It was a cold November day back in 2001 in Greenville, SC. I came home from school where we had celebrated Thanksgiving, and my dad was in the backyard preparing the turkey we had been raising since earlier in the year to be our dinner later that week. It was gross, interesting, and bizarre all at the same time. I couldn’t believe that something that we had fed and played with would now feed us. Having not grown up on a farm, this was a strange phenomenon to my 5 year old self. Christmas time came and we did the same thing with the second turkey we had been raising. Stay with me - I’ll get to the point.

Growing up in a household where both of my parents were in full time christian service meant that we didn’t have much money, so my dad was always looking for ways to still have the full experience of holidays and holiday dinners without dropping an entire weeks salary. The best way he could do that was raising turkeys and making the turkey last for as long as possible. After we finished each holiday meal my parents took the leftover turkey and made delicious turkey soup! It was pretty good - the first 30 times we had it. They had to freeze it and keep adding more stock and noodles to make it stretch to get us through a tough time. We were eating Turkey Soup until July that year.

I was sick and tired of Turkey Soup - just like the  Israelites were tired of the manna in the wilderness (Numbers 11). The book of Exodus talks about this God given bread which was pretty bland and boring. It was their breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 40 years, which makes me so thankful for the Turkey Soup only lasting 8 months! Just like the manna was a provision from God, so was the turkey soup! I had no idea at that time what our true financial situation was, or that the turkey soup was making it possible for my mom and dad to feed us at night. As I got older and gained more understanding I became increasingly grateful for that turkey soup and for those 2 turkeys that kept my belly full for so long. I also became aware and grateful of the other sacrifices my parents made to keep food on the table, and to keep me as much in the dark of the severity of our situation.

Gratitude comes easy when we are happy and it’s easy to see the positive, but what about in the hard trials or the boring months of Turkey soup? Taking inventory daily of what the Lord has done makes it easier to see the positive in the toughest of times. Try for one week to write down 10 things daily that you are grateful for - and dig deep. What for patterns in your emotions and relationships as you are looking for the positive in what the Lord is doing in your life. You just may see a major shift in your relationship with God.

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