Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thankful Amidst the Realness

I've been reading daily gratitude lists from friends via social media, and my children and I (Mike?? Not so much.) have been faithfully adding to our Traditional November Pantry Door Thankful Papers. Yet, I feel like in spite of all the reminders of our blessings, this week especially has been easy to focus on the things I don't have.

I don't mean, things per se. I mean things like a more organized toy closet, a home for the package of toilet paper that sat in the hall for too many days and dirty clothes placed only in hampers, and nothing but tidy rooms throughout the house.

Enough already.
It's November!
The month of thankfulness and Thanksgiving--my favorite holiday.

Last year for my birthday, my sister-in-law bought this sign for me. I LOVE it. I smiled when I brought it back out on November 1st, and I smile every day when I look at it.

I do have a lot to be thankful for. We all do--those are the things that are easy to add to the Pantry Door Papers. I'm trying to be more grateful for those "other things" that are an invariable part of my life.

Here's an example of what I mean.

  • A tile floor covered with leaves, sand, footballs and jackets means my children enjoy being outside playing.
  • A tile floor with crumbs and food intermixed with the leaves and sand makes me realize the food we have in abundance. Some children would gladly eat those remnants from the floor.
  • Messy bedrooms and undone chores give me the opportunity to teach my children good principles.
  • An on-going challenging relationship with a family member means I have the opportunity for personal growth.
  • Dirty underwear on bedroom floors and discarded socks strewn around the house mean my children understand personal hygiene to some degree, and they are changing their socks and underwear daily.
  • Wet towels on bathroom or bedroom floors also mean they are grasping the hygiene thing.
  • Homework papers covering counter tops mean my children are putting effort into their education.
  • Making homemade lunches gives me the opportunity to provide my children with healthy lunches I know they will enjoy.
  • A husband that has been snoring earlier than usual means he has worked another hard day and is doing his best to provide for our family.
  • Drywall dust covering my bathroom and bedroom reminds me that a desire of mine is being met through the work of others.
  • Having the workers have to come back to fix a mistake will allow me even more time to be patient and accepting of people without "people skills."
  • Music strewn across my pianos and front room reminds me my children are advancing in their musical skills, and helping others advance too.
  • A few extra pounds on the scale tell me I have a husband who often asks me to meet him for lunch or go out to dinner with him.
  • A garage door that doesn't work properly reminds me that at least I have a covered place to park my vehicle on snowy/frosty nights.
  • "Finger lines" through the dust on my black tables, and finger-prints on the back door allow me to daydream of future days when my house will stay cleaner longer.
  • Not being able to see my mud-room floor tells me my children have plenty of jackets, coats and shoes to wear in the colder weather.
  • Being frustrated with my new cell phone makes me appreciate being able to upgrade when the old one wasn't working well.
  • The chaos of the morning routine helps me appreciate the closing of my front door at 8:23am even more than if mornings were peaceful and harmonious.
  • Fixing dinner for my family each night gives me the opportunity to teach them manners and etiquette about responses to food that doesn't quite agree with their palates. 
  • A bar stool slid up to the cupboard where I keep my "secret" chocolate stash gives me the opportunity to share fine chocolate with a 4 year old.

I always have much to be thankful for.
Even if I have to look for it sometimes.


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