I love Thanksgiving for many reasons. I love the laid back schedule (when I’m not hosting): family gathers, eats lots of delicious food, younger people play, older people rest (I’m now in this category), eat dessert, “watch” football (fall asleep sitting up), eat again (even though we’re not even hungry), pack up leftovers, say goodbyes. I love the laughter of reminiscent stories (many we share every year). I love the noise of cousins playing (I’m the aunt/ mom now. I miss playing with my cousins). I love the Fall decorations, the pumpkins and cornucopias. I love the mixed smells of pumpkin pie and green bean casserole. But, I especially love turkey, not necessarily the taste or smell of turkey, but the “turkey talks” I’ve had through the years.
The first several “turkey talks” were as a girl with my grandmother. She made the turkey every year. My mom would bring a side dish or two. But, we never had to worry about the turkey. I loved arriving to my grandmother’s house in time to watch her carve the turkey. The sound of the electric knife, and the smell of perfectly cooked turkey (only occasionally dry, when she got distracted by seven grandchildren fighting over who got to lick the beater of the mashed potatoes) meant the feast was almost ready. I would eat from the relish and vegetable trays and watch the last step, the making of the gravy. As I got older, she sometimes let me stir the gravy and test the turkey. I loved my “turkey talks” with my grandmother on Thanksgiving Day. God used a turkey to deepen our relationship.
Years later, I had “turkey talk” with a good looking man. He found out a need (another story I won’t share now) of a single mom and her two young children. He asked me to go with him to the store to gather ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal to take to the family. I had never made a turkey before, and I only observed the finished product and carving, so I had no idea where to start. We asked every older lady we saw what we needed to make a turkey. After several , “Well, Honey”s or “Well, Dear”s, we had gathered a turkey, turkey bag, foil, turkey baster, turkey pan, turkey seasonings, turkey timer, meat thermometer. I look back now and wonder, was the lady overwhelmed with all our turkey paraphernalia? Sadly, she might have known as much as I did. This “turkey talk” was the beginning of our “dating” (He called it a date. I didn’t. He didn’t have to pay for anything), and eventually I married this sweet, thoughtful man. God used a turkey to begin our relationship.
After a few years of marriage, my husband started getting a turkey each year from work as a gift. We also began trading holidays with our families, so I no longer spent every Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s. The first few years I would send the turkey with my mother-in-law to cook. I finally decided I should try to cook the turkey myself. I remember my husband had to remind me to take out the “pocket of treasures” stored in the bottom of the turkey. Other than that, I don’t remember any significant problems. We actually ate the turkey I made. I’ve tried new recipes about every year. I like to “turkey talk” with others about their favorite turkey recipes. God used a turkey to enjoy my relationships.
Last year was another “turkey talk” first. My friend from India asked me to help her prepare her first turkey. I enjoyed going to her house and taking her step by step through the process. I laughed thinking about how far I had come with cooking turkeys. I began watching, than shopping, next cooking, and finally teaching. God used a turkey as a bridge to build our relationship and gave me an opportunity to share His good news. Even today, I laughed when a friend called me about cooking her first turkey.
I love turkeys! God has used turkeys several times in my life. As I wrote about my progression with turkeys, I thought about my relationship with Christ. Similarly, I started as an observer. Next, like shopping, I gathered the information (truth of God’s word). Later, like the first time I cooked my own turkey, I took my own step of faith. Finally, like sharing my turkey recipes and experiences, I shared my faith with others. Where are you in this “turkey talk” process? Let’s talk turkeys sometime.