OK, so I am a rebel. Whenever there is an expectation on me I fight to meet it. Whenever there are rules or structure, something in me rebels against it. You might wonder what it is I am talking about. Gratitude Monday, the day in which I write down all the things I have been grateful for in the previous week. I started it on a Saturday, go figure and am doing my next entry on a Tuesday. It just didn’t work out yesterday…. (I tell myself). And yes, I put the expectation on myself that I am pushing against. I know, I am crazy.
But my saving grace is that for most of the people in the world that I know that read this, it’s still Monday. It’s Tuesday morning here in India but Monday night to you. I was just reading a precious book of mine Keep Breathing, written by J’s Aunt. The chapter was on Gratitude. Interestingly enough it was after the chapter on Grief. God has been teaching me about the relationship between grief, brokeness, and gratitude this last week in my QT. I have been really enjoying it. And this morning after my reading I am compelled to contemplate all those things that I am so grateful for.
First off, I was thinking about my friend who I got this idea from. A few years ago she had a baby boy that didn’t make it past two days old. Today she has had another little bundle of joy and is pregnant with her first little girl. It’s amazing to me that she has not only “survived” such a horrible thing but is thriving and being used by God in great ways. I started thinking of my two little ones I lost, how old they would be, what they would be like. Longing comes into my heart for that beautiful day I will meet them. Then gratitude comes next. I have Vange to hold and cuddle and enjoy. I appreciate her to a depth that I didn’t even know about when A and M were babies. I appreciate them too. I hold them, say I love you, say I am sorry, play games, read, look in on them while they are sleeping, ask them what they are thinking and feeling, rub there back at nightime, all a little more.
I am grateful for how this move is going to change me. I know because of this it will be painful to return home, as a favorite song says “the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I have learned, those roads were closed off to me while my back was turned.” But painful as it may be, I am already thankful for the way in which I get to depend on God more deeply than I did in my comfortable California life. I am learning more about him, and getting so many opportunities to “die to myself”.
Speaking of “dying to myself”, I came across this quote that was a little smack in the face that I am grateful for.
I keep it on my desktop to remind me several times a day. Cause I do get a little self absorbed several times a day, ok most of it.
I am thankful for my husband that holds the “breakfast screaming child” and feeds her so that I can eat a warm breakfast. It is such a great way to start off a mother’s day. He does this every morning at the expense of a warm breakfast for himself. He sets such a great example for me of being selfless, and consistantly so.
I am grateful for my 4 year old ( whose age we are reminded of daily) son’s desire to hug me and come asking for a back rub to get his Mama’s touch. I am tempted to complain about this one. He no longer accepts my kisses because my “germs” grose him out intensly. We are still working on his hypocracy, he will pick ANYTHING up off the ground to inspect it.
I am so grateful for A’s desire to hang out with me. This may not always be the case, but she comes up to me at least a few times a day and says ” do somthing with me mom, lets play a game or color together.” She even likes to match me in dress. How long will I have this pleasure?
And even though it sends a little “ping” to J’s heart, I am grateful that whenever Vange is not with me she reaches out for me and says “Mama?”
I am thankful for the invention of mosquito repellent. Or we would all be covered from head to toe in something resembling chicken pox. And trying desperately not to itch ourselves into Malaria or Denge Fever.
I am thankful for our new friend that is finding us a place to live and his son who is helping J get hooked up with cell phones. Who knew that God had such an important and busy person in mind for our first friend here, the Grand Mufti.
I am so thankful that the traffic here is not as crazy as other Indian cities, because most likely My hubby will be getting a motorcycle to get around town. And I won’t fear him getting crunched my a rickshaw or bus.
And lastly I am so thankful for God’s word that is alive and powerful in the lives of it’s readers and followers. What a blessing to have a resource to get direction and encouragement and fresh stimulation from! And God’s spirit that helps show us scripture in fresh ways.