Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone from my family to yours.

The long weekend got off to a great start as we had a “pre-game party” Wednesday night at my house to kick things off. My friends Jennifer, Brad, and neighbor Duanita came by as did Josh and his wife Ashley. We sat around and ate the awesome Carne Asada and Sweet Italian sausage I cooked (with an assist from Jen who kept it from burning), and indulged in a few “spirits” together. We then sat down and got into a mean game of Texas Hold ‘Em with Josh playing the “pit boss” and keeping us all in line. I can’t believe I have absolutely no pictures of this evening….but it was fun.

Then Thursday morning Cristi and I had planned to take our oldest down to the shelter to help feed the homeless and those in need, but poor Cristi woke up in the middle of the night pretty sick and she was down for the count. That meant that the Thanksgiving Dinner was off at her place. The boys were spending the day with her (it was also her birthday) and I was going to see them later that evening. I had planned to join some other friends for the Thanksgiving Dinner… but now all the plans needed to change.

I picked the boys up at Cristi’s and then it was time to hop into action. I dropped them off at the house and ran to the store to buy Turkey, stuffing and everything else I needed to try and pull this off. It didn’t seem possible that I could do it (since I am somewhat clueless in the “home-cooking” dept) but with a little shopping help from my mom via cell phone from Texas, I got what I needed.

So I got home and threw the turkey in the oven and we spent the day watching football, then at the park playing soccer and basketball, and had dinner around 3:00 p.m. Bryson and Grant helped with the side dishes and setting the table and we all sat down to eat. As you can tell from the photo, Grant was insistent that he not wear a shirt to the dinner table because he was “hot”, and at that point I decided to pick my battles. We had a nice family prayer time where we shared what we were thankful for and then we dug in… and the kids ate most everything. They are good boys… and I am sooooo thankful they are in my life. In the end, we pulled it off together.

It was sad that Cristi was not able to have them with her on her birthday, and that her Thanksgiving plans were thwarted by illness, but I just got back from meeting her for breakfast with the boys and she is feeling much better. Today they have big dinner plans again, with another turkey and many more delicious side dishes I am sure. It worked out decently enough though and I cherished this Thanksgiving. It’s been a unique and challenging year from many angles. However we all have each other as a family (although it looks different, we still have each other), I have many more friends than I did a year ago thanks to this online community and God is still working in all our hearts behind the scenes to complete us.

So in closing… I am thankful for all the blessings in my life and acknowledge the people, both local and abroad, that sincerely have my best interest at heart. Thanks to each of you for loving me and sustaining me with your deeply valued friendship.

14 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving!”

  1. Awesome pictures!! Your boys look so cute! Grant seems so proud; so naked and unashamed. 🙂I’m glad you pulled off your first Thanksgiving dinner cooking attempt among just you boys without a hitch. (was that a run-on sentence? I don’t care).Happy (belated) Thankgsiving, Steve!I’m very grateful to have you as a bloggy friend. 🙂

  2. Zeke said:<>But I kept my mouth shut and learned, by just being with Steve and listening, that the situation is far more complex than a casual observer would see.<>Zeke, it would appear by your own words that you’ve only gotten one side of the story. By admitting that you’ve spent time with Steve, you claim to have the entire story on its face. As wonderful a person that Steve probably is, you’re still getting only one side of the issue, which apparently has biased you.Have you spent any time with Steve’s wife? Can you call her your “friend” as well?By the way, wishing and praying that another marriage be saved has NOTHING to do with being inside or outside of “church,” but rather a fellow member of the Body of Christ.Remember Paul’s words that when one part of the body suffers, all other parts suffer as well? With Steve’s impending (hopefully not) divorce, all of the Body of Christ is hurt not just he and his wife. Whenever there is a breaking of relationship, which is the very hallmark of the Christian life (notice I didn’t say “church” life), particularly when children are involved, there is suffering…that we all should feel and grieve over.And please don’t think that I’m speaking from some super-spiritual, holier-than-thou point of view. My wife and I nearly divorced back in 1992 after I found out that she had been having an affair. We had two children at the time (we now have five).I was devastated and planning on pursuing a divorce when I felt that I needed some time alone with God concerning the matter. During this time, I felt the Lord bringing me to Jesus’ words (Matthew 19:6) to “let no man separate” that which God has joined together.I’ve heard it taught for years that that “man” was the government or the judge who grants the divorce or even the adulterous partner, but I believe the Lord showed me that <>I<> was that man who was about to separate what God had joined together.Then I read the previous chapter (Matthew 18) which speaks of forgiveness and I knew that if I would ever be able to illustrate the power of forgiveness to my two sons, then I would have to forgive my wife.Was it tough? You bet. Did I “feel” like doing it? No way. But my wife and I decided to give righteousness a chance…and it worked.We’ve been married now for over 23 years and I can tell you that I love my wife now more than ever before, even to the point where we can laugh at what led up to our potential divorce.More importantly, our children, particularly our oldest two, now have a living, breathing example of what it means to forgive and that lesson, my friend, is priceless.I wish Steve and his wife would work toward that forgiveness, which is not out of the reach of any of us. But we must be willing to reach for it.Finally, remember that there’s two sides to every coin and the one who collects coins carefully inspects both sides before placing a value on it. You need to learn to do the same as well.

