not so grateful.

i wanted to check in here before the week screams ahead of me, this fantastic holiday week.  we’re hosting thanksgiving for 29 people in our living room this year.  eek!!  the tables are fresh, the turkey is ready for pick-up, & my cousins are bringing pie.  truly a fortunate week.  {on a side note, i’ve never been so glad to be a minimalist:  pull the couch downstairs, shove the keyboard in girl’s room, carry the reading basket to the basement, & voila!  dining hall.  badda bing, badda boom.}thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  i don’t yet have to conjure gift lists to check off again, no fudge to stir yet, no what-am-i-going-to-get-my-mother-in-law.  just dinner.  dinner – one of my favorite things – with family around & some thoughts thrown down toward gratitude.  except that this year, i’ve not really gotten around to the gratitude part.

& i can tell i am less when i forget gratitude.

the truth is, as much as i want to be grateful, i’m just not very good at it.  like how i’ve always wanted to run a (half) marathon, but i don’t actually run (i used to.  lay off.)  i forget to say “thank You” for the everyday things:  the sun warm in the window & my cozy bed with little tiny boys sleeping against my shoulder & just even waking up at all in the morning.  it takes time to note these things, & frankly, i’ve got better things to do.

right?

i also forget to say “thank You” for the big ticket items.  like praise sweet Jesus that i’m not sick when every other member of my family was throwing up this week, or that the sick we had isn’t something far worse, because it could be, you know.  plenty of people have it worse, & if i can turn my cute little nose (it actually is.  ask anyone.) away from those more affluent, more talented, more beautiful than i am, i can actually look my life gratefully in the eye.

but then, hello, there are the rotten things that i absolutely never think to say thanks for. because, obviously.  they’re awful.  losing my hair.  andy losing his job.  uprooting & finding ourselves strangers YET AGAIN in a foreign land (WI).  (kind of just kidding.)

i read ann voskamp a couple years ago, & in her NY times best-seller One Thousand Gifts she encourages a body to say thanks to God for everything.  because that’s how the apostle paul laid it down in the new testament:  “in everything, give thanks;  this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  (1 thess 5:18).

but that’s a terrible idea.

except that it isn’t, & that’s the gig, right?  i didn’t know i could say “thanks” for puke.  that’s ridiculous.  but if i had gotten my head around a simple “thank you,” i know my brainwave would’ve changed.  instead of fear gripping my tiny heart, or frustration, i could’ve sat squarely in the peace of a quiet house with sick kiddos, reading a book to them by the white noise of the humidifier diffusing lavendar oil into the air.  which we did for awhile.  but i also slugged around a hefty slab of harumph along with a bazillion loads of laundry up & down the stairs.  this was not what i had in mind when i looked out into the week & saw a blank slate. heck, no.  a full week of stomach flu will not ever be on my agenda.  (duh.)

but that’s where we land, the challenge of thanksgiving.  God has done the whole world for me, & will keep on doing it.  that’s who He is.  & i can either keep harumphing at the things i don’t like, or i can turn my hands up & offer a “thanks”.  the sick wasn’t so bad, & the really rotten things?  it turns out they’re turning out, in their own way.  & really, i don’t know what the heck is going on down here.  i mean, when the plan changes, i could actually be grateful that i’m not powerful enough to have screwed it up.  i ought to be jazzed that my will doesn’t win.

my life:  a little like this old candleholder.  kind of screwed up but hopefully shining a light anyway.  

anyway, that’s what i’m thinking about, as the kids are playing pool behind me & making our basement into a nightclub (lights low, cheese on a plate with toothpicks.  i don’t know what they’ve been watching, but whatever.).

i just wanted you to know if you wrestle with feeling grateful this week, you’re not alone.  i get it.  & thanks.  thanks for keeping it real.

i think this thanksgiving’s gonna rock.

happy t-day my friends.
XO.
~jill.

4 thoughts on “not so grateful.

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