Sunday, August 3, 2008

Being Thankful

Always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Yesterday, as the morning light dawned, I met the day not with a smile, but with a groan. I had been up since 3:30 am with a screaming child and had just returned to my bed to find another child sprawled out in my spot. As I went off in search of another place to sleep, I couldn't help but think of what a hard week it had been.

There were quite a few things that I felt more than justified in complaining about. The only problem was, I couldn't, because it was Saturday. I keep a journal, and for the past couple of years, my practice has been that every Saturday I make a list in my journal of all of the things I can be thankful to God for from the past week. Some Saturdays (like this one) it is harder than others, but it is always very rewarding.

So I won't bore you with the whole thing, but I once I started, I had quite a few things to put on my list including:
  • Joshua's fever finally broke. After two weeks, three different medicines, trips all over town to multiple doctors, and most importantly, lots of prayer, he is now fever-free!
  • He is actually gaining weight. Apparently his restricted diet and refusal to eat didn't hurt him too much. He gained a whole pound in the last two weeks, and is now tipping the scales to the point where he is almost in the 5th percentile for weight!
There were also some rather unlikely things make the list this week. From the Don't Know Whatcha Got 'Till It's Gone category:

1. Getting to do laundry! No, I haven't started using drugs - I'm serious. To be more specific, I should say: getting to do laundry in my own house. Laundry has always been my least favorite household chore, the subject of much of my whining whenever I'm feeling the urge to whine. There's so much of it, it never ends, I hate it, blah, blah, blah...

With surgery and bloody drainage and colorful medicine being spit back at us, a washing machine out of commission couldn't have come at a worse time. I have had to drag my family's unmentionables to friend's houses, the laundromat, the Ronald McDonald House at the hospital, and even watched my kids scrubbing them in their play pool for fun. And now we have a working washing machine again and I am thrilled! I will never again groan over having to laundry at my house again! (Okay, that's just not true, but it sounded good.)

2. Cooking for my family. Because Joshua is on a restricted diet, we haven't wanted to eat forbidden foods in front of him. That means I haven't cooked in over two weeks. Truthfully, I kind of miss it.

3. Eating together as a family. We haven't all been able to do this in two weeks and it makes a big difference. Truthfully, mealtime with all my kids could fall under the category of things I used to complain about, because it was constant up and down for me, getting requested items from the fridge, cutting food up, refilling drinks, cleaning up spilled drinks, incessant chatter... and so often I thought how nice it would be to have a quiet meal by myself. But after having to hide out in other rooms to eat and sending my kids into other rooms to eat alone, I've learned just what a privilege it is to be able to eat together with my family.

4. Elbows. Yes, elbows - where would you be without them? My son has been without the use of his elbows for two weeks now and though he has adjusted and made the best of it, I've decided: life is just nicer with elbows.

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