Thursday, September 8, 2016

Count Your Blessings

We were sitting with my parents on Labor Day, when my husband remarked, "all in all, I'd say we had a really good summer."

I punched his arm and was like...what? If this summer is his version of really good, I'd hate to experience his really bad.

But, it did get me thinking.

We've had quite the summer. Hard things. So.many.hard.days.

And yet, sprinkled through the really hard, was so many small graces. So many things to be thankful for.

And because of that, here is my thankful list for today...

I'm thankful for my neighbor who has a green thumb and loves to garden. And weed. Huh? Crazy! I can back from my week long vacation in August to a beautifully tended front flower garden. It was weeded, and trimmed, and dead-headed. And it looked glorious.

I'm thankful for fresh flowers. I know-I'm always thankful for fresh flowers. They hit every one of my thankful lists... I'm thankful for cheap bouquets that I can split between vases in my dining room and bedroom, so that I can see their beauty almost anywhere I am in my house. And I love to stop and smell the roses. Literally. I love their scent. I think roses smell like rain.

Again, all photo credits in this post go to the amazing Josh Rexford
I am thankful for Shauna Niequist's new book, Present Over Perfect. Her writing style makes me smile. And the truths in the book are encouraging and challenging. I've particularly been challenged about being as opposed to doing. I've had to physically rest more this summer than probably any time in my entire life. This book is encouraging me to keep the rest going. Priorities have been a recurring theme in our year. God-marriage-kids-everything else. We've filtered and filtered through that order. One of the truths of the book is to know your purpose and your priorities. It gives a lot of freedom. My purpose is to glorify God. My priorities are what I listed. As we sift through activities and opportunities, using the template of glorifying God through our relationship with Him, through our marriage, through our parenting, and then through everything else, things become more simple.

I'm thankful for our local Gilda's Club. Gilda's Clubs are free, safe, support places for entire families as they grieve and/or go through cancer. I love that there are age appropriate groups for each of my kids. Each group is run by a certified counselor, who guides them in discussions as well as has fun activities for them to do. Plus, dinner is provided. What's not to love about that?

I'm thankful that it is school time again. That we are back into routine, back to learning new things.

I am thankful for another good week for Meres. No side effects this week. And still another (almost) 2 weeks until her next chemo treatment. This week and last week has been a breath of fresh air. A time of peace and rest between rough patches.

I'm thankful for our local children's hospital. For the competent and friendly staff. For it's really good rating among children's hospitals in the country. For is proximity to my house. I can get from my front door to the oncology floor, with parking and check-in, in 20  minutes. This is a great blessing.

I am thankful that I finally branched out into skinny jeans. Okay, so I still am all about my the bigger the flare the better jeans, but skinnies are quite comfortable. I'm also thankful for a cute denim shirt dress from Old Navy, and some new tunics from Goodwill and Marshalls.

I'm thankful that I can be working out in the morning again. We've been getting up at 5:20 several mornings a week, and going to the gym. I bike for 30 minutes, and then do weight machines and stretching for another 30 minutes. I work up a good sweat and watch the news. Which is ridiculous. Seriously. Last week, Monday-Wednesday, they basically recycled the same 3-4 stories over and over and over again. Sigh... The exercise is helping my knee heal. I feel less stiff in the mornings. Ready to rumble. I'm eager to run and swim again, but I am quite content to pedal away on the stationary and recumbent bikes.

I'm thankful for our new computer. We invested in a 27" iMac for school (and business). The display is huge, the sound is far superior to our old computer, and everything is crisp looking. I love it.

I am thankful for air conditioning. Very thankful! We have had a hot and humid summer, and the AC has saved my sanity.

I'm thankful for friendship and community. Our people have surrounded us with so much love and support, meals and prayers, visits and cards, babysitting and fellowship. I have never felt as cared for by the people of God. It is a very healing situation.

I am thankful to be teaching Sunday School again. I love teaching. I love telling stories. I love interacting with the kids. It's my jam. My goal this year is to dig a bit deeper with my students. Every story in the Bible is there to teach us about God-who He is, what He does, and what His plan is for the world- and to teach us about us-who we are and what God wants us to do. I am going to pick the kids' brain each week to see what they heard from the story along those lines.

I am thankful for sunshine and rain. Both are necessary. Both have had their place this summer.

I am thankful for anniversaries and trips with my husband. I don't take anniversaries for granted. Each year that clicks past represents it unique challenges and rewards. We celebrated our 15th anniversary last month. Since August was a bit booked for us, we are taking 4 days next week to celebrate. I know, I know...we did the cruise for our anniversary. That's what I told Mr. Hippie too. But, thankfully, he overruled my objections, and we are booked to fly to South Carolina, and spend some time in Asheville. Sans offspring. Whoot!

I am thankful for the ability to walk with out crutches or a brace. The ability to walk up and down stairs. Being able to carry things for myself again.

I'm thankful for the ocularist who is making Meres' new eye. And that it will be ready tomorrow. She is always beautiful to me, and she has had no problem with her "pink"eye, but I think we are all excited about the new eye.

I am thankful for campfires. There is nothing to be compared with the scent of burning wood. It speaks autumn to me.

Well, I'm sure I could go on and on for a long while more, but you deserve a medal if you've made it this far.

What would make your thankful list today?