Turkey and “Taboo:” What I’m Most Thankful for This Year

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ben and I drove just an hour north to my brother’s new house in Austin and spent the day embodying the first clause of Urban Dictionary’s definition of “bum:” “Someone who does nothing all day and expects everyone to bend over backwards to please them.”

We proudly partook of a primarily Paleo meal: turkey with gluten-free dressing, dairy and marshmallow-free sweet potatoes baked with a delicious blend of spices, the best Brussels sprouts known to caveman,  green beans sautéed with kale and crimini mushrooms, and apple and pumpkin pie, which were much more Paula Dean than Paleo.

We somehow managed to avoid the L-tryptophan-induced coma that so often plagues Turkey Day carnivores, and instead of napping, played “Taboo.”

 

 

For those of you who haven’t played it, “Taboo” is a word guessing game in which one person has one minute to try and prompt their teammate(s) to guess the keyword on their card without using certain words one would normally associate with the keyword. For instance, if the keyword is “baseball,” you cannot use “sport,” “game,” “pastime,” “hitter,” or “pitcher” as clues. This game rapidly demonstrates just how differently people communicate ideas and interpret incoming data. For instance, my dear husband seemed baffled when I couldn’t guess his keyword using the descriptive phrase: “These things like to move around a lot.” His keyword? “Continents.”

Fortunately, we became more proficient at speaking each other’s “Taboo” language. I would say, “I can’t function without this,” and he’d say, “Coffee!” He’d say, “I’m deathly afraid of these,” and I’d reply, “Clowns, of course.” Pretty soon, we were stacking up four and five points a turn…a considerable improvement from the crickets accompanying “Continents” when the game commenced.

This game became to me a simple metaphor for marriage. Ben and I will celebrate our one-year anniversary December 5th. I can hardly believe it. It seems like we just exchanged vows overlooking the twinkling turquoise of the Caribbean this morning, hiked the Grand Piton piercing through the canopy of the rainforest’s lush lansan trees after lunch, explored the shallow reefs (perfect for sharkophobic snorkelers like me!) below our hotel after a catnap, tasted the exotic flavors of coconut rum sauce and cacao crème brûlée this afternoon, and now we’re back and it’s time to unpack and start a load of laundry!

Our wedding. Just the 2 of us in Saint Lucia last December!

It’s amazing what a few rounds of “Taboo” will teach you about your partner and the way he or she perceives information and promptly processes it to provide a guess. It forces you to stretch your own mind – broaden your explicatory horizons, if you will – to suit your partner. “Things that like to move around a lot” may describe “Continents” to a T for Ben, but for me, that definition described migratory geese and electrons.

It’s equally amazing what a year of marriage teaches you about your spouse. From messiness and covers-stealing (that would be me…), to how we handle stress and communicate discontent, there are myriad books, even whole Pinterest boards, dedicated to the dizzying dance, the unparalleled puzzle, the ineffable adventure, the downright joys of marriage.

This Thanksgiving, I took a quiet moment for myself and the Lord and thanked Him for this incredible first year as Mrs. Tyler. I’m thankful for the expected challenges that came with planting roots in a new city and opening our own business. I’m thankful for the unanticipated stresses and strains that have ultimately brought us closer together as one flesh, united in Christ. I’m thankful for the years to come that will make us even stronger teammates, in “Taboo” and in Life.

“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” – 1st Thessalonians 5:15-18 (MSG)

I pray that you too found something to be song-in-your-spirit thankful for. Whatever it is, no matter how great or how small, it’s in your life because God found it good to place it there. Take care of it, nurture and protect it. Glorify the Giver with it.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” –James 1:17 (NIV)

Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di

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