Tonight I had an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness. This is strange since I was cleaning the house to get ready for a baby shower tomorrow. I don't normally have feelings of thankfulness when I clean. Yet, as I was mopping my kitchen floor listening to my favorite Andrew Peterson songs I was thinking, "I love this kitchen." It's not finished, there are still things we want to do to it, but I am so thankful for this house we have been able to turn into a home over the last year. I'm especially glad it is this year and not last year since we still had all the hard work ahead of us this time last year!
These feelings of thankfulness have been coming more regularly lately. I don't think it's by chance as we started a monthly thankfulness list this year. Those who have been around me for a while know that I did this by myself a few years ago. I decided I wanted to do it as a family this year. We've been noticing the little things around here that we have to be thankful for - tissues, water, heat. It's amazing what it has done for our family morale.
January is always our month to slow down a little after the craziness of the holidays and before the madness of spring hits. It's our time to play a few more board games on Saturdays, dance together in the kitchen, hit a few more baseballs at the park, take a slightly longer nap than normal. It's a good time, but I'm interested to see how our list carries us through the other times of the year. I'm pretty sure thankfulness changes us over time.
So tonight I'm going to let the thankfulness flow. I'm thankful I have a beautiful floor to mop. I'm thankful for my husband who laid each and every board. I'm so very thankful that I have a home I can invite people in to.
I'm thankful for new life to celebrate and friends to celebrate it with. I love this little community I've been placed in. These people of mine serve one another, bring each other meals when we're sick, Starbucks when we have hurt backs. We run each other's kids places when our own schedules or health just won't allow it. We cry for each other when our parents die. We stay up late at each other's houses watching movies and catching up on shows. We laugh around each other's dinner tables. We talk about how to parent. Sometimes we just listen when life stinks. We do life together - the good and the bad.
I'm thankful this community isn't just like an exclusive country club only a few can be a part of. While we do take care of each other, I've watched this circle grow bigger and bigger over the years as this community reaches out to others.
I'm thankful I'm going to get to teach 4 amazing 10th grade girls in Sunday school tomorrow. I'm thankful that they make me laugh. I'm thankful we are part of a church that is not afraid to discuss the hard questions and even more that we're okay with saying, "I just don't know." I'm extremely thankful my own children are growing up in this environment.
There is so much joy to be found. I know it doesn't always feel like it on Monday morning when all of the pressure of work comes back to you, or when you're sitting by the hospital bed having to say good-bye too soon. People I'm close to have some real pain in their lives right now, but God is still good. I pray that counting these blessings will allow my family to carry that assurance in our hearts no matter what comes next.