Not Going Home for Thanksgiving

This is my favorite season of year: fun, food and festivities! However, it can be a stressful time as well. There are so many reasons to spend the holidays with the ones you love. But sometimes, those same loved ones are nowhere near you and the logistics to get together are difficult. With that said, here are 5 reasons to stay put for Thanksgiving:

  1. Creating new memories and traditions: It’s easy to do what you’ve always done for the holidays, right? No major planning and you know what to expect. For me, the routine gets boring. With my husband and daughter, we have an opportunity to try new activities together. For example, no Black Friday shopping but instead head to a museum or other cultural institution.
  2. Traveling: Packing for 3 people, wrangling an active toddler and traffic= STRESS! Driving over 300 miles is a lot of work. We’ll save lots of time and energy simply by staying home.
  3. Funds: Along with traveling the expenses of gas, toll and rest stops all add up. Giving our pockets a break is another major factor in the decision to stay put for the holiday.
  4. Considering your spouse: My husband’s family lives in Georgia- way down south and we live in Rhode Island- way up north. So, most holidays are spent with my family in New York- within driving distance. This year, my husband proposed the idea first that we don’t go to New York for Thanksgiving. And in the spirit of balance and peace, I considered him and agreed. We will, however, spend Christmas with my family.
  5. Community: We’ve lived away from our family and friends for over 2 years now. We have yet to spend any major holiday in our new state, Rhode Island. In efforts to put down roots and build our community/village, we accepted a good friend’s offer to spend Thanksgiving with her. Our kids get along well and she’s been extremely supportive since we moved, so why not share in this holiday together.

We are defining HOME for Thanksgiving where we ARE not where we’re FROM.

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Love, Marriage and Motherhood: A Church Girl’s Perspective

I luh God, my husband and my baby girl; in that order. There is no questioning my love for all three. My world is God and Family. Sometimes, though, it can be challenging to juggle my responsibilities as a wife, mother, church leader and my full time job. Every morning I get up at 6am to get my daughter and husband ready to get out the door by 7:15am then get myself dressed to be at the bus stop at 7:50am to get to work by 8:30am. Wednesday night service, Friday night Youth Fellowship, some Saturday events and church on Sunday. It can be a lot sometimes. And with all that, I have to find time to prioritize my relationship with God; prayer and bible study. After all, I know my awesome marriage and beautiful daughter would not exist without God’s favor.
My marriage is 6 years strong. Through the years of friendship, dating and marriage, I’ve learned what the bible describes as “becoming one.” Mark 10:8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh (NIV). It’s a consistent process to be on the same page while life throws its challenges at you. Divorce rates are high- even in the “Church.” By God’s grace, I will not be one of them. To ensure this, my guiding principles are to put God first and to guard my marriage. I am hyper sensitive to anything that can take away from quality time and connection with my husband. We both support each other’s individual endeavors but my first ministry is to my family and to have our life be an example of God’s love.
Likewise, as a mother, I’ve been blessed with the responsibility to love and train another generation. Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from Him (Psalm 127:3, NLT). Having children was never a guarantee but once we decided to try we couldn’t imagine life without our daughter. Being a parent has added a whole new dimension to understanding how God loves us and the capacity we have to love others. In addition, having a child changes everything! Another little life (mind, body and soul) to take care of on top of all my other responsibilities. As my best friend once told me “Life is a constant game of balancing and re-balancing.” But, with Prayer and a grateful heart I’m able to conquer it all.
Kajette lives in Rhode Island with her husband Joe and toddler daughter Lydia. A self-professed “Church Girl” Pentecostal Christian. She’s and art historian and native New Yorker. She loves trap gospel music, art and her husband’s cooking.

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