In 1959, my husband Jim and I were stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. I did not yet have a driver’s license, so it was Jim’s responsibility to do the grocery shopping at the base commissary. It was Thanksgiving and we wanted to make a traditional dinner, but neither of us had ever roasted a turkey. We looked through some cookbooks for directions on how to make a Thanksgiving dinner and all of the side dishes. Jim, with his usual sense of adventure, went grocery shopping.
A couple of hours later he came in our back door with a smile on his face, and his arms full of bulging sacks of groceries. When he unpacked the food, I saw that instead of a choice, meaty turkey, he had bought a fat goose!
He looked in the cookbook again and found a recipe for spicy cinnamon goose. Soon the aroma wafting from our oven held the promise of something wonderful for dinner. We both began to cook the vegetable side dishes. This added to the savory scent in the air and made our mouths water in anticipation.
While I was standing at the kitchen counter, I began feeling a few contractions. I was nine months pregnant, and a little past my due date. Ignoring the possibility of actual labor, I continued to prepare our food.
After the goose had been in the oven for over five hours, Jim decided it was done. He took it from the oven and sliced into the breast meat. He was taken aback to find that it was all dark meat. He didn’t like dark meat! Disappointment furrowed his brow. Neither of us knew that a goose was all dark meat.
With determination in his voice he announced, “I’m taking this downtown to the men’s shelter. They can have it for their dinner.”
Before I could reply, he carried our roasting pan and the goose out to the car, and left.
While he was away my contractions became more frequent and stronger. When he returned, I gave him the news that it was time to take me to the hospital. Our much- anticipated Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t going to happen.
After hours of intense labor, I was taken to the delivery room. The awful part of that Thanksgiving Day was the painful contractions, but the very best part was our new baby daughter. Jim named her, Joy.
By that Thanksgiving evening I was very hungry. A nurse settled me in my room and brought me a heaping plate of dinner – turkey – “with all the trimmings.” I don’t know what Jim had for
dinner when he returned home, but I think it didn’t really matter to him. He was elated and proud to have become the father of a beautiful baby daughter.
Looking back at the wonder of it all, I am drawn to the words of the scriptures. The psalmist, David, wrote: “For You formed my innermost parts; you knit me (together) in my mother’s womb . . . my frame was not hidden from You, when I was being formed in secret, and intricately and skillfully formed (as if embroidered with many colors) in the depths of the earth. Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were appointed for me, when as yet there was not one of them (even taking shape).” Psalm 139:13, 15, 16 (AMP)
God knows us even before we have been conceived. He spoke these words to the prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you (and approved of you as My chosen instrument), and before you were born I consecrated you (to Myself as My own); I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 (AMP)
I have been tremendously blessed by God, and I am deeply thankful for each of the five children He entrusted to me. Through these sons and daughters, He has allowed me the privilege of being a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. I praise and thank God for His goodness.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His steadfast love endures forever!” 1 chronicles 16:34 (ESV)