It’s been a rough couple of mornings at our house.
Third trimester has me sluggish and not wanting to get out of bed in the morning – because I’ve already been up during the night. PBS (Peanut Bladder Syndrome), light sleep with vivid dreams about the ever-important crumb row in my kitchen (I don’t even think it’s there because I checked this morning when I first got up) or my son (who somehow grew a mountain man beard) falling down the hill out front.
These are the amazingly important things that keep me up all night.
Then crazy stuff happens. Like a rotted cantaloupe explodes in my pantry just as the babysitter pulls in the driveway. Like the forecast for sun turns into a downpour not even ten minutes after I start picking tomatoes. Like I find out I need to give up coffee for a couple weeks.
Yeah, those kind of mornings.
And on these kind of mornings, what I want to do is complain, blame, and wallow. Who did that?!? Why is the shelf like this?! I’m having a terrible day. Everyone LEAVE ME ALONE!
It’s easy to wallow. At least it’s easy for me to wallow. To snap and get cranky. To pacify the kids and myself with TV or snacks. To sulk or go numb. To kind of just coast out the day on the bare minimum or less.
I’ll be honest, not only do these days happen, but sometimes they are necessary. Sometimes there’s news or an event that I just need time to recover from before moving on. That I just need to process. These are my grace days. And I need them.
I also need to pick myself up by my boot straps (figuratively of course as it is flip flop season in East TN) and find a way to get me out of the pity pit.
A year ago, I did a Bible Study on One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and while I didn’t immediately start my gifts journal, I was reminded of so many things – like my complaining, like my wallowing – that were straight out stealing my joy. Was I willing to look at even the hard stuff, the hard days and find things to be thankful for?
Last October, I started my One Thousand Gifts Journal. I bought a miniature notebook at the drug store. (I feel like journals are more fun in a smaller size. I don’t know why.) Every morning I sat down and I thought of different things to be thankful for. I know there are apps and I know there are cooler ways to do it than my miniature journal, but at the end of the day, I know I remember things better when I physically write them down.
And, if my sweet children decide to thumb though this journal of mine, I want them to see my hand writing – my scribble and squaw, with my funny S’s, my weird 8’s, and the drawings they have created over each and every page of that journal.
I want them to see the spots where I was thankful for them over and over again and the spots where the tears smeared the ink.
I want them to see how our life progressed and how I was willing to be thankful. How I was learning to be thankful. How I want them to learn to be thankful.
This week, with every sluggish morning, every day that I spent feeling like the mud was caking on my shoes as I took each step , I made myself get this journal. I made myself grab this book, flip each well-worn and toddler-colored page, grab the cheapy free pen that I found on my husband’s desk that glides like a dream, and number the page as I thought of things to be thankful for.
16. that Hubs doesn’t snore
17. how well I sleep just laying up beside him
18. Lemonade crawling in bed with her daddy when she’s had a bad dream
Even on these hard days.
381. yoga pants as the ultimate in maternity wear
382. an amazing dinner I didn’t have to cook or clean up
383. cell phones to keep in touch with people
No, especially on these hard days.
960. a clean kitchen
961. washer and drier in our house
962. friend green tomatoes
I’m coming up soon on my one thousand. And I don’t plan to stop. I forget more things than I remember to be thankful for and I want to choose even in the hardest of days to see something to be thankful for. Something that reminds me that God is ALWAYS good. Something that shows me His thumbprint.
I’ve got at least 20 more years of hands-on discipling with my kids followed by 55 ish years of mentorship (Lord willing). I’ve got 75 more years of marriage (Lord willing). And I know that I have hard days ahead of me. I know some days I will need the grace the comes to be able to sulk, to sleep it off, to just check out for a little while. I also know that there will be days, and Lord, I pray there are more days, when I reach for this special journal and choose to see the good.
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