Happy Sabbath

Things are quiet at my house! My son’s family is visiting my daughter’s family at Oxford, and that makes a grand total of nine children and five adults all under one roof (my niece Brooke is visiting the Merkles as well). They will be celebrating Thanksgiving together and have invited a family from Australia to join them.

They were surprised last year to find out that the British (at least some of them) view our Thanksgiving as an anti-British holiday. That surprised us all. My daughter explained that it had nothing really to do with the British, but all to do with thanking God for His provision. But because the first to celebrate were English people who were leaving town for higher ground, I can see why it could be misunderstood. At any rate, my transplanted kids will be roasting a turkey and serving it up with all the trimmings, some of them carried over in a suitcase.

But here on this side of the ocean we are awaiting the arrival of our twin grandbabies. We will gather today around our table to celebrate the arrival of yet another Sabbath, and who knows? Maybe next Sabbath our twins will be here! Or, perhaps by the first Sabbath in December. Either way, the anticipation is growing.

We will gather to celebrate Thanksgiving with Doug’s brother Gordon and wife Meredith and the three cousins. (They are the parents of Brooke, who is visiting Oxford.) This is the first Thanksgiving in years that I haven’t had the honor of cooking the turkey and setting our table. But with the possibility of a birth taking place at any time in the next couple weeks, my sister-in-law invited us to be guests at her table this year. What a delight that will be!

And I am gearing up for Advent. I’ll be posting on some of our traditions at the Advent Sabbath Table. Since our Merkles were in Oxford last year, I packed little Sabbath bags of treats for the kids for every Sabbath they were gone (which turned out to be forty). I used little lunch bags and put all kinds of things in them, games, candy, glow sticks, any number of silly things. Since the Merkles ended up needing every bit of suitcase space possible, I sent my suitcase full of Sabbath treats over with some friends who were visiting.

This year I squeezed enough into their luggage to make it until the Wilsons were visiting, and sent more with them. Now I have another suitcase to go over next week, full of more Sabbath bags to get them to February when we go visit (as well as our Christmas gifts). On each bag I write the date and the number of the Sabbath. Once we reach the half-way mark, I start counting down until they come home.

So happy Sabbath to you all. It’s time to start looking forward to marking the birth of the King. But really, each and every Sabbath Feast is a celebration of His birth, His death, and His resurrection. So as we joyfully set our tables (whether it’s for six or twenty-six), let’s count our manifold blessings from His hand. It is so kind of God to give us, not only weekly celebrations, but the high feasts of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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9 thoughts on “Happy Sabbath

  1. Oh, this is the kind of grandmother I hope to be one day! What a joyful gift to help your grandbabies realize the delight of the Sabbath and the love of their grandmother across the sea. Though this season of having my babies is a delight, I’m so looking forward to the season of being a grandmother. Thanks for sharing!


  2. I love reading about your Sabbath dinners! This is something we are slowly incorporating into our lives as well. Thanks so much for the encouragement! And also we can’t wait to hear about the twins’ arrival too!

  3. What a wonderful and thoughtful grandmother. I’m looking forward to hearing about your Advent traditions.

  4. I can not wait to hear some traditions for the Advent Sabbath Table!!! We are planning to try some out this year, in hopes of developing our own — I finally found some purple and pink candle, so I am especially excited! 🙂

  5. I’ve always thought of Thanksgiving as a great idea, but something very distinctively American: less associated with the idea of English people leaving home than of America being founded. Almost like Australia Day (the date of the First Fleet’s arrival in Sydney).

    We should be giving thanks in all things anyway. So I’d like a national thanksgiving day in my own country (Australia) but rather than simply importing the American day of thanksgiving, it’d be nice to earn it for ourselves, so to speak. To have it commemorating something of the same sort as the survival of the Pilgrims, but something Australian.

    Really looking forwards to Adventy goodness ;).

  6. Nancy,
    I gather great inspiration from your Sabbath traditions. The little gift bags are a wonderful idea. I’ve thought about making a special basket with “the best” of toys, movies and treats for our children (ranging in age from 4.5 to 15 with another little one on the way any day). For now, we enjoy a lovely dinner, rich desert (prepared by my oldest) and homemade bread.

    It’s also been fun to read of your two grandbabies due any time. I’m actually due next week with son #4. Each day I wonder if we’ll have a new birthday in the family. I’m hoping to be home for Thanksgiving but whether I have a brand new little fellow, in the hospital or still waiting around, the family is planning a special feast. I’m hoping to be home, but one can’t plan these things, can they?

    I’ll look forward to your Advent posts. Living in Israel where Christmas is a complete non-issue, I try to make it even more full of anticipation for our children. I’m always eager for new ideas!

    Thanks to all you gals for your wonderful posts and for providing mom and sister-type fellowship for all of us around the world.

    Maggie Duke

  7. I’m also looking forward to hearing about Advent ideas, calendars, etc. I am also wondering if you know of any resources which would help my understanding of Advent so as to help my children understand it as well. (This is new for my husband and me also.)

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