Managing Leftovers

“Managing leftovers – it’s not as easy as you think,” Joan expressed, probably more to herself than to me.

After a big meal, many kinds of food, requiring different ways of saving the savory dishes – not an easy task, but worth it. We love leftovers – turkey sandwiches are great for example.

At the end of the day, we reflect, we process. This is a different type of managing the leftovers of the day. Some things we’ll try to replicate next year. Some we’ll throw away. And some we’ll just spend a few more minutes savoring.

Here are some of our “leftovers” – some worth savoring and some we’ll try not to repeat.

Kicking a football in the house. Good kick Matthew – you got the thing airborne. Bad news is that you smacked mom with it in the face (who was busy reading something I was thinking of sharing at the Thanksgiving service). Let’s remind ourselves of the ancient wisdom of “not playing ball in the house.”

Attending the service and sharing one of our big praises since last thanksgiving. (view if you like, start at 15:35 – my testimony lasts for one minute, ten seconds) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5J3yXShb9E

Flying Jeremy’s drone – a gift from several Christmas’ past. Kudos for Jeremy for realizing this would be something Matthew would really enjoy. On the flip side, perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to allow Matthew full control with the result of the drone getting stuck in the neighbor’s tree. Then again, the challenge of getting it down was a memorable activity of its own.

And then there was the “let’s solve some of the world’s problems” – the more in-depth conversation about pain around the holidays and the empty seats from 600 plus mass shootings so far this year. “If you were “king,” what one thing would you do to move the needle?”  Some good thoughts about root causes and a few practical ideas for what each of us can do that could make a difference over time.

Finally, this morning I asked Matthew what Thanksgiving is about. “It’s about giving thanks to one another.” Wrong answer, I say to myself. But to him I say, “give me examples.” And he did, which gave me the source of his thinking. “I’ll tell you what. Let’s watch that YouTube kids’ program together and see what’s missing,” which we did, and was able to explain that, while being grateful to one another is important, Thanksgiving was established to remind us to give thanks to God.

So yes, while the adults were fixing the world, my son was being fed a worldview (a nice, moral one) that excluded the one who most deserves our thanks.

Managing leftovers. Joan is right. It isn’t easy. But it is worth doing.

Credit: I must express appreciation to David and Karen Mains and a film series from long ago entitled: “What Makes a Christian Family Christian?” Their fourth episode was all about “living the evaluative lifestyle.” One main point: Don’t just watch TV – after you do so, process it together and examine what aligns with a Christian Worldview and what does not.

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