Thanksgiving in August - Encouragement Café - May 23, 2014

Thanksgiving in August

Café Menu for Friday, May 23, 2014

Today’s Special is: Make a Point to Celebrate God’s Faithfulness

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, LuAnn Kern

Main Ingredient:

“Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate.

– Luke 15:23-24 NIV


We pulled into our driveway after midnight, exhausted from traveling nearly 3,000 miles in a single day. We had finally brought our second daughter home from Guatemala. Bella's adoption had been fraught with delays, disappointments and red tape, but we knew that God had chosen her for us and that He would make a way to bring her home. After three and a half years, He kept His promise.

Bella, then 4, and her 3 year-old sister, Sophie, had slept the 90 minute drive home from the airport. They bounded out of the car like two greyhounds at the starting gate and tore through the house, Sophie showing Bella every room, every closet, everything about her new home. The next day, amidst all of the questions, the exploring and the language issues, I was determined to make our first family dinner in our home something special. I had shared many meals with Bella while visiting her in Guatemala during the adoption process, but I had never had the chance to cook for my little girl.

Guatemalan food is wonderful, very similar to Mexican. But I wanted Bella's first meal at our table to be "American" food. After all, she was now an American citizen. So, back in my own kitchen on that sweltering August day, I roasted a turkey and made my sister-in-law's legendary twice baked mashed potatoes, the classic green bean casserole, rolls and, for dessert, apple pie. I served it all on my good china.

I heard recently that the Parable of the Prodigal Son should be called the Parable of the Faithful Father. Bella's homecoming meal was a celebration of thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness in answering our prayers and bringing our little girl home at last. Bella ate every bite on her plate, looked up at me with sweet dark eyes and asked "mas?" Of course, honey, as much as you want.

Take Out:

Think beyond the traditional celebratory meals at Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter. Consider the God-moments that have changed your life: a marriage, a birth, a new home, a healing, a salvation day or some other answer to prayer. Invite others to join you for a meal of celebration (simple, fancy or somewhere in between) offering thanksgiving and praise to our Father.

SIL’s Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes: (Serves 6, adjust as necessary). Peel, quarter and boil 6-8 medium potatoes until you can easily prick them with a fork. Drain, mash, and add 1 stick butter, 1-8 oz brick of cream cheese, and 10-16 oz of sour cream. (Don’t be stingy, the soupier the better.) Season to taste with garlic salt and pepper. Pour into a buttered casserole dish, top with slabs of butter and bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


Precious Heavenly Father, thank You for the moments in our life that requires celebration. Thank You for the family that we have the privilege to enjoy these times with. Forgive us for choosing to deny You thanks when things aren’t what we hoped they would be. Open our eyes to see the God-moments in our everyday lives. For it is in the precious name of Jesus we pray, amen.

© 2014 by LuAnn Kern. All rights reserved.

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Originally published Friday, 23 May 2014.