It's not so hard to keep a list of gifts--of things you love. What's harder is to write down the things you don't immediately love and see them as gifts. What's harder still is to start thinking of gifts and speaking thanks--out loud--when the stress mounts.
I'm learning. It really works. In moments when I am frazzled and frustrated, when my heart is seething and my natural inclination is to wallow in "ooh, I hate this," I am increasingly experiencing the grace to choose gratitude instead. "Fight feeling with feeling," as Ann says...it's hard to speak thanks and simultaneously feel resentment.
This week I am thanking God for...
1631. grace to speak those thanks in desperate moments
1632. friends who preach the gospel to me
1633. fresh strawberries bought at the roadside
1634. preschooler constantly asking for help
1635. enough dirty clothes for a full load
1636. death (birds, flowers) right alongside spring's beauty, reminding me that we are not Home yet
1637. dirty diapers
1638. old emails deleted
1639. a huge anthology of Thomas the Train stories from the library--epic win
1640. brilliant writers keeping me company while I nurse
1641. playdate at the park with friends
1642. babies lying on a blanket in the shade
1643. pushing kids on swings
1644. big red rubber ball
1645. first strawberry shortcake of the season
1646. my guys' delight in eating it
1647. khaki bermuda shorts
1648. a faithful, loyal husband
1649. Elijah imitating me (*facepalm*) at a completely appropriate moment, making me laugh when I was frustrated and annoyed
1650. the nonsense rhymes he makes up to go with Jude's name
1651. Jude's white-blond hair
1652. Elijah's unprompted gratitude: "Fank you, Mom! Fank you, God, for da stwawberries!"
1653. daylight lasting longer and longer
1654. mercies new, fresh starts
1655. excited splashing in the bathtub
1656. familiar faces at the farmers' market
1657. lettuce, green onions, shallots, thyme
1658. chickens devouring cicadas
1659. answered prayers for a three-year-old to be brave
1660. old photos of Elijah