Gather in Gratitude and Be the Blessing 


Karen Gempel // Humor

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October 26  

I felt creative last Saturday and went to the craft store to make a wreath. I noticed four words everywhere: Gather. Thankful. Blessed. Family— emblazoned on doormats, plates, ceramic pumpkins! Everywhere, like a mantra! 

I gave up on the wreath and purchased a dollar sign with “Thankful and Blessed” scrolled across a pumpkin, and hung it on the front door.  I thought, Is this truly our family’s proclamation? I took the sign down. How could I better deserve to proclaim the words on that sign?   

Food! My daughter could deliver my two older grandchildren and we would make a special dinner for a family whose dad was recovering from surgery!

We could plan it, shop for it, cook it, and deliver it together! The grandkids could learn about our family gathering together and being thankful and blessed!

I called the receiving family; an enthusiastic, “Yes!” Then I waited for the grandkids to arrive. My daughter was two hours late. As the three of us drove to the grocery, we (I) decided on a taco casserole with beans, cheese, meat, and rice—because everything else sounded “gross.”  

Back home, my granddaughter sautéed the ground beef. I checked; she added the seasoning mix before draining the grease! I forgot to time the rice, and when I lifted the lid, it had amalgamated into a single, pot-shaped mass! Wait—what WAS that in the middle? My grandson’s Bakugan guy!? Fortunately, nothing had melted (these high-impact plastics are amazing!). The mass broke up with minor spatula hacking. 

My grandson enjoyed sprinkling the cheese, though I noticed his hand washing had missed the dirty crescents under his nails.   

By 6:30 pm, dinner was ready. Where was my Longaberger basket? There WAS a cardboard box by the back door. I grabbed tortilla chips, the bagged salad the kids picked out, and the frozen coconut cake my granddaughter chose (to go with the Mexican theme). 

My friend opened the door and exclaimed, “Are these Gigi’s cooking helpers?” My granddaughter smiled. My grandson frowned.  

“No. I usually play Matchbox cars with Papa.”

We handed over the box. “Mexican casserole, chips, salad, cake.”

“I hope you enjoy it,” beamed my granddaughter.  

“I sprinkled the cheese,” said my grandson.

Later, when the kids were sleeping, I heard my phone ring.  

My friend’s number! Had we poisoned them?  

“I just wanted to let you know how much Larry enjoyed that casserole!” Her tone was genuine.  

“Well, it’s a family favorite,” I laughed.  

“He tasted it, then put a giant helping on his plate. It’s the first thing he’s enjoyed since surgery!”

“I’m so glad!” 

“You know,” she went on, “Friends have been bringing us lovely dinners, and we’re so grateful, but Larry is a basic guy, and after your casserole, he said, “Finally. A dish I could understand.”

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me (Rev 3:20).

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