Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gratitude: Two Sweet Girlies and The Pioneer Woman, too.

With Layla Grace and Faith's stories on my mind yesterday, the whole of the day was different. Sometimes, we need an awakening of sorts and finding myself so deeply blessed was just that for me. Throughout the afternoon and evening, I noticed things I may have otherwise missed.

I saw:

A glimpse of Elizabeth's baby face when she threw her head back and laughed.

A bit of a growing "grown-up-tooth" sliding into place in Josiah's gap-filled mouth.

The way Benjamin's hair curls around his fingers as he runs his hand through it while reading.

The twinkle in Noah's eye when he laughs out loud.

And I made a point of taking joy in them. I listened to their stories and thought about their days. It was nice, really. The things I found myself pulling close yesterday are the parts of parenting that I looked forward to the most. How does it happen that we lose sight of that?

I took my time with dinner yesterday, too. I recently started reading The Pioneer Woman's blog. It was in that list we made last week, remember? Somewhere I read that she loves to cook not because it's fun or necessary but because for the little while that our families are eating, it strengthens them for the work ahead and feeds their souls. I like that. I really do.

So, I made country ribs from my supper swap group and a big pot of mac and cheese. I roasted broccoli (oh my goodness, have you tried it??) and then went back to the Pioneer Woman's blog for dessert. Intrigued by her apple dumplings, I dove right in and OH MY, they are amazing.

It felt good, my friends, to go through a day in a way that remembers how blessed I am. It made a difference to me to gripe a bit less and focus more on the reality that lies before me. My kids are well. I have a roof overhead. There is food on the table and it is good. All of it is good.

A long while back, there was a book that asked readers to record 5 things, each day, that they were grateful for right then. I liked that book and liked the practice and somehow along the way, let it all go. But, what would happen if we really still did just that? Every day. Five things. What happens to our perspective, our attitude, when we belly-gaze less and look around more? Becoming overwhelmed by the minutiae of our lives can happen so easily... it happens to me all the time. But, what if loving our lives has more to do with choice and less to do with circumstance? I have let myself off the hook here, one too many times. I have looked at our checkbook, our impossible housing situation, my fatigue, my kids behavior and all the while I have missed it all. I CHOSE this life. I didn't accidentally have four kids. I didn't even accidentally have two houses. It was a choice. And the truth is, it might be hard... it often is... but it is mine and it is good.

So, here are five things I am grateful for today:

1. I still have two houses and I LOVE the one in which I live.

2. My kids are healthy and funny and loud. : )

3. The snow is GORGEOUS, especially against the bright blue sky.

4. I love my husband. Even when I am frustrated. He is the man for me.

5. This morning, I heard a bird sing. So did Noah. And it was beautiful.

What about you? What five simple things are you grateful for today? I would love for you to post it here. Your thoughts might help someone else find the wonder in their life.

Blessings on your day.

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