Lately I've been learning that I need to learn to live in my giftings, whether in parenting, or educating my children, or managing my home. God made me a certain way, and when I operate out of God's design, I do so much better. As a result, yesterday and Wednesday were two of my favorite parenting days ever!
Instead of trying to complete all the assignments and check all the boxes in my teacher's guide while preparing Thanksgiving dinner for fourteen people, I decided to focus on enjoying my children and truly celebrating the holiday. Wednesday morning, we did math in the kitchen, measuring ingredients for pie crust. Wednesday afternoon, our science lesson included experimenting with what happens to hot liquid if you add corn starch to it while making cherry pie filling. We tried another version of the same experiement when we made apple pie (from scratch) and included corn starch - both fillings got thicker!
Thursday, we focused on home economics and turkey preparation. While I supervised, two of my daughters went through the steps to prepare turkeys for the roaster. We did two turkeys because of an economics lesson (it is cheaper to buy a smaller turkey when you already have one in the freezer) and a lesson in preparation (smaller turkeys thaw faster, which is helpful when Thanksgiving sneaks up on you) or what happens when you aren't prepared.
Both days were delightful. Everyone got in on the educational experiences - even my 22 month old daughter. She loved playing with the pie crust. My son reveled in his position as taste tester, though he would much rather of actually been a pie maker. While the turkeys cooked on Thursday, some kids played games with their papa while others watched a movie with their dad. It wasn't hectic, chaotic, or stressful. I relaxed (with my feet up!) and read the paper, getting a head start on my Black Friday shopping. And, when we sat down to the meal, I could honestly say that one of the most precious reasons I had to be thankful was my children. What a gift. This year, I am especially thankful for Thanksgiving, and the gentle reminder to be who God designed me to be.