So today, I am thankful.
Here's a partial list of what I am thankful for:
1. My daughter
Claire is 11 right now and in middle school. I keep scaring myself with big books about adolescence and puberty and changes ahead. I keep talking to her and bracing her for changes in her mind and body and letting her know that she will always fit in at home. (She kind of is to the point of rolling her eyes I've mentioned it so much.) I know that the road ahead is rocky, but right now she is an absolutely delightful companion. Yesterday when we went grocery shopping, we were laughing so hard that some people stared and one lady told us twice we needed to calm down because we were having too much fun.
2. My son
Paul is his own person as well. He has many friends of both genders at school and doesn't get stressed out about much at all. He adores his hamster, reads as much as me, and has a great imagination. Paul loves thinking up funny scenarios, and like Claire, keeps us laughing. He is very proud right now because I bought him a new jacket at Costco.
3. My husband
Adam is mostly the same person he's been since I met him in 1996. He's fiercely loyal and just as stable. So while I am thinking big seminary thoughts that change my understanding of the world, I am so thankful to have his steady presence in my life. I am also constantly thankful that he is an engineer and great mathematician. Claire is enrolled in a challenging math class this year, and he has been there every day to help with her homework. I am especially thankful for that because she has already surpassed my comfort zone in math.
4. Our pets
We have quite a menagerie over here, and every animal is loved. Claire has a two year old betta, and Claire and Paul each have a hamster. We have two corn snakes; Medusa and Panic. Cpt. Midnight Sugar Dot Express is still the chihuahua that's king of the castle. Sugar Dot snores louder than any person in the house, but he's also a good snuggler.
5. Cooler weather
I always feel more energized at these temperatures. I've been able to go on long walks in the mornings and that is helpful for my body and for me to untangle some of those big thoughts that are weighing me down.
6. My job
I changed jobs in August and am currently the office manager at Saginaw United Methodist Church. I am grateful to be working with friends, and thankful that when I get in the car every morning, I know where I am headed. I finally have my head above water and am excited about possibilities. It's fun being back at a church office with all the characters and rhythms. It's also always fascinating to me to see how skills I have acquired from a varied life of occupations all help me in ministry.
7. Kids accepting more responsibility
Last school year, I taught the kids how to use the washer and dryer and take care of their own laundry. This year I've taught them how to do dishes and Claire created a schedule for us. Though the process isn't perfect, and I'm the fall back every time; many weeks I only do dishes on Fridays and Sundays. This has been a huge load off of me and also a huge encouragement to me that the kids are going to move out one day with the skills needed to survive in the world.
8. Muddling through and being okay
This semester has been hard. Both of my classes are very reading and writing intensive. I don't feel as if I can slack off in either one. We're mid-semester right now and I've had more than one week that I just didn't feel like I was up to measure. Starting a new job right before the semester started was hard and I'm just now feeling like I've got my feet up under me at work. Class knocks me off my feet almost weekly. I am happy to say, though, that even though it's a constant struggle, I'm okay. Just when I hit my limit, grace arrives. Last week was incredibly hard but this weekend Adam took both kids camping and I was free to practice some much needed self-care. I'm going to continue putting one foot in front of the other, trying my best, and getting back up when I fall down.
9. Brief moments of breath and peace
My life is often non-stop. I am not proud of this, but am trying desperately to figure out how to fix it. Every once in a while I have a brief moment or two of peace. Maybe the phone hasn't rung at the office. Maybe traffic is backed up and I'm stuck. Maybe I'm meeting a friend but the friend is late. Maybe I've finished one task and have a minute before I go head first into the next. Whatever the case may be, I am thankful for the space of breath and peace whenever I find myself in it.
10. Friends that stick around
Whenever I feel lost and overwhelmed, I am so thankful for the anchors in my life. My husband loves me, even when I look like a tornado. Last weekend I was thankful to be able to go to my best friend's house and just be. Her husband cooked us dinner, and I just sat in a chair and enjoyed all the normalcy and chatter and familiarity of it all. I am so thankful for the people in my life who stay there and prop me up and put me back together when I feel as if I am falling apart.
I am thankful and hopeful that by exercising my gratitude with more intention, that I might appreciate life more, and
share some of my appreciation with friends.
|Paul's hamster, Professor Gunther, tries to conquer the world.|