Monthly Archives: November 2011

Thankful

I’ve only written four posts since “Sweet Summertime” where I was posting pictures of my naked toddler in the yard and flowers at their peak of blossoming.   Most of the wordiness in my life has been in my head, contributing to a season of questions, answers, more questions, to-do lists, and other similar internal conflicts that seems to obfuscate my life.  The truth is, regardless of how good things are in my life, I can usually find a way to destabilize that secure goodness with self-imposed pressure and stress.  And things have truly been beautifully good around here.  As we’re just on the cuff of Thanksgiving, I’m going to complete my own version of a month’s long list of Facebook statuses expressing specific thankfulness….

First, I can’t say enough about my husband, the amazing man he is, and the amount of thankfulness I have for him.  Josh isn’t the husband that changes light bulbs when they burn out or cleans his dishes without being asked.  And these things really don’t matter.  He has surpassed the title of “Man of my Dreams” because never in the wildest of my dreams would I be able to come up with another human being more perfect for me than Josh. His character is growing stronger each and every day as he surrounds himself (okay, maybe a little too often…) with godly men who are examples for him and who build into his life in profound ways.  He’s become wildly hilarious (who knew?) and remains just as pure-hearted as he was the day I met him.  His intelligence and commitment to citizenship both impress me and challenge me.  He has grown braver, with strength that is deeply rooted in his dedication to Christ as Lord of his life.  He is a leader, but also follows my lead when he needs to.  He’s a fighter, but puts down his sword when I ask him to.  He’s a lover, showering me with affection, grace, and understanding despite how undeserving I am.  He works hard.  He listens.  He forgives. He teaches. And he’s always looking for opportunities for growth.  I’m so thankful for him and had no idea just how blessed I would be when I put on that white dress and walked down the aisle.

I’m so very thankful for my precious little boy, the light of our lives, the song of our hearts.  Jackson continues to amaze me with his imagination, curiosity, intelligence, perseverance, and strong will.  His play time grows more and more elaborate as his awareness and attention to detail expand and sharpen.  There are good guys and bad guys.  There are consequences and rewards (even if they involve a conflict between a knight-fighting giraffe and an aggressive brachiosaurus).  There are limits, hopes, and expectations tucked into the lives of the characters he creates.  And I’m so very thankful that his imagination is vibrantly alive. And even though I’m still in the trenches of toddlerhood, spending a good deal of energy sifting through the motivations of bad behavior…discussing punishment…executing it with grace and consistency…expressing forgiveness and exuding patience…I couldn’t love my little boy any more than I do.  I continue to be honored to be his mother.

I wish it sounded fresh and cutting-edge to say “I’m thankful for my friends” rather than a line from a Hallmark card, because my thankfulness for the people in my life feels more like a huge head-rush, an overwhelming, loss-of-breath feeling.  I’m not only thankful for the company my friends provide, but more importantly, I’ve been given friends that refine me, chiseling away at my weaknesses with prayer-sharpened knives.

Josh and Kristi are the peanut butter to our jelly.  These two friends bring more life and love into our home than anyone because they bring such a targeted zest for all-things-Jack. They are our friends individually, but together we form an indestructible quadrant.  Josh and I want to travel the world with these two, experiencing every joy and heartache alongside one another, holding each other up and laughing our way through every leg of the journey.

My girls…Jen is my rock-solid advice giver and her friendship anchors me, especially as my journey of motherhood falls just behind hers. She leads me and sets an unbelievable example for me.  Molly is the encourager and the person I could crawl on a couch with for days, drinking bottomless amounts of coffee and tea.  Our histories are intertwined just enough to prove we were *meant* to be friends.  Our interests and styles are frighteningly similar, and sometimes it feels as if it would be easier if we morphed into one person rather than pretending to be two. 

Penelope is the person I want to be, although our relationship is devoid of envy.  She’s “together” in a way that I’m not, always responsible, prompt, and working toward a goal.  She’s fun, spontaneous, and seems plugged into to the world more than I am.  She’s read the latest books and gives me reviews, she’s always looking forward to a concert or similar event, and I always find it inspiring.  She’s gracious and listens to my advice just as much as I listen to hers.

 

Stacy is my set of ears, my fix-it counselor, my patient therapist.  She is not only my friend, she is my family; a cousin that is really a sister, a sister that is really a guardian angel.  She is a precious spirit that helps me slow down and savor a conversation over a bowl of homemade soup. She’s on my spiritual road map, helping me figure out the biggest questions and the smallest concerns.  I’m so grateful for these friendships that bless my life, and I can only hope I am a blessing in return…

{insert adorable and fabulous picture of me and Stacy here}

And Engedi.  My church. My family.  My cable group. And my support system.  I can’t imagine my life without this haven.  Josh and I have been guided, re-parented, directed, and loved by this incredible group of people.  Each week, I’m surrounded by mothers that amaze me and the husbands that are beside them.  I’m blown away by the community of accountability.  The leadership. The turn-your-life-around teaching.  The acceptance right alongside the challenge.  My life will never be the same because of this place. And it never should be.

I’m thankful for the questions that keep me up at night, the concerns about our future and the weight of decision-making that I carry around.  These questions are healthy and they reflect the desire I have to get things right. I can take the worry too far, but I’m thankful I have the opportunity to even ask the questions that consume me: How will our family expand? Will I ever go back to work? Should I stay in graduate school? Am I strategizing enough as a parent?  The fact that I can address each question, exploring multiple answers alongside a husband I adore, in a warm home stocked with food, and cuddling with a little human being that calls me mom

Thankfulness doesn’t even begin to cover it.