November 22, 2012 by Stacy McDonald
Thinking back to a Thanksgiving many years ago while I was still in the pit of my rebellion and sin… I had moved a thousand miles away from home and found myself with nowhere to go for Thanksgiving. After work, I stopped at the grocery to prepare for my lonely little meal. I stood in line with a small ham steak, a can of pineapple, a can of sweet potatoes, and a bag of marshmallows to put on top.
When it was my turn to pay, I counted out my change and discovered I didn’t have enough money. I can’t recall which item I put back (surely not the marshmallows); but, I do recall the humiliating moment when I realized how pathetic I appeared to everyone behind me in line.
I felt the weight of my wandering, and recalled the years growing up surrounded by family. I thought of Papa’s oyster dressing and the roasted turkey my family would be enjoying back in Texas. I thought of the paycheck I had blown the night before. I thought of the choices I had made, the life I was living, and I winced.
Cold. Barren. Empty. Alone. I couldn’t feel thankful for much of anything because I was so blinded by shame.
In the months that followed, God walked me through many more lonely and pathetic moments, and He used them to bring me to my knees, to show me my sin, and to reveal to me His power, His love, and His grace.
“God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” (Psalm 68:6)
Today, my daughters and I will prepare a Thanksgiving feast for family and friends; and, this Christmas, my husband and I will be surrounded by all ten of our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren. I have much for which to be thankful.
Warm. Fruitful. Satisfied. Blessed. It is difficult to be discontent when you are so blinded by His mercy.
God is so very, very good. And, yes, I will be making that sweet potato casserole today, marshmallows and all!
Grandma’s Sweet Potato Casserole
4 lb. fresh sweet potatoes peeled, cooked, and mashed
½ C. brown sugar
1 can crushed pineapple
Cinnamon to taste
1 bag small marshmallows
Mix potatoes, sugar, pineapple and cinnamon together with a fork and spread into casserole dish. Top with marshmallows. Bake at 350 degrees until marshmallows or toasted.