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Feb 07

Thankfulness … even in chaos

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We’ve been doing a lot of running around this week.  After being home-bound by sickness for way too many days (despite my best efforts, the plague that had stricken the kids eventually caught me as well), the busy-ness was a sort of reprieve, except….

Lots of running around is not my favorite thing.

I mean, I adore watching the kids do things they love.  I do.  I love seeing them so happy in gymnastics class, and at karate, and at Scouts.  I love seeing them light up with interest at the park, or the zoo, or the aquarium.  I love having new adventures, and new experiences, and new interactions.  But, well,  I’m an introvert and a homebody, both of which seemed to have intensified lately.  Too much craziness and I’m off-course and stressed out… desiring nothing more than to have a quiet day at home with my kids and coffee and pens and laptop and sticky notes.

A few weeks ago, we closed on a refinance of our house.  It was a hugely positive move for us financially, and as one of the conditions of the new loan, we needed to commit to staying here for at least five more years.  And I don’t know, between that and the new year and just where I am in life right now, I’ve sort of been… nesting.  Reclaiming my house, and by extension reclaiming a bit of my life.

I’ve also been working hard on practicing my eucharisteo – grace and thankfulness, at all times.  Inspired by the book, One Thousand Gifts, I finally started a list to remind me.

5.  The hot water on my skin when I rinse the dishes

6. The sound of coffee brewing

7.  Fuzzy slipper socks

The more days that pass, the easier it comes:

40.  Shiny kitchen counters

41.  Tegan’s curls peeking out from under the covers.

42.  Colorful yarn

It occurred to me yesterday that it’s a practice that I’m better at when I’m home, in my element, and that that needn’t be the case.  Shouldn’t the fact that I’m running around, driving from here to there, getting too wrapped up in my head… in to-do lists and deadlines and the time on the clock… shouldn’t that be MORE of a reason to be mindful, and present, and focused on the blessings of the moment?

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So when we got home from a wonderfully fun but long day out at the aquarium and the mall, I went straight to my notebook, and out they tumbled:

50.  Singing at the top of our lungs in the car

51.  Random compliments

52.  The kindness of strangers

53.  Soft pretzels smothered in butter and cinnamon sugar

Goodness is out there.  It’s always out there.  Even on the crazy days.  I just have to open my eyes and see it.


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2 comments

  1. Alyssa Catlin

    I’m counting 1000 gifts, too! It has been a huge blessing to find what I am thankful for in the midst of chaos. My list of blessings has been invaluable to look back on when I am frustrated and feeling overwhelmed.

  2. Carrie

    Great post, Jenn! And a confirmation for me too.),..I started my day determined to be thankful all day and not complain or be asking God for help all day (which I do need!), but just to have a thankful attitude. I started listing all the things I’m thankful for. It is surprising how it becomes easy to see even the “little things” like kitchen counters and running water as huge blessings to be thankful for! Then I come here now and read your post….saying the same things I am thinking! This happens all the time! I haven’t read that book yet, but I think I will get it this week.

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