something like this 'Why are you doing this to me?' and end with the realisation that He is not doing something to me, He is doing something for me. My fragility helps me to realise my need for him. God loves me through His refining of me (2 Cor 3:18)

Sometimes this realisation comes a looooooong time after the event. It's something I'm working on.

2) Recognize who you are - are you a helpless victim who suffers whatever comes her way? or are you the beloved daughter of the King of the universe? I have received grace, not punishment. Everything I go through is for my good and His glory. (Heb 12, 2 Cor 4, Rom 8:6).

So I'm choosing to recognise again that >hospitality and entertaining< are not the same thing, and that I have only offered hospitality to my friends, I don't need to impress them. So we will humbly go ahead, serving as best we can, and recognising that there may still be tiny polystyrene balls attached to everything, but that we can still praise God and thank him for one another, and for all our blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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