I stepped in something yucky
As I walked by the crick.
I grabbed a stick to scrape it off,
The yuck stuck to my stick.
I tried to pull it off the stick,
The yuck stuck to my hand.
I tried to wash it off – but it
Stuck to the washin’ pan.
I called my dog to pull me loose,
The yuck stuck to his fur.
He rubbed himself against the cat,
The yuck got stuck to her.
My friends and neighbors came to help –
Now all of us are stuck,
Which goes to show what happens
When one person steps in yuck.
“Yuck” by Shel Silverstein
Have you ever “stepped in yuck” during the holiday season? I guarantee most of us have. I’m not referring to a rotten banana peel, a chewed-up piece of gum, or some far grosser substance on the ground. I’m talking about stepping into a yucky attitude. Been there, done that, right?
The holidays are touted up as being “the most wonderful time of the year”, but all it takes is for one person to step in yuck, and chaos quickly ensues. Oftentimes, it’s the stressed-out lady in the kitchen who steps in it first. We’ve all heard the expression, “if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”…the Bible affirms this unfortunate reality. (Proverbs 21:19; 14:1) Women have a powerful influence over their family’s emotions, and we can choose whether to build up or tear down our homes by our attitudes.
Thanksgiving is meant to be a time of giving thanks for all the many blessings that we have in Christ. However, when we allow ourselves to get stuck in yuck, I’m afraid we are only thankful in theory. Our words are saying “thank you”, but our actions prove otherwise.
So what’ll it be, Ladies? What kind of wife and mother will you be this Thanksgiving 2019? The way I see it, there are two choices. Would you prefer to be…
Thanksgiving dinner’s sad and thankless. Christmas dinner’s dark and blue. When you stop and try to see it from the turkey’s point of view.– Shel Silverstein
A step-by-step guide for the aspiring turkey:
Step 1: Stay up too late on Thanksgiving Eve.
If you want to be a tired out turkey this Thanksgiving, make sure not to get an adequate amount of rest the night before. Make sure all of your prepping is done last minute so that you feel completely overwhelmed and unprepared for the task before you. (Extra points if you stay up all night!)
Step 2: Stress out over every single detail.
If you want to be a tired out turkey this Thanksgiving, demand perfection. Your husband began thawing the turkey an hour later than necessary? Freak out. Your child mixed up the forks and spoons when setting the table? Freak out. You misplaced your Great Aunt’s heirloom gravy dish and were forced to use something else? Freak out. Nothing shows thankfulness like a good old fashioned pity party.
Step 3: Stick to your expectations at all costs.
If you want to be a tired out turkey this Thanksgiving, idolize your expectations. If you have a plan for how the day will look, follow that plan to the letter. Do not allow anything to get in the way of your ideal schedule, including your husband and children. Allow yourself to lash out in anger
if when something inevitably goes awry.
Step 4: Stew over any and all grievances.
If you want to be a tired out turkey this Thanksgiving, hold on to your frustrations for dear life. If someone in the family ruffles your feathers, don’t let that go! Milk it as long as possible and let everyone know just how put off you are. After all, since they upset your Thanksgiving, it’s only fair to upset theirs right back!
Step 5: Stop focusing on what the day is about.
If you want to be a tired out turkey this Thanksgiving, make the holiday more worldly than spiritual. Focus on your wants, first and foremost. How much you want to enjoy the feast, how good you want to look to company with your lavish setup, the good time you want to have. As long as you say one thing you are thankful for, it will erase all the selfishness of the day.
And there you have it, Friends! As long as you follow this simple five step program, you will be a tired out turkey for sure. I’ll even let you in on a little secret…faithfully following even one of these five steps will help you achieve the desired results!
Now…tongue-in-cheek language aside, surely this is not the wife and mother you want to be this Thanksgiving. Yet it can quickly happen to any of us if we allow ourselves to step in yuck. Watch your step, Ladies! Don’t allow your idea of a grand Thanksgiving to become a stumbling block to you…it’s not worth it:
Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting and strife. – Proverbs 17:1 (NASB)
Instead of being a tired out turkey this Thanksgiving, wouldn’t you rather be…
Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch and brings you in. Then He washes all of the dirt off of you. He opens you up and scoops out all of the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then he carves you a new smiling face. He puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see.– Unknown
A step-by-step guide for the aspiring pumpkin:
Step 1: Get the rest that your soma, soul, and spirit needs.
If you want to be a pepped up pumpkin this Thanksgiving, take care of yourself beforehand by getting an appropriate amount of sleep. Prepare for the big day as much as you can in the days leading up to it, but don’t panic if you have to let some things fall by the wayside in order to turn in for the night. If you run out of time, call it a loss and keep moving right along. A meal is not a life-or-death situation, and a side dish is not worth your sanity.
Step 2: Give grace to yourself and others.
If you want to be a pepped up pumpkin this Thanksgiving, calm your spirit. So he was a little late in thawing out the turkey, big deal. It will be that much more delicious after the wait. Honor your man and bite your tongue. So the silverware’s a little wonky, big deal. Show your child the way you want it done, fix it yourself, or roll with it. So you had to use a different gravy dish, big deal. Be thankful you have gravy, and determine to have your Great Aunt’s heirloom dish in its place next year. Peace reigns when we learn to roll with the punches.
Step 3: Grin and bear the setbacks.
If you want to be a pepped up pumpkin this Thanksgiving, have a sense of humor. Life rarely works out the way we think it will, even on a day-to-day basis. Be flexible and don’t lose heart if something in the day doesn’t go as planned. A child gets sick…people show up late…no one’s interested in the family game you picked out…these little disturbances are all part of life. Lower those expectations and enjoy the day for what it is; not what you had hoped it would be.
Step 4: Grow a backbone.
If you want to be a pepped up pumpkin this Thanksgiving, come equipped with a forgiving heart. It’s almost inevitable that someone will rub you the wrong way at some point during the holiday. Whether it’s your husband that insulted your green bean casserole, your overbearing uncle who wants to argue politics, or your moody teenage daughter who is giving you the cold shoulder; let it go. Don’t take everything so personally and choose to act out in anger. Be the blessing you wish others would be to you; be like Jesus.
Step 5: Guide the way to thankfulness.
If you want to be a pepped up pumpkin this Thanksgiving, remember why you are celebrating in the first place. Sure, we all like the delicious food, the beautiful decor, and the chance to gather for a special occasion with loved ones. Yet in and of themselves, these things are quickly fleeting. True meaning is given to the occasion only when viewed through the lens of a thankful heart towards the Lord. Teach this to your children, and emulate it in a submissive spirit towards your husband. Make the day count.
A pumpkin of a woman can turn even the most humble Thanksgiving table to a feast of blessing with her cheerful and lovely disposition. How much better Thanksgiving (and our lives) will be if we all aspire each and every day to be pumpkins rather than turkeys!
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. – Proverbs 15:17
Let each and every one of us commit to being thankful people this year. Not only thankful in theory, but truly thankful in word and in deed. Let us watch our steps carefully so we don’t go “stepping in yuck” this holiday season. Remember, we want to be pumpkins, not turkeys. Let us keep these words ever before our minds so we remember what’s truly important:
Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith. – Proverbs 15:16
For God’s Glory,
Chelsea Bolks is a church of Christ minister’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.