Monday, November 29, 2010

Of Giving Thanks and Gingerbread Houses

I have spent the last two Thanksgiving holidays with my friends, the Taylors.

They have had a tradition for the past four years of decorating Gingerbread Houses. The rules are simple: You have an hour to decorate. You can bring outside supplies, but they must be made available to all teams. Teams are picked at random. Judges come from the outside.

I was on the winning team, last year.

Busy workers. The one hour time limit does actually put a lot of pressure on you.

Vicky (She and I and Cowboy were on the same team)

Rod (Rod is Vicky's husband) and Kyle (Kyle is Allison's husband)

Allison (Allison is the only child of Rod and Vicky) and Katherine (Katherine is married to Jay, and the best friend of Vicky)(I think Allison is sampling the Swedish Fish...)
This year's homes.

I think the idea of the roof was terra cotta tiles - and swedish fish CAN resemble terra cotta... from a distance. Of course, they were having structural problems with their roof.

This one was very clever - they used GUM as their roof - cute, huh? I especially liked the gingerbread man who was fishing - and CAUGHT a fish.

Here's a close up.

And the winning house. The roof is awfully cute, don't you think? Frosted mini wheats. The judges were great fans of that roof. And the lights around the roof.

OH yes. I was on the winning team. Again. Thank you.

And now for MY thanks... so many things to be thankful for. Truly. My life has been redeemed from the pit. That I put myself in. I am always amazed that I think something will be truly hard and difficult. And it WILL. As long as I continue to do it myself. All God wants is one little teeny tiny step. But, actually that's not even true. I think all He wants is for me to say, "I can't even take a step, but I would if I could." And He swoops in and picks me up and sets me back on the solid ground that I've been longing for. That ground that is underneath the shadow of His wing. And even more amazing, I always think that I will be back at Ground Zero - spiritually, emotionally, etc... yet, with Him, I find I am stronger than I was, more attune to Him than I was, and in a much better place. I am not making the faulty argument that Paul speaks of in Romans when he says, 'Shall we then sin so that grace may abound all the more?' No way... just that God's grace in response to our sorrow and repentance is so very wonderful and I am so very grateful.

And truly, He makes the miracle of Cowboy seem like a foregone conclusion. Although I am not diminishing the miracle of love that is in my heart for Cowboy.

And how can I every verbally express my love for my parents and friends? I cannot. Those who have loved and laughed and cried. And waited and waited and waited for me to come back.

I am so glad to be back.


  1. Yea and amen! Love you very dearly.

    Now about the gingerbread house. Yours was perfectly. Maybe the teams were unfair? Maybe you were planning all year long and collecting your ideas.

    Loved the fisherman in the other team's scene.

    Next year you need to figure out something useful, other than a cookie sheet. Try cutting board. I have to say that the cookie sheet was a bit of a detraction to the overall picture.

  2. what a fantastic tradition! i love it. may have to steal it.

    you do have much to be thankful for, as do do we all---if we open up our hearts to gratitude.

  3. Yes, there is a big difference in your earlier posts than what they are now.
    I am happy for you. :)

    Oh, and what a fun tradition!