I’ll be honest. This just hasn’t been a very great week. Things could definitely be worse, of course; no real tragedy has struck. But those “little things” are, frankly, beginning to irritate the happy right out of my attitude.
Last night I came across a blog hop called “Friday Reflections.” If you wish to participate, you choose one of their weekly prompts and write a post to share. Well, can I just say my initial reaction was “None of the Above, Thank You!”
- Write a book review. I would be happy to do that, if I had been able to complete a book! My summer of reading upteen dozen books for sheer enjoyment hasn’t worked out quite as I planned.
- What does my face show? I just don’t want to go there. Not this week.
- Choose an old photo and write about it. Sounds good, except that will take mental energy I’m not sure I can muster. Aaaand…my computer is dead (see below 😡 ), so this may not be possible.
- 10 things I am grateful for this week. Hahaha! My mind immediately went into sarcastic mode, because that is just what I do when I’m irritable. I get snarky. If you didn’t know that about me already, pretend I didn’t enlighten you and just go on thinking nice things about me…your ignorance about me is definitely to my benefit!
My facetiousness quickly began to give way to a little deeper thought and even some humor. So here is my initially-snarky-now-sincere list of 10 unexpected places I have found gratitude this week.
1. My spry old cat that can still move very quickly. This is the cat who sneaks into any unguarded water source. Yesterday that unguarded water source was a glass of water…sitting next to my open Mac Book computer…which is now in teepee position for 72 hours while I anxiously pray it will dry out and recover. Am I thankful that cat was quick enough to attack and spill that glass of water on my Mac in the 15 seconds my back was turned? Um, no! But I am glad she was able to get out of my reach so quickly — I really would hate to be responsible for her demise in a moment of angry panic. Because possible destruction aside, I really do love the little beast.
2. This crappy old computer I am using right now. The one that keeps shutting down in the middle of my work. The one with the cursor that jumps unbidden all over the screen, so I never know where I am actually typing (please excuse any typos!). The one that is allowing me to type (albeit with difficulty), because the more I write, the better I feel. Fly fingers, fly, before this crippled machine shuts down again!
3. The really rotten mood I was in yesterday afternoon. Which prompted Michaela to bring me flowers. She and said flowers arrived just after above mentioned cat potentially destroyed my computer. Perfect timing.
4. These yellow flowers. These red polka dots. This dairy farm milk bottle. And I am thankful for the daughter who gave me the yellow flowers yesterday, who was with me when I bought the red polka dots two months ago, and who was with me when we visited the dairy 14 years ago.
5. All the money it costs to send my daughter to college. Because of what she is learning, I spent my afternoon sitting at our kitchen table, with those beautiful flowers in front of me, talking through how she is going to take my DIY-looking blog and turn me into a professional. Well, okay…she will at least give me a logo. I guess there are some things money just can’t buy.
6. Jerks who make my husband’s job incredibly difficult. Whoa, that makes me sound like the chief jerk, wouldn’t you say? Hear me out for just a sec, though. These “jerks” are making us grow in so many ways (most of which we really don’t desire!). We are forced to look beyond the surface to the motives and ideas beneath. I am forced to really listen to my husband, to understand what he must go through day in and day out, to be more patient than I would ordinarily be (sorry, Honey, I know I still have a long way to go!). He is forced to make decisions that will uphold or destroy his integrity, and his integrity still stands. It may be ugly, and it may even have a bad outcome, but his integrity stands. And when people ask him about that, he can (and has!) pointed them back to his faith in God, and the strength and grace He provides.
7. Pain. As I keep trying to make it through the Couch to 5K program, I am being repeatedly derailed by extreme pain — first in my shins, then ankles, my hip, and even both shoulders (which has nothing to do with running but I thought I would throw it in there for a little sympathy! 😉 ). I have been doing this since the beginning of June, but because of forced breaks to allow various parts of this old body to heal, I am just starting week 2. The upside for which I am thankful? I keep repeating weeks because of the breaks I have to take, but at least by the time I move to the successive week, my stamina is better! I guess I shouldn’t be this optimistic after repeating week 1 four times, but there is always a silver lining, no matter how small the sliver!
8. The piles of laundry lining my hallway and bedroom floor. A) We have plenty of clothing for every circumstance. B) We had wonderful friends visiting for several days so I couldn’t do laundry. Shucks.
9. The wrinkles on my face. It took a whole lot of laughter to cause this many wrinkles at such a young (ahem!) age. I was listening to a podcast study of Joshua this morning, and Jen Wilkin refers to the good boundaries God has given us, and even calls our wrinkles part of those boundaries (nope, not kidding; yes, you do need to listen to this!). When I think of boundaries, I immediately think of maps. The wrinkles on my face are a map of the people and events that have given me joy in this life. Why wouldn’t I be thankful for that reminder every. single. day??
10. The freckles on my face. The freckles I hated as a kid. While we are at it, let’s add the age spots on my arms. When I was a teenager, I told my dad I was jealous of his perpetual tan. He responded, “Honey, this is not a tan; all my freckles have just finally grown together.” Guess what? I now have a bit of a perpetual tan, too!
My happy was almost gone when I started writing this. Surprise! It’s back! “Why Not?” look for a little gratitude in some unexpected (let’s just be honest, some pretty negative) places today? Nobody wants to walk around without their happy!
Thank you, Janine and Mackenzie, for helping me find my gratitude, and my happy, today.
This post has been featured on: