Counting my Blessings

I woke today at 5AM to the sound of Lulu’s beginning cry and the sun absolutely pouring into our living room windows as I stepped out to make her a bottle. She has been occasionally gifting me with a night of near full sleep (only waking to request I pop her ‘paci’ back into her mouth) and skipping feedings till 4 or even 6AM now and today was one of those days. Ron woke as I began to feed her, left the room for a moment and then came back, lay in bed behind me and whispered “I love you sweet Mom” as he rubbed my back softly…Really? Could life be any sweeter?

I decided to stay awake after settling little Lulu back into her play yard (she’s outgrown her beautiful Zen bassinet and for now is sleeping in the play yard with blankets draped and safety pinned around and atop to keep the sun and cold A/C air out)! I heard Ron unloading the dishwasher for me (it’s the little things that say “I love you” and waking to an empty dishwasher is awesome) and wanted to kiss him before he headed off to work. Planning to make today better than the last.

Yesterday was an ‘off’ day due in part to hormones (I hate to even admit that) and the rest by a no-show Craig’s list buyer (grrr…pet peeve that got the best of me) followed by grand plans that never came to be. I tried to overcome it but the 90 degree heat and low lying cloud coverage only made me feel more drained as my list of to do’s hung even lower over my head and the girls’ seemed to mirror my ‘blahness’, begging me to entertain them every 15 minutes. Yes, “Mama said there’d be days like this…”
In the end, I managed to make an apparently outstanding salmon cake dinner (my first and receiving huge applause from Ron…which means a lot since he is the ultimate food critique) and by bedtime, all was right with the world again. However, today the sun is shining, the birds are literally chirping (quite loudly) on the back deck and since we have a meeting with the girls’ homeschool program in town this Afternoon, we are also going to tend to some errands and schedule in some fun to make up for the ‘yuck’ of yesterday!

I always feel blessed. Some days more than others, but I always feel blessed…now. It didn’t use to be this way. I recall as a child, teen (and sadly even beyond) literally numbering all my ailments and reasons why I was justified to feel down. I remember at one point finding almost 10 physical things wrong (some big, some small) and countless other little things wrong in my life and telling myself “See? You should cry! Look at your poor state!”
Does everyone do this (or was I the only one throwing serious pity parties as a young girl)?! I tell you, with three little girls in tow, I pray that I remember this in a few years and can pull them out of the pit when they too are wallowing in it. Oh, Lord help me!
The funny thing is that today my list of complaints could be MUCH longer, if my spirit remained in the state it was in back then… If I still felt entitled to something better and if I still compared myself to the lie that the grass is greener in my friends life and that somehow I’ve been shunned. Shudder.
No, my list has probably not changed much (though I can’t say I let myself even check it anymore to compare) but what has changed is my new list. My list of blessings, my list of miracles, my list of ‘God sightings’ in my own life…now THAT list is impressive, worthy of my time to review and an amazingly humbling reminder of what an awesome creator, loving father, teacher, healer and God I live for.
This list crushes my old one, laughs at my petty complaints, lifts my burdens and fills my soul with a gratitude that no complaint can diminish. This list is endless, countless and never ending…I just didn’t know to look till I asked God to show me and opened my eyes to all that He has touched in my life. Amazing…Freeing.

So I no longer believe the lie that I am oppressed and reserve the right to wallow in the depths. I now see the truth of the blessed life I live, amidst this imperfect world. Oh, what is that missionary’s quote? (I heard it in the “Experiencing God” Bible study)…
Something like, “If life is a race, I want to reach heaven completely exhausted, used up and spent doing Christ’s work on earth”.
I love that sentiment and remind myself of it when I feel, ‘used up and spent’ just by raising up our little ones or simply going about my day with an achy, tired body!
The time we are given is so short and there is SO much need! I am blessed to be a small part and can only pray that when this life does end that I will hear those sweet, sweet words…”Well done, my good and faithful one” YES!

So I hadn’t intended on writing any of this. See? This is what happens when I wake at 5AM, enjoy a double-strong cup (or two…teehehe) of coffee, spend an hour reading the Bible and praying and look around our beautiful, little home…peaceful with all the kids sleeping peacefully and begin to write!

Life can be tiring, exhausting and downright discouraging but it can also be blessed, lovely, wonderful and inspiring. It just depends upon which list you find yourself referring to most often!

Gratitude turns what we have into enough