Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Extra Day...

This morning on our way to school, the kids and I were talking about Leap Year and what an interesting thing it is to be given an extra day every four years.  Benjamin and I tried to explain to the little ones all about the year normal year being 365 days, plus one quarter of a day.  Add up four little pieces of day and every four years, you get one extra day.  (Seriously, I can spit the words out to explain this but does it really make any sense at all to anyone?)  :)

As I ran errands today, I found myself thinking about the gift of this day.  One bit of time that we will not get next year and did not have last year... One simple day that is extra.  It is hard to not see the blessing in it today. Here in Chicago (where it is February, after all) it is nearly 60 degrees outside, sunny and spring-like.  People are outside, children are running and playing and the wonder of this wacky weather is shaking us from our winter sleepiness.  It is a gift.  By tonight, we may have snow.  The cold weather is coming right back.  But somehow today, on this extra day, we are given a reprieve.

It is a simple thing, really.  Finding yourself pleased with something you did not earn and never requested helps us to feel connected to those things that make us happy.  Today, while walking a bit outside, I made a list of such things... simple things that make me smile...

1.  The sounds and smells of my house in the morning.  Shower steam.  Mark's aftershave.  Kids singing.  Oatmeal cooking.  Backpacks zipping.  Prayers spoken.  I love the whole of it.

2.  Shoes on feet for all of us.  I saw a picture the other day of a man who had flattened two-liter bottles taped to his feet.  I need to be grateful that there are six of us and we all have shoes that fit and protect our chilly toes.

3.  Nerd Jelly Beans.  Oh-my-fruity-goodness.  It is silly, I know.  But they make me smile.  They make my kids smile.  And they are so good...

4.  Coffee made for me.  Most mornings, Mark (who does not drink coffee), makes some for me.  I love the smell floating upstairs.  I love to open my eyes and know it is there.  I love that he does it for me.

5.  Thoughtfulness.  Josiah wondering if Mark will feel bad if we work on his Pinewood Derby car without him.  Noah trying to text clearer so that we can be in contact during the day.  Mark filling the van with gas before he leaves for work.  Benjamin helping Josiah to find his shoes.  Elizabeth offering to get the milk for her brother's cereal.  My best friend making a birthday plan for my upcoming big day.  Thinking about others makes me smile.

6.  Golden-doodle pups.  We have the best dog in America.  I had no idea that dogs could be so great.  Truly.  She thinks about us before herself, finds a toy before answering the door, lives to play and run with our kids and generally makes us happy every single day.  This is no pet, friends.  This is fully a family member!

7.  Grace.  And grace upon grace.  How grateful I am to be loved, everyday, by the God who created me and created this amazing world.  I don't look around nearly enough.  I am not thankful nearly enough.  But knowing that I am forgiven, embraced, saved and seen is enough to drive me to my knees today and every day.

You see, today we have an extra day.  Pure and simple, a day to do with what we will.  I am choosing to be thankful... for time, for people, for so many things... because that seems like a pretty good way to spend an extra day.

If it is going to snow tonight, I have to get back outside!  :)

Blessings on your extra day!

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