A Grateful Heart is a Happy Heart
This little patch of internet that I call home is approaching its five year anniversary this fall. I cannot link back to those first posts because unfortunately, I closed down my old blogspot home. I regret that. Many of my readers are new, but the old faithful followers who were with me in the BlogSpot days will remember my journey through gratitude (followed by my journey through grace).
I took the challenge issued by Ann Voskamp to count 1000 things for which I am grateful, 1000 gifts from God to me. I transformed sketchbooks into gratitude journals and counted so far beyond 1000, I kept losing track and finally gave up numbering and went to bullet points.
This journey deep into the practice of gratitude was transformative for me. It brought so much unforeseen joy and fullness of presence. I never felt more alive, more joyful, more mindful, or more humbled than those times of chronicling daily gratitude. It also brought a multitude of laughs, priceless journal entries of kid cuteness. Recently, Abby and I fetched one and belly-laughed over the funny things she and Ben said. I never would have recorded those things if it wasn’t for my gratitude journey.
I’m slowly trying to return to that practice. It’s so much harder now, with more little ones. Yet, I feel like it’s even more important now. Time flows faster with more grains of sand in our family. Not an hour goes by that I don’t marvel at something, but the minutes to write and record are few.
So I don’t know what it looks like, in real life, or on this blog. But I want to revisit the intentional habit of gratitude. I don’t deserve the life I’ve been given, my friends or my family, but truly I am grateful. For these and more:
- that one sweet, impossibly wispy curl that undulates from the side of Susanna’s little head
- how Isaac walked into the kitchen while I was a hot mess of dinner preparation and said, “Mommy? Mommy? I love you.”
- Ben calling to me from the back of the van, “Mom! I have to tell you this: I am IN LOVE with Abby. I am serious.”
- little baby bottom wagging out of the room and around the corner to see what the boys are up to
- Tim sending me to lunch alone after a poopy morning (yes, pun unfortunately intended)
- Isaac finding a piece of chalk and me finding his mark all over the house
- How, when offered a sugar cookie, he says, “I wike sugars on cookie.”
- Ben telling me, “Mommy! You are a genius, like a scientist!”
- Marbles in the jar for good deeds, kind words, helpful little hands, and then Isaac asks if he can put one in for eating his ice cream and Oreo
- How he says “you’s” instead of “your,” “Mommy can I play Legos on you’s bed?”
- Abby to me: “What year were you born?” Me: 1983 Abby: “Whoa! That’s waaaaay a long ways before 2014! You’re an old lady!”
- Ben, while eating the last piece of my birthday cake (from early June): “Mommy! This is the last piece, but I saved you some. . . It’s the fluffy part.” (he ate the frosting off the top)
- Abby: “Mommy, rated Z is a really bad movie. Like, it’s really unappropriate and probably only a 40 or 50 year old should watch it.”
- Isaac, reaching for a toy, “Gimme it!” Me: “Isaac, that is really rude.” Isaac: considers then says in a tiny baby voice, “Give me it?”
- Giving the kids a lengthy explanation why we cannot yet have a pet and then asking for questions. Abby: “So how old do I need to be before I can have one?” Ben: “Abby, you have to be old enough to take care of a child.” Isaac: “Mommy, dogs eat dog food. Kids eat boy food. Mommies eat mommy-food.”
- Sitting by Isaac one morning and he toots and looks sideways at me. “Did I just burmp?” Me: “Did you burp? No I think you tooted.” Isaac: considers “Oh. I did a big tooted.” Me: “yep.” Isaac: “No, I think I just burmped with my bottom.”
Thank you, Lord.