Welcome to Home Shalom!

Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanksgiving and Considering Others

When ever I get the chance I love to cook for Thanksgiving. Having left home early in life (15 yrs old) those first few Thanksgivings away from home, were spent at friend's homes. Other's mothers/grandmothers would invite me to their family's meals knowing that I would likely be alone. That really touched me, and still does today when I think of it. It is good for us, as the matriarchs of our homes, to extend a hand out to people around us who may not have family to gather with on this day. A warm hand extended out in hospitality is a blessing that reaches into any one's heart! These women who extended their hand to me so many years ago - where neither religious nor spiritual women - just women who had eyes to see another's need and were willing to open their homes. How much more should we, Women of Yah, be quick to look for those whom we can extend warm fellowship and a feast?

It didn't take long before I, as a single young lady, started doing the same in my own little apartments. I have hosted some interesting groups for Thanksgiving, let me tell you! And in some interesting apartments too. With a little creativity and the willingness to serve, it doesn't matter how big your place is, or what kind of dishes you have, as long as you have an honest desire to bless another - it will be beautiful!

A side note: I am very happy to say that restoration took place within my family and whenever possible - I prefer to spend it with family whenever we can, but we still keep an open eye out for those whom we can invite into our family gathering for a day. Just like those women did for me - when I needed it. I have so much to be thankful for!

Over the years I have gleaned tips here and there from different places, family and friends on ways to prepare. Each Thanksgiving looks different. I may host and serve the home meal at my place or gather with others elsewhere. I always like to offer to bring SOMEthing to help the hostess, no matter how far we may be traveling to be together.

It is good to be open to what unfolds each year. It is good to host for others and it also good to give others the opportunity to host if it be their desire.

If you are going to someone else's home for Thanksgiving, consider a couple of these simple ways to ask to help your hostess:

Before the day arrives when invitations are accepted, that is the perfect time to ask what you can bring and do to help. This helps your hostess plan around any contributions and lightens her load from the start. In addition to food items, things to consider that one might not think of is if she might need any extra dishes,serving utensils or cookware to accommodate a crowd (especially if you have a new hostess). Chairs or extra tables might be helpful too. Also if you have kitchen gadgets that are helpful, you might make mention of them, crockpots, plug in roasters ovens, steam tables or hot plates are all very handy for keeping many dishes warm or ready to serve. If you are creative and love to decorate and you fell it appropriate to suggest, you could offer to decorate or set the table, ot bring the family china. If it's not 'that kind of crowd', you can ask if you can help supply sturdy paper ware for the event. If you are able, you might ask if you may arrive early to help before others get there.

Foods that are easy to take to another place are homemade bread or rolls, dessert, a homemade holiday beverage like Wassail, eggnog, warm mulled apple cider or punch. Other things would be, herbed butter or homemade jam. If you don't have recipes you comfrotable preparing you might onsider asking your hostess if she has a recipe of her own that you could prepare at your plae and bring! Or if you don't fancy your self much of a cook, you might bring a bottle or two of wine or something from a special bakery. If it is a full day event, and people are gathering well before the meal, you might ask if you may bring some appetizers or snacks to fill in the wait-time. That delicious aroma fills the air and appetites increase (especially if there are lots of children present). All these things are easily prepared ahead,transported and ready to serve, and will be a blessing to the hostess and the other guests. Challah is a wonderful addition to a Thanksgiving table, it is pretty and for those who are not used to having it, it is a very special addition!

When you get there, ask if there is anything you can do to help (set the table, do dishes, sweep the floor, shovel snow, play with small children, run the garbage out, set up a buffet table, move furniture around to accommodate people, etc.) Prepare your older/able children with this mindset before you arrive as well. This will help train them in a servant's mindset and bless the hostess that much more!

Clean up can be a huge task after thanksgiving! The chef has often spent days preparing this meal and it would be so nice if she could enjoy the meal and company! The best guests will jump in and be sure to take the brunt of the cleaning tasks from their hostess. (Some family's have a tradition of the men blessing the women by taking on the clean up themselves and letting the women visit!!! Now, THAT is dreamy!) If their are lots of teens and tween present, maybe you could secretly co-ordinate with them and have them jump in and take of clean up! Some of your most prideful or service oriented hostesses will resist, but don't be fooled - it is a blessing - don't take no for an answer! Just get to work. (Many hands make light work for all.)

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with considering others as more important than yourself (Phil 2:1-4), and in doing so, you too will be blessed!

Thankfully Yours,

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