Thanksgiving is a pretty big deal for me. I love to spend time with friends and family, remembering all of the blessings in my life and creating new memories. This year was very different, however, since Thanksgiving is not celebrated here in the UK. So Jon and I came up with a plan to make the weekend special: we would go to the pub down the street that has been advertising for their Christmas turkey dinner (served all month long), and we would get a Thanksgiving dinner for two with all the trimmings. Then we planned to catch a ride to London with someone from church on Friday night and spend the weekend sightseeing. Sounded like a fantastic, memorable weekend.
That is, until all of our plans fell apart. First, the pub told us that you had to have FOUR people for the meal, and you had to book significantly in advance. Then the hotel that we booked (significantly in advance) near Buckingham Palace emailed us to say that they had accidentally double-booked our room, and that there was no space for us. In fact, there was no space for us ANYWHERE in London for under £120 a night (the equivalent of $187.22 per night). Then our ride called and said he pulled his back and didn't know if he'd be able to take us. REALLY?! Could EVERYTHING fall through?!? Yes, it could, and it did.
At first I thought I could run out on Thursday night, grab a chicken and some potatoes and pull together a Thanksgiving dinner for Jon and myself. I quickly decided against that. So this is what we did for our Thanksgiving dinner instead:
We decided to go to the temple on Friday night, stayed in a hotel nearby (that didn't cancel our last-minute reservation!), and spent most of the day at the temple on Saturday. It was definitely refreshing and renewing to spend a significant amount of time in the temple. And the temple cafeteria even served turkey, mash (mashed potatoes) with gravy, and stuffing, which Jon happily devoured. :) (I opted for fish and chips. I can't get enough!) So even though it wasn't the glamour of sightseeing around London, it was a wonderful weekend. And in all honesty, it is probably better that it worked out this way, since today the temperatures were below freezing and windy. I don't know if our Floridian blood could have handled it.
So this Thanksgiving, I am very grateful that God had a different plan for us this weekend than we did. I'm grateful to know that God is there and that He knows me (and all of us) individually, as His sons and daughters, and that I can turn to Him for guidance and strength. I am thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it joins me together with people in just about every country in the world, of every background and culture, in a bond of faith and friendship. There truly is so much for which I am thankful.