Thanksgiving in England

It’s a bright Sunday afternoon in Bristol, and after a stretch of grey weather days, the sunshine makes such a wonderful difference in my mood. My essay due Friday feels less daunting, the opening night of ‘And Then There Were None’ this Thursday is more exciting, and Bristol simply becomes more beautiful.

This Thanksgiving, unusual though it was, struck me anew how richly I’ve been blessed. Part of this is God broadening my often narrow view to the thousands of blessings around me I never noticed or really took in before. It’s an ongoing endeavor of mine to keep record of these blessings and though I forget to mention half of them, a few are mentioned here. I’m so grateful for women like Ann Voskamp who have shown me even the bitter moments of life are gifts. Some days in Bristol are far from perfect.  Sometimes I feel completely inept in lecture discussions; I miss Brady to the point of contemplating a one-way ticket home, or slip on the wet pavement and skin both my knees and stain my jeans (an occurrence which has happened three times now, but why count?). God gives us one more day–He’s given me twenty-three years of days and  never once did the sun not rise. This attitude is a work in progress (like most aspects of life) and I fail and fail, but sometimes I remember and my day is turned around.

Thanksgiving is not recognized at all in England, and I suppose it’d be counter-intuitive for Brits to recognize it. After all, the pilgrims were celebrating their freedom from this country I love so well. Fortunately, I’m not the only American studying in Bris and so a couple American girls in my program hosted a “A Very British Thanksgiving Brunch” complete with cream tea, scones, omelettes, and mimosas. It was such a treat to share my corner of England with Leah and introduce her to my friends. Leah and I were both thrilled to be celebrating Thanksgiving with family and had planned out our whole day accordingly. Our hopes were quickly dashed, however, when I realized I had lecture all afternoon! Our Thursday lectures have always been only every other week, but of course, the schedule changed just in time for Thanksgiving. Sitting in lecture room one  discussing material I hadn’t read instead of moseying around Clifton Village with Leah felt a bit like burning the turkey. For a couple hours, the homesickness sunk in deep and being in England felt silly and difficult. Could I feel ungrateful on this day of all days? God knew I needed Leah near, though, and after a lovely Thanksgiving dinner of chicken (I did feel rebellious) and tiramisu, I loved Bristol again.

I gotta return to the books, but this is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Em

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