God had blessed me with so much throughout the year. I had a freezer filled with food, including two turkeys. I offered my mom a turkey for Thanksgiving, in exchange for her bringing me a plate to my job so I can have Thanksgiving dinner (I was REALLY looking forward to that turkey).
She was having it deep-fried.
I had to work. So at 6 PM, my mom brought me a big plate of food, and another plate of desserts. But, guess what? There was not ONE bite of turkey on that plate. I graciously ate it all, then called mom and said, "Where is my turkey?"
She assured me she would bring me some turkey tomorrow at one o'clock. (I'm a day sleeper. I get up at one o'clock. I have to be at work at three o'clock).
At one o'clock she had not arrived, so I called her, as I still had not had my craving satisfied.
"Why don't you come here and get it. I'm not driving all that way!" she said.
I lost my temper. She lived 40 minutes from my apartment. I barely had enough time to shower and get something to eat and get to work. There is no way I could make it all the way to Redwater and back before my shift started. I was VERY angry.
I questioned how God could ask me to honor someone like her for what she had done to me.
IT WAS MY TURKEY!
I felt she had stolen my turkey, because I did not get ONE bite of it.
Yes, I was VERY angry.
I stewed over this for a few days. Then, I decided to fix the problem.
I had a second turkey. I decided that in order to fix the problem I would not give my mother a turkey to cook for Christmas. If it got cooked, I would have it cooked and I would get my portion of it before I gave her any of it. I could still love my mother without giving her the opportunity to anger me again.
What can I say? I'm a fixer.
As Christmas approached, it became clear, according to my schedule, that I was not going to be able to spend Christmas with my family, either. I still wanted that turkey.
I listened to a radio program by Rick Warren about God speaking to me. I learned that when I got an idea, it might not be a "God" idea. You have to test it: If God wouldn't agree to it in the Bible, then He ain't gonna tell me to do it, because God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
I started thinking, what if I cooked my own Christmas dinner. I could enjoy all the fixings without worrying about missing it. I could get my turkey.
Then, someone got a hold of my credit card information on the computer somehow and charged my bank account over $350. I took out a money order in order to pay my mom her car payment, and someone stole that out of my purse. So in less than 48 hours, I lost over $700. It was my WHOLE paycheck! All I could do was praise God that I didn't have to pay rent for that check as I went to the bank to dispute the charges, stop my money order, and get a new debit card issued to me.
Satan obviously didn't like the idea that God must have put in my head that I was actually considering doing. So, I made plans to have a Jesus Feast, and I had no idea how I was going to pay for it.
I had a three day weekend coming up, and I thought, "What a perfect opportunity to have that Jesus Feast!"
The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like that is what I should do. But, who would I invite? After I lost my temper with mom, I wasn't sure she'd want to eat with me. Then, my thoughts were directed to a verse in the Bible:
“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
The story was about a king who was making a feast. He invited all of the upper-class he knew. Each of them had an excuse about why they couldn't make it. This angered the king. So, he told his servant to go out to the highways and hedges, gather the poor, the destitute, the maimed, the imperfect people and bring them in to enjoy his feast so he could enjoy a house full of guests for his feast.
God said, "Feed the poor, the lonely, and bless your enemy and honor your mother."
And, I could get a bite of turkey if I did that without worrying about Christmas dinner going to waste.
And I could have a Christmas dinner with Jesus.
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
I couldn't think of a greater honor than to have dinner with the King!
The more I thought about it, the more excited I became. I was on a mission from God. I told everyone I saw about my plan. And, then I found that all the money that had been taken from my debit card information had been returned to my account...JUST IN TIME!
I was off Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I planned my menu Thursday night, and Friday, I woke up still excited about what I was going to do. I took my grocery list and got dressed to head to the grocery store. My neighbor May May walked by my door and I told her about what I was going to do. As I told her what all I was going to cook, you could see her mouth watering. I told her, "So, you see, I can't POSSIBLY eat all of it and I would REALLY like it if you and your husband came to enjoy my Jesus Feast with me!" She assured me that they would.
My ex-boyfriend's ex after me, Jo, lived upstairs. I figured we had a lot in common. (haha). So, when I came back from the grocery store, I knocked on her door and told her what I was doing and why. I invited her to come help me enjoy the feast on the morrow at 3 PM. She agreed.
I prayed before I started shopping after I got to the grocery store. "Jesus, please help me to honor YOU. Please bless my shopping, and bless the meal I aim to prepare, and bless those who celebrate YOU with me!" I prayed that the cost of all that was on my list didn't take all of what was in my account, as I still had bills to pay. However, I didn't budget as I shopped. I got what I needed and didn't worry about the cost. I figured God would provide.
And, He did. I had plenty left to pay bills with.
When I got to the check-out, the lady who was waiting on me looked as if she wished she weren't there. I told the lady what I was doing. She said nothing for a few moments. As she rang up my stuff, suddenly she exclaimed, "Well, I think that is just SOOOO nice!" and she began to smile more as we discussed my plans and excitement. I invited her to come, but she declined, she had to work.
I came home and after talking to Jo, I got on Facebook and invited everyone. I told them,
"For those of you who attend, be warned: I don't have any seating. You might want to bring a lawn chair for yourself, or plan to sit outside on the steps. It's a REAL small apartment, and the door will be open in honor of my Granny who used to keep the door open no matter how cold or nasty it was outside in order to be "inviting to the less fortunate" on Christmas and Thanksgiving. I like that tradition, and am keeping it."
Then, as I was getting all of my stuff ready to cook, I felt a nudge that said, "Aren't you forgetting someone?"
I called my mom. I said, "Hi! I'm cooking Christmas Dinner."
She said, "I am, too."
I said, "Nooooo, I'm cooking it RIGHT NOW and we'll eat it tomorrow if you would like to show up about 3 PM." Then I told her what all we were having.
I prayed again:
"Jesus, please bless my cooking. I've never done this before. Be with my hands and ability. This is for You, Lord, make it fitting!"
Then, I set out to cook my first Turkey.
And it turned out fabulous.
Oh, did I mention? It was also my first Dressings, (Yes, there were two kinds), my first green bean casserole, my first sweet potato casserole, my first baked beans, my first jello whipped cream fruit salad, and my first DR Pepper glazed ham.
And they all turned out fabulous.
I stayed up until 4 AM cooking and cleaning.
At noon on Saturday my alarm on my phone went off. I hadn't meant to sleep that long. I jumped up, dressed, drove to the store to get last minute items I had forgotten (plastic ware and ice and colas to drink).
About 2 PM, Jo came down and asked if I wanted company while I worked. I said, "Sure." I enjoyed hearing her talk about her kids and our ex as I prepared dinner.
At 3 PM I opened the door. Mom was getting out of the car with my niece Mylee. My step-dad opted to stay home. I was happy to see my favorite (only) niece. I recently took her to the fair and spoiled her the whole day and had a blast...now I got to feed her.
I said a quick prayer as we all dug in to eat.
Mom loved every bit of it. Mylee ate two plates and carried one with her when they left. Mom carried two plates for my step-dad (all of the food wouldn't fit onto one plate). Jo ate her fill, then took a plate with her. Then, I fed May May and Greg, Susan and her husband and daughter, and a few other stragglers. I was happy not to have much to put up.
When it was all said and done, all I could do was Praise Jesus because my Jesus Feast/Christmas Dinner was a great success.
Mom said, "Come Thanksgiving next year, YOU are doing some cooking."
See what happens when you show someone what you can do?
Thank You, Jesus for showing up.