Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Love All Around

For quite some time I had looked forward to spending a full week with my whole family under one roof.  There is nothing sweeter to me than late night talks in our jammies with my daughter(s) while everyone else sleeps, or early morning hugs from my sweet girl with her still soggy-diapered bottom, puppy and milk in hand.  There is something beautifully un...urgent about having days at a time when no one has to to go home. 

These are things I didn't value while raising my children.  Back then the days seemed to last forever and I had no understanding of how quickly the time flies and how valuable that time was.  Now my babies are grown and usually all I have are quick glimpses of what used to be.

I'm not complaining.  This is God's design.  We grow up.  We build our families, training them to grow up and build their families.  It's a good thing and I'm grateful for my daughter's wonderful lives and beautiful families.

But that doesn't mean I don't miss them and the bustling life of homework, and hugs, and ballgames, and youth groups. 

I say all that to try to explain how special our extended visits are and how very much I look forward to them.  This Thanksgiving was extra special because sweet little, not-even two-week-old Owen was with us.

Once I got home after this holiday and all the chaos it included, I found myself feeling kind've sad, kind've blue, and kind've a lot sorry for myself.  Sometimes it feels like I get more than my fair share of the disaster-type stories.  (I used to call them adventures when I didn't want my children to completely melt down.)  I found myself once again wondering why things seem to always go wrong and I often find myself disappointed.

Poor, poor me.

Satan really knows how to hit us when we're down, and I'm sure my physical maladies contributed to my decidedly ungrateful attitude.  Be that as it may, this is a terribly unflattering side of me and I'd kinda prefer to keep my lousy attitude to myself, but it feels a bit hypocritical to prattle on and on about how funny life is and how grateful I am all the time when I'm not, in fact grateful all the time.  I had a little chat with God, and He forgave me for not appreciating all the sheer wonderfulness that He showers me with every. single. day.

..and I feel compelled to share some of that wonderfulness right out loud, so to speak.

(A Thousand Gifts #130-144)

baby toes that wriggle enthusiastically when the socks come off

family whose first line of defense is to laugh with each other when facing the icky

more food than a family of seven can eat and the leftovers that follow

grace undeserved

grown daughters who value time spent with me and with each other

sweet Audrey's unconditional love

my lastborn's home, which is large enough to make us all comfortable...even when not feeling well

able bodies that bounce back from even ugly cold weather illnesses

love all around me

safety in the travels of my loved ones

in-laws who are kindly cooperative in accommodating schedules

peace beyond understanding

neverending hope

sons-in-law who are caring, and patient, and kind, and strong

...and always, always Jesus

Happy, happy Wednesday!

p.s.  If you would like to read from more grateful people feel free to follow the link below.  I guarantee it'll bless you right down to your toes!

holy experience

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