Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Common Blessings

The Bible says, " ... (Melissa) give thanks in all things for this is God's will for you!" On Thanksgiving  Day,  amidst the baking and the yummy food and great music and company, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my circumstances. Last Thanksgiving we had just heard that John was being promoted, as  of 1/1/2010, and would receive a teacher salary! This was huge since he actually took a pay cut from Home Depot to work as an aid at the middle school. I  remember how ecstatic I felt that Thanksgiving. There was such joy, such excitement, such promise, such elation -- John was finally going to be a teacher! To top that off we were going to be having our little girl in just a few months - life as I knew it couldn't have been better.

Thanksgiving 2010 should be just as exciting! That little blue eyed girl was finally here, no more waiting or bed-rest! She blesses us with her "full body" smiles and flood of cooing - she is now pulling herself up on furniture and is so proud when she stacks blocks! John's teaching job is a perfect fit for his personality, He is thriving as a second year special education teacher. This Thanksgiving there is even more to celebrate and be thankful for, yet the awe and wonder from last year is missing. The job and healthy child weren't as exciting as they once had been. Its as if my brain had gotten use to them - the job, paycheck, child, plain life had become mundane and expected. This is when I realized that there will always be common blessings in my life, if I would have been jobless or homeless or food-less this Thanksgiving I would have been ecstatic to be gifted shelter or a meal or a job, but because I already had those things I had taken them for granted.

So my Thanksgiving list tonight comes from a deep desire to thank the Lord for all my Common Blessings - know, Lord Jesus, that I do not take this roof over my head or shoes on my feet for granted. You are  the  Giver of all things and I am blessed to have just one common blessing - yet  you have seen fit to create an entire note card front and back filled with common blessings! I love you Lord and am so Thankful for life and the privilege to serve You.

634.This beautiful home that is keeping me warm on this gusty Fall day. How cold I would be right now if I wasn't able to turn on my heat, climb under my covers, sip a cup of my favorite tea (with Vanilla creamer of course) and read a good book. If I wasn't blessed with a home my children would be homeless, they wouldn't have a shelter from the storm of life, they wouldn't have a place to gather around the table and fellowship together. All their toys and books wouldn't exist, their warm beds that Daddy made wouldn't great them every night reminding them of the love their Daddy has for them. Where would Daddy sit and have devotionals? Gabe wouldn't have his common little ritual placing the sticky note (bookmark) in a nook above the bottom bunk bed! Our children wouldn't have a yard to run around in or a light post to run to on wiggly mornings when they don't want to focus on school work. Their minds would be taken captive by worry and anxiety instead of being captivated by their wild and sometimes cooky imaginations.  
Lord, thank you for this home, a place to worship, unite, keep warm, share life, and share messes. I am so blessed to have this shelter, please forgive me for the way I complained about my stained up carpet, dirty walls with dark jelly smears or husbands greasy hands that used those walls for balance. I'm sorry I complained about the tile always looking dirty because the grout is white and impossible to keep clean with three little ones. Instead I should be thankful that I have a husband who works hard to get grease on his hands, or that my children have jelly to put on their bread, or tile that I'm blessed to be able to clean instead of dirt floors like 99% of the worlds population. I should be thanking you for three little blue eyed blessings who dirty up this house because they live here,  they learn here, they play here, they do LIFE here. I am humbled and ashamed for my complaints, please forgive my heart for coveting silly and worthless things instead of being thankful for my everyday blessings.

635. A job working from home is a blessing most women would consider a luxury. I've been home since before I had children, working from this office at the same desk with the same spreadsheets, talking to the same people. Lord, forgive me for complaining about my job, this wonderful job that kept us afloat while John went to school, that blesses us with stability and income. That income allows for preschool for the kids, a car that is my own, luxuries like coffee in the mornings and gym memberships!  Most days I complain to myself, I want to be that mom who attends play dates or has the whole afternoon to do whatever she would like. I grumble to my husband about not having enough time (time for what?) Yet, I am so blessed. What was I thinking Lord, why do I constantly want to be like others instead of embracing what incredible blessings I already have? You know what I would do with all that "free" time I so desperately think I need - I'd waste it, invest less, idle more, spend less time with my children and invest in the unimportant. I am a great procrastinator, the one thing that forces me to get things accomplished is the fact that I don't have any free time, I have to use each second for investing in the priorities before me. Thank you for this job, it is so wonderful to  work for the top dog of my company, to do the same things every month, to make my own hours and  to spend my evenings using my brain instead of vegging in-front of the TV (which I do on occasion and it feels heavenly!) watching things I know the Lord wouldn't be please with. Lord, I'm so sorry I have a bad attitude the beginning of each month when I once again have to close another month - what have I closed, something like 134 months so far? It feels mundane, repetative, yet its just what you have called me to do. My job keeps me focused on  the important, keeps me busy so I can't idly watch life pass me by. I am a blessed mommy to raise my children during the  day and work evenings to keep me from idly wasting this life away. Sure there is more I'd like to do, better homeschool lessons, more time outside, etc, but I know that if I had more time I'd probably not use it the way I need too! This time right now is for me to practice and master discipline, so maybe someday I'll have more "free" time and I'll fill it with more investments instead of wasted time that I'll never get back.

636. Smiles from my children are a common occurrence around here! I am so sorry Lord that I took the health of my children for granted. The fact that they are all walking and  talking is a blessing many aren't able to have. I'm sorry I complain about the sleepless nights while Abby fussed because of the RSV or the times I got so frustrated (angry)  that I couldn't just leave her in childcare like I did with the boys. I am truly blessed to be a mother, let alone a mother of three! Forgive me for my selfishness and help me to be more thankful for those nights when I stay up rocking a sick child or giving another breathing treatment. 

637. Feeding time around our house seems to happen constantly! I am so blessed to have food in my fridge, tummy's that are well nourished, and a grocery store just a few miles  away. Lord, forgive me for my grumbling about making dinner at night or wiping another table or high chair tray or crumb covered face, I couldn't imaging having my children in front of me and explaining to them while their tummy's grumbled that there wouldn't be any food to eat. I would feel like a failure as a mother if I had to watch them suffer and starve. How careless of me to complain and wish for take out instead of spending 20 minutes whipping up a home cooked meal (though we do take out once in a while too and I don't feel too guilty!). Lord, thank you for our abundance of food, the almond milk Gabers loves to ask for all day, or the Good Morning tea the boys love to drink that take a whole extra 5 minutes to make in the morning. Thank you for the coupons and pantry full of food that I whip together into a warm meal! Thank you that my husband comes home to a warm meal most evenings and we get to commune together over the table and talk about life.  I am blessed beyond measure, I can't believe there are still tons of common blessings still to share, I already feel too blessed! I'll have to save Part 2 for tomorrow!

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