Thanksgiving Reflections: Dr. Terri Wenner & Family
The Thanksgiving photo I posted above is from 2014. It was taken by my brother and was at my parents home. It includes my husband, two children, my daughter’s plus one, my parents, and my brother and sister with each of their families. So my side of the family was covered well. But, there are many other family members and friends that were not there with us that day. That’s what gives me pause for reflection in today’s post. I am considering all those that could have, would have, should have joined us but for whatever reasons did not.
Some Here but Some Missing
This year (2016) I hosted Thanksgiving Dinner in my small ranch home and seated 20 of us all in one room. We hosted my parents, brother and sister and each of their families, my two children, my son’s plus one, my father-in-law, sister-in-law and her family. We had more people than 2 years earlier and covered both sides of the family this time. But once again, I found myself reflecting on those not in the room. Why do I care so much about those who are missing? I think it’s because some were a part of my life that is now over. They may have died, relocated, or just moved on in life. Others declined the invitation due to another commitment or a preference to be alone. And sometimes I also think about those I never met, like relatives who died too early or live in a far-away land.
Reflect but Don’t Dwell
It’s fine to wonder about what might have been, or whom I would have liked to see. But, my main focus needs to be on those who are in the room. I am immensely grateful for those who did choose to come (or got dragged along by a parent). There are no words to show the amount of appreciation I have for all the helping hands that went into preparing and cleaning up. I appreciated hearing praises for the delicious meal, and how well-organized we were.
Health Consciousness Fail
Being the health conscious person that I am, I wanted to try some new healthier side dishes this year. Truth be told, that didn’t happen 🙁 Just about everyone has their favorite foods and can’t imagine a Thanksgiving meal without them. So my efforts to cut down on carbohydrates and increase vegetables was a fail. On the other hand, everyone was able to enjoy the foods they look forward to each year. We also added some gluten-free options for one member of the family and met her needs too!
The Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes
Even though I had enough food to feed an army, I did worry about a few things running out. I didn’t want to over purchase for fear of having too many leftovers. But, I didn’t want someone to miss out on something they wanted. The three things that I was most concerned about were dinner rolls, ice cream, and alcohol. As it turned out, someone volunteered to bring dinner rolls and extra ice cream and alcohol showed up unexpectedly. I can’t think of a single thing that we ran out of and no one walked away hungry. In fact, no one walked away at all, they all rolled down the street!
Top 10 Thankfulness List 2016
My final reflection piece is a list of the top 10 things I am thankful for this year. This list is not all-inclusive but are things that were particularly meaningful to me this year.
- Celebrated 25 years of wedded bliss to Russ Wenner on June 1.
- Completed my doctoral work & officially became Dr. Terri Wenner on September 7.
- Had the privilege of telling my mother-in-law, Barbara Wenner, that I successfully defended my dissertation 2 days before she passed away.
- My daughter, Lauren, was selected for a new job and had a successful move to a brand new apartment in a new state.
- My son, Jon, is doing well in college and is expecting to graduate in May 2017.
- Have had 13 interviews with 5 different companies over the last year. Getting really good at cover letters, interviews, and thank you notes.
- Without my consent, God saw fit to give me a season of rest from the hustle and bustle of a full-time job. He often knows what I need better than I do myself.
- Numerous opportunities to connect and communicate online through my website & social media channels.
- Have had a chance to get involved at my church again in several volunteer roles.
- Being able to read books that I choose, rather than required books for school or work.
Ways You Can Participate
- We’re currently working on 30 days of Thankfulness on my Facebook Page. Feel free to join us at any time. If we’re finished by the time you read this, you can always go back and catch up. www.facebook.com/drterriwenner/
- I would love to hear your Thanksgiving Day reflections. Feel free to post a comment in our comment section right now!
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