Monday, June 29, 2015

practicing thankfulness


Sometimes when both kids are down for their naps and I'm doing housework or blogging (if I'm lucky), I forget that not everyone else is doing the same thing.  Some of you are actually out among the living at 3:00 p.m. on a regular basis.  So today I was thinking, where is everyone in their various 3:00 p.m.s right now?  While I'm sure that a lot of us are living our usual and predictable days and are perfectly fine with it, there are also a good amount of us that are just over today.  Some of you are grumpy, unmotivated, HOT (and we've only just began, Oklahoma), and plain exhausted. 

My day has had plenty moments of the typical chaos, but I'm still above water (as of now).  I'm feeling good about life.  But last night I was fighting the Sunday Sads.  I was tired just thinking about the upcoming week.  But then I felt guilty for complaining about it, so I tried to be thankful.  But then I felt insincere in my thankfulness because how could I be thankful when all I'm doing is griping?

I remember telling my Sunday School teacher in middle school that all I wanted was to be married and have kids.  (An example of the true desperation that only comes from being in middle school.) Thankfully, I didn't skip all of those steps in between.  I'm pretty sure my 13 year old self would've made for a pretty lousy wife and mom!

Anyway.  My point is that I am living my dream life.  I am doing everything that I had hoped to be doing at my age.  Even with the ear infections, tantrums, and bad nap days, I've also got singing songs with my kids, spinning around in the living room, letting bubbles from the bubble machine land all over us, and kissing two amazing and precious kiddos before tucking them in bed.  I get to do that?  Yes.  Thank you, God.

This is the truth:  Life can be hard and we can still be thankful.  We can job searching, house searching, grieving loss, parenting 2 little people, giving every last drop we have in our 9-5 job ... yet still thankful.  Being thankful doesn't mean you're promising to love and enjoy every piece of your life at every moment.  It doesn't mean you'll never have a bad attitude.  Life can be simultaneously rough and beautiful. 

There is no pressure associated with being thankful.  We do not have to either be perfectly thankful 100% of the time or not thankful at all.  Being okay with that middle ground is hard if you're like me.  Just because I may still complain or have miserable days or need breaks doesn't mean I'm not thankful alongside all of it. 

Thankfulness doesn't naturally increase or decrease with our circumstances.  We choose thankfulness.  We practice thankfulness.  So last night, in the middle of my Sunday Sads, I decided to be thankful.  Sure, I wasn't really looking forward to the laundry or the grocery shopping I needed to do today, but I was still thankful.  There is freedom in knowing that I can be all of that at the same time.  And so can you.

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