  3. Hey Bruce… thanks. You know it wasn’t like Mom’s turkey dinner and the presentation wasn’t quite as nice, but we were together which was what it’s all about anyway I guess. But Taco Bell or KFC certainly crossed my mind when I found out I was going to be with the boys… but Bryson didn’t want to settle for that… I am glad he didn’t. He always has a way of pulling out the best in me. I am a lucky Daddio!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving Steve. I am thankful for the times we get to sit around and talk about all things important and many things unimportant. I love the picture of your boys. At least once a day my youngest boy comes out of the bathroom completely naked and says its “naked time”. We give him about 30 minutes each day of “naked time”. I’m not sure how comfortable this compromise will be in a few years but like you said, “pick your battles”. -Ryan

  5. Hey Ricky…. here’s a brief answer to the first question.< HREF="http://stevechastain.typepad.com/steve_chastain/2005/10/the_pain_trilog.html" REL="nofollow"> The Pain Trilogy<>And as for the second….My relationship to church has nothing to do with my personal relationship to my wife. She, in fact, shares my passion on the issues. However, the two (church and marriage) have run some sort of parallel journey.

  6. Steve:I’m very sorry to hear about you and your wife’s decision to divorce. I wish we had the opportunity to sit and talk about it so that I can get a grasp of what could cause the death of a marriage that lasted 15 years!I know that I may sound naive, but I really don’t understand how a marriage can end when both spouses are unselfishly serving the other. Sure, we’re individuals but marriage is a melding of two distinct personalities into one even more distinct personality, neither husband or wife but the best of both, which leads to an appreciation of the uniqueness of the two. It’s a “mystery,” as Paul stated and yet while it does take a great deal of attention and work, the end result is a witness of the perfect community that the Trinity enjoys and we are to emulate.To see you write, “Suffice it to say, we both know that our children are now the focus of our lives,” and yet divorcing undermines such a statement. Both my wife and I come from divorced homes and I can tell you that without a doubt, a divorce will affect not only you and your wife, especially in future relationships, but can seriously affect your children.Please reconsider divorcing. Perhaps there’s a good counselor that you two can go to for help.I’ll be praying for you.

  7. Steve:Maybe because I haven’t read all of your posts, but are you divorced?If so, were you divorced before you left the IC or after and has your position on the IC led to your divorce?I’m curious to know.

  8. But sometimes we have to get past the stupidity of the words and hear the cry of an empathetic heart. Not every attempt to effect change has to be from a motive to control. For the record, I want Steve and Cristi back together, too. But I have never said so openly, and only because I didn’t want to run the risk of being misunderstood. So whose sin is greater, the guy who puts his foot in his mouth with good intent, or the one who stands by silently for fear of losing friends?I think I am the stupider church person. And I’m sorry.

  9. “Please reconsider divorcing”??Good lord Ricky, do you have any idea how that sounds? I appreciate your concern for Steve–he’s a friend–but you just have no relationship, no perspective that would make that comment useful or productive.I don’t know how to get the point across to you how presumptuous and less than useless that comment is. Stupid church people–which is what we all have been, which is why we’re here–actually think that we can issue platitudes like this and that it will be helpful when in fact they are destructive and embarassing to the faith.Ricky, stick around. I am not trying to chase you off. But that comment was deserving of rebuke.

  10. Steve, I’m amazed that you were able to pull of Thanksgiving with such a short notice. I’d have to pray that Taco Bell was open and order one of everything chicken!

  11. I really don’t know how to respond to this discussion. I have written and re-written thoughts on it but not sure what to say. Maybe I will… maybe I won’t. There is so much to dissect and I am not sure it is beneficial…. but when someone is wanting to offer you advice and admonition and in doing so presumes things that they do not know…it is hard not to speak.Ricky… very glad and happy for you and your wife and that you were able to work through your own very complex set of situations. Congratulations…. and I do meant this.Dorsey….there is no misunderstanding or “stupidity” in wanting two people to stay married. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.Zeke… thanks.This post was about Thanksgiving….I am thankful for my family, for my wife, for my children and the joy they bring to my life. And in some strange way I am thankful for the current situation of my life…it has caused me to no longer take what I have for granted but cherish the moments we do have with the ones we love.

  12. Ricky welcome to SCP, I haven’t seen you since the evolution “debate” over at Podcast Alley.I have a proposal for Steve and his situation. As I understand it, Steve and Mrs. Steve are not divorced yet, just separated. So they are essentially two, but still one. So maybe the key is in the separation? Perhaps each person being in their own corner is beneficial to the situation? I don’t know, I’m just making observations here and postulating some questions. But it’s probably best if left as none of my business.

  13. Dorse, I really appreciate what you’re saying. I hope that Steve and his wife find a way to reconciliation as well, and that has been a prayer of mine. But I kept my mouth shut and learned, by just being with Steve and listening, that the situation is far more complex than a casual observer would see. And isn’t it <>always<> that way? Until you are in relationship with someone, and you hear the details of their story, what useful advice can you really give? One of the reasons that I appreciate this site is that we can deal honesty with how we wound each other with our stupid church behavior. We don’t sugar-coat it. I understand that there is usually a lot of empathy and compassion behind the behaviors, but we in the church are constantly dismissing the good intentions of the unsaved because they ultimately don’t count. Good intentions aren’t enough. Covering presumption and judgment in a compassion wrapper doesn’t make it all OK. I’m sure Ricky is a beautiful human being and wrote that post out of a sincere desire to be helpful to Steve. But do we want to <>desire<> to be helpful, or be truly effective?I say we keep our mouths shut and listen before we presume a space for teaching, exhorting and admonishing into another person’s life. If we truly care, then we should enter into relationship with the other person and hear them out before speaking. Especially with something so very personal and sensitive.

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