A Thankful Heart

Tuesdays are my writing days. My one day each week where I can sit on the couch with my laptop while my children are at school and write and ponder and hit the delete button and write some more…without guilt. I might write again on another day, but the guilt will tag along with it: I should be cleaning; I should be prepping a healthier dinner for tonight; I should be doing something more productive; I should be…

Now, any writers out there will know that setting aside only one day to write isn’t going to make a very productive writer. I get that. Believe me, it’s a source of frustration; but that’s reality for me right now.

That’s also a vent for another day. Today, I’m venting about the fact that too often my one day tends to be stripped from me—especially during this “corner” of the year…which is my favorite time to cuddle up with my thoughts and WRITE! A few weeks ago on a Tuesday, I had a dentist appointment in town, which cut into my time. Last week was Thanksgiving, thus on the Monday and Tuesday before my girls were home for the rest of the week, I needed to run errands and bake, which cut into my time. Even lunches are a pain on Tuesdays: what can I find that’s healthy to eat—but won’t take too much time to make? And how about what I’m doing now—a blog post? How fast can my perfectionist nature get it accomplished so I can move on to my WIP (work-in-progress)?

And if it’s not something physical, than it’s mental—again, the guilt that cloaks my shoulders long after events have happened that draped the guilt there in the first place. I yelled at my child this morning as we got ready for the day; bad mommy. My husband asked me to do a favor for him this morning after dropping the kids off at school and I fussed until he relented and said he’d do it himself; bad wifey. (Now, maybe I’m justified in that last one—it’s my writing day, honey!—but I still feel guilty that I’m selfishly choosing my needs over his needs. Mmm…fodder for yet another post?)

My point is this: I’ve been a crank since Halloween when I saw my schedule stretched out before me and realized how jam-packed it would be for the next three months; how jam-packed it will usually be during these three months. I’m going to have to deal with my attitude on that someday; reality isn’t going to change, so I have to, right? But because I’ve been a crank, I can’t come to the writing table today without doing something to offset it. So since I’m turning 38 next week, I’m going to thank God for 38 things He has blessed me with in and throughout my life. My hope is that announcing all these blessings will blast away the crankiness and I might be emotionally free to enjoy the rest of the day of writing.

This list is random and is in no particular order:

  1. Jesus and His mercy and forgiveness. Makes what I’m doing right now possible.
  2. My hubby, for putting up with my crankiness and complaints and loving me through the mess.
  3. My children, for the laughter and depth of love they bring into my life.
  4. My children, for the struggles they bring into my life—I will eventually be a better person for it. (Once I learn the lessons. 😉 )
  5. My friends, for loving me despite my faults and encouraging me on my moody days.
  6. Firewood, cut and stacked by Hubby within arms’ reach on the back porch (I just stoked the fire).
  7. A warm, well-built house.
  8. The ability to stay home even though my children are both in school.
  9. Christmas decorations.
  10. A 19 ½ year-old Buick Riviera that still works and is reliable. Thank you, Lord!
  11. Good health and the ability to exercise.
  12. My family’s good health year after year. Amazing how we take it for granted, until something small happens (I slept wrong!) and our entire body—and outlook on life—seems to suffer.
  13. My close relationships with my parents, siblings, and extended family.
  14. Childhood Thanksgivings spent at my grandparents’ house in NH that lasted throughout the weekend.
  15. The Internet. 🙂
  16. Well-written books, specifically fantasy and inspirational romance.
  17. My dolls (especially Ellowyne Wilde). 😉
  18. Elk and venison meat in the freezer.
  19. My church family.
  20. Cowboy boots.
  21. Running water.
  22. Hot water.
  23. Dishwashers, washing machines, microwaves—blessed contraptions that make life easier.
  24. My Blu-Ray TV; didn’t think I’d appreciate it as much as I do, but it makes watching Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Avenger series so much fun!
  25. Creativity; I might complain about my ability to create stories, but I have so many Word documents that attest to the opposite.
  26. Knitting needles and wool yarn.
  27. Coffee doused with cream.
  28. Chocolate covered cherries and puppy chow!
  29. Good food and grocery stores with stocked shelves.
  30. iPods and iPhones. 😉
  31. The ability to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel.
  32. Big Sky Country with its beautiful sun rises and sun sets.
  33. Mountain views from my south-facing windows.
  34. Evergreen-forested mountains in NH.
  35. Airplanes and, yes, TSA. Without them, visiting family would be almost non-existent.
  36. Laptops.
  37. Hubby’s job and the fact he enjoys going into work each (okay, most) days.
  38. My kids’ elementary school and the caring staff that greets them every morning.

 

I know a lot of those 38 things were materialistic in nature, but they are blessings God gave me above and beyond my daily needs. And I thank Him for them; they bring a smile to my face—and when some of them don’t work properly, boy, am I appreciative to have them functioning again (plumbing is a beautiful thing, is it not?)!

Thank you, Lord, for meeting my needs every day for the past 38 years and for blessing me with so many things I don’t really need at all…yet it pleases You to give them to me. It pleases You to give so many of us oodles of things we don’t need. Thank you. Please continue to foster in me a grateful, contented heart in a society that is obsessed with always wanting “more.” You are my “more.” May others see that in me, despite my faults and shortcomings, because of my weaknesses and sinful nature, for that’s when and where Your grace is exemplified. I am nothing and I have nothing without You. To You be the glory—always.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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