What I'm Not Thankful For
I read Norman Vincent Peale's book, The Power of Positive Thinking, when I was in High School and I know now, looking back, that it's probably a lot of bologna, but at the time it really did transform my thought processes, and the way I chose to see things. And we are commanded to give thanks IN all circumstances (not "for" all), and to "rejoice always." With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I thought I'd share a few of the things that I'm not thankful for, but am.
I am thankful for our broken dishwasher. That our landlord seems to have no intention of fixing. I hate doing dishes, but I hate piles of dirty dishes even more, so I do them. Regularly. I'm finding that the time I spend standing at the sink can be a much-needed parenthesis in my day . . . time to think and get my head straight. Time to ponder the most recent problem, time to creatively think of a solution, time to plan the rest of the day. Time, especially, to pray.
I am thankful for the emotional onslaughts my three-year old is currently giving us because, when I am the most exasperated, the most unsure of what to do, the most overwhelmed by the problem, I am given a glimpse at just how dependent I am on the Lord for wisdom and grace, of how desperately I need Him to work in the hearts of my children. It drives me to my knees. Now, I choose to see these times as God's gracious reminders to pray hard for my family.
I am thankful for the intensely difficult first two years of Sami's life, because after so many sleepless nights nothing else seems too hard.
I am thankful for our apartment. At the time of our life when most people are moving into a larger home, we downsized to a two-bedroom apartment this year. I have found so many reasons to be thankful for this:
-I am thankful that we aren't trying to sell a house right now. We've been there, and it is not fun.
-I am thankful that this apartment allows us to be so free. We didn't even have to sign a lease, so, in theory, if we wanted to move to California next month we could . . . or we can at least dream about moving.
-I am thankful for no maintenance. Our evenings and weekends are completely ours, we can spend them however we wish and not spend them doing house repairs or raking leaves.
-I am thankful that our home is so small. It takes me one hour to thoroughly clean it, or a few minutes a couple times a day, and I have lots more time for other things.
-I am thankful that we live here with small children. My kids can play all over the entire house and I can have my eye on them, there are no steps to chase them up or formal rooms to worry about them messing.
-I am thankful for simplicity. It was a very cleansing process to get rid of any and everything that was not "useful, meaningful, or beautiful."
-I am thankful that less space means fewer toys, for my children and us. We go to the library instead of buying books, wear-out the toys we have, and find creative ways to play.
-I am thankful for the coziness.
-I am thankful for fairly low rent, and no mortgage!
I am thankful for a tight budget, because I kind-of enjoy the challenge to be creative, it reminds me to feel grateful, and actually helps me to be content. (Simplicity is a blessing!)
I am thankful that Sami no longer naps . . . No, sorry, I'm still not thankful for that.