We are a month away from November when all the gratitude posts start and I have mixed emotions about them. I love that we take the time to look for things to be grateful for—I mean, really—is it that hard to find 1 thing a day when we’ve been given so much?
It also makes me roll my eyes and makes me want to make a sarcastic list—kind of like this one: http://aroyaltradition.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-non-sappy-thanksgiving.html. And I laugh at my cousin who posts that she’s thankful for vodka (after all—she does have 6 kids!).
BUT….I also have random thoughts on days about things I love that I should probably share. Things that encourage me and may also encourage someone else. You know—those things that make you smile or give you an extra skip in your step, or even bring on a few tears because of the depth of emotion they make you feel.
So, here’s my list…
· Ellie Holcomb’s cd“As sure as the Sun.” I first heard “Broken Beautiful (#3) on the radio and wrote it off as one of those “too happy kind of songs.” And then I listened to the words---------------and they reached me in a dark season. As I’ve moved out of that season, I find that the words to all of the other songs on this cd, speak to me almost as deeply. Maybe because they are all taken from Scripture and talk about the beautiful way God loves us and rescues us and just speak TRUTH.
· My animals. I know this borders on the “roll your eyes” line, but if you know me, you also know I’ve never really considered myself an animal lover. But y’all, I find myself getting offended when people talk about how dirty chickens are. They obviously don’t know mine! And how do you not love 2 big yellow labs who always love any attention you give them? I feel a sense of peace when I’m sitting in the backyard , petting them (yes, chickens DO like to be petted) and my heart overflows with gratefulness.
· Nights at home. I’m a doer. I like to stay busy and absolutely love getting involved in a new cause. But, those nights when we can just eat dinner as a family and watch TV or sit by the fire pit in the backyard? Those fill my soul in a deep way that I need, but don’t realize how desperate I was for them until I have them.
· Amazing women leaders. God has used women in my life in a big way. Which is kinda ironic considering the fact that I haven’t seen my mom since I was 14. He has surrounded me with women who lead and LOVE in so many different ways—some out front, some alongside, and some from behind. Because of the internet, I’m even able to learn from those who live in California and Tennessee and Austin. Women are amazing and watching them step out in faith and owning who they are in Christ makes me feel like I'm gonna burst!
· Having my daughter’s friends over for dinner. Yeah, yeah, yeah--I know I should put out an effort every night to cook a good meal for my family. The reality is that if I do it 2-3 times a week, its success in my book (the other nights are why God gives us leftovers and sandwiches and frozen pizza). On Wednesdays, one of Hope’s friends comes over after volleyball practice and I take them to church. The dynamic of having someone else at our dinner table reminds me of the gift of hospitality God has put inside me. This will sound goofy, but it makes me giddy to plan what we are having and to buy the lemonade she likes and acknowledge to her when she says you bought it for me, didn’t you (in an off-side joking manner) that YES! I did buy it specifically for her. The other element is that I get a front row seat to watching my daughters interact with their friends. I just love it!
· Fridays. Yep. I love Fridays. I love the thought that I have time all alone. I’ve always thought I’m an extrovert. And part of me is—I get lots of energy from being around people. But I also love that time when nobody else is in the house except me and Spot the turtle. I can turn my music up full blast. Or not at all. I can read or clean or text or play cookie jam on my phone. I can write cheesy blog posts. Or dream about what I would say if I were a fabulous blogger.
BY no means is this list exhaustive. And you probably noticed I left out the obvious ones—Jesus, my family, the Bible. Of course those things bring me joy more than anything I’ve listed above. But they border on the sappy and I just can't do them justice in one little blog post. They each deserve their own book.
What things bring you joy? I want to hear about those weird things—not the obvious ones…