Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Big Fat Blessed Life

I have always felt a little sorry for the Thanksgiving holiday - how it gets overlooked and forgotten and encroached upon by the money-making holiday of Christmas.   This year, it seemed like retailers pulled out the Christmas garlands before we even packed our swimsuits away.  

I feel that somehow we shouldn't start making shopping lists and wish lists before we've set aside time to give thanks, but this year I am guilty of doing just that.  

And I feel stressed.  And discontent.

And thoroughly sick of Christmas already.

I was reading the Parable of the Sower today.  It's a little challenging when you get to the part about the weeds of worries, riches, and the pleasures of life.  Who can get through life (or one day) without dealing any of those?  If you manage to get rid of all your riches and pleasures, you've got some worries!

But I think a big part of the answer is in 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Give thanks always....

Because isn't gratitude a pretty good cure for worry and discontent and greed?

So, while some may say it's cheesy, I'm making a list of what I am thankful for:

I am thankful....

For my husband.  Pretty much the most wonderful, generous, and loving person I know.  And if you looked in the dictionary next to the word "honorable," I'm pretty sure you would see this handsome face.

I am thankful....

For my daughter.  

I am thankful that Grace is growing into a poised and thoughtful young woman, brimming with creativity and always excited to try new things.  I am terribly proud of the fact that she wrote a story about an answered prayer that changed our whole family and that it was published this year in a national magazine read by thousands of kids around the world. 

I am thankful...

For boys!

Here's a shameful confession from my past that is sad but true.  Once upon a time, when I just had one little girl, I thought that when we had more children they should all be girls.  

Thank you, God, for not answering that prayer.

I would have missed out on so much.  Like forts and wrestling and lego creations and prank wars and superheroes and homemade catapults and pet crickets (and stitches and bathroom humor and horribly smelly socks....) and a whole different way of looking the world that is full of adventure and daring and, well, dirt.   Now I sometimes see mothers of only girls and I really do feel sorry for them.

I am thankful....

For Caleb.  I am thankful for his sensitivity, his sincerity, and especially for the way he loves everyone.

Recently I took him to an indoor skate park that he had been waiting months to go to.  His friend was told he couldn't skate because he had the wrong shoes, so Caleb took off his own shoes and gave them to his friend so the friend could skate while he watched.

I am thankful....

For Joshua.

I am thankful for the way he runs through life bubbling over with enthusiasm, joy, and affection.  Everything he does has a little extra bounce  to it and he is always singing, humming, or dancing. I suspect that someday many people will be blessed by his songs and his words. 

Someday, we will realize that all that time spent doing tedious speech exercises every single day was worth it. 

I hope.   

And I am thankful....

For my full-time job of loving my husband and discipling my kids....because - with all due respect to the Peace Corps - sometimes this feels like the toughest job you'll ever love.  Add in the task of homeschooling and you get to add more pressure and the haunting fear that I'll forget something important and they'll accidentally grow up to be doofuses and it will be all my fault

I won't lie.  There have been times I have secretly wondered if I would enjoy my kids more if I let someone else teach them how to divide fractions while I went to the gym.  Or Starbucks. 

But I am thankful...

Thankful that God has given me a job to do that is just hard enough to keep me on my knees and that He shows me every day just how many resources He is willing and able to give me.

And I am thankful...

For a rich year of life that has contained more blessings than I could possibly list here.

  That my kids are packing their childhood with memories of camping trips, kayaking adventures, roasting marshmallows on the beach under a full moon, road trips, 

museum trips, book clubs and prayer buddies, serving at the local food pantry, dancing at weddings, 

and remembering honorable grandfathers at funerals.

 I am thankful...

For friends who will pray with me as often as they laugh with me. 

  I am thankful for all the places I got to travel to this year and all the people I got to go there with.

I am thankful....

For the beauty of this world and hints of the next.

For all the answered prayers, and all the ones that seemed to go unanswered.  That God is good through it all and that His thoughts towards us outnumber the sand on the seashore.

And I am so very thankful....

 For the manger, for the cross, and for the empty tomb. 

That mercy triumphs over judgement.

And that my name is known in heavenly places.

" cup overflows...." 
-Psalm 23:5


stephanie said...

this actually made me cry. super sweet. i love the tributes to your children and their amazing-ness. love you.

JJ said...

That's beautiful, friend. I'm inspired to write my own list... and appreciate you sharing yours!

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