This morning I woke up with a bit of a headache, probably from sleeping in the chair part of the night with a baby who is working on 6...count them SIX...teeth all at the same time. And for the first little bit of the morning I was pretty grumpy. I just wanted to boys to sleep a little longer, I just wanted them to curl up and go back to sleep with me. Honestly, the last few days have been a little...frustrating. And then I was laying on the floor, watching the boys play and that sweet, wild little 8 month old who kept me up part of the night came crawling over with this amazing smile of his, grabbed my ears and gave me his version of a sloppy baby kiss and then laid his sweet little head down on the floor beside me and just looked straight in my eyes. And I decided right then and there that my attitude for the day needed adjusted. That I could choose to let it be a crummy, frustrating day just because I was a little tired and had a little headache or I could choose to make it a day of thankfulness and worship. I chose the latter. So, I prayed to the Lord for a little help and set about to make it a good day. Here are just some of my thoughts today....
I was thankful I have a Lord in Heaven who hears my prays, loves me, knows my heart and sent His son to not only die for my sins but die in a way that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt I am valuable to Him beyond measure.
I was thankful for that sweet little baby boy who had a bit of a scary entrance into this world. I watched him play and crawl and laugh and thought of the mamas out there who have lost their little ones, or have sick babies or are faithfully carrying babies they know won't make it long after birth and I thanked the Lord for teething and sleepless nights.
I was thankful for a dependable, comfortable, safe vehicle when I had to stop and get gas on the way to church.
I was thankful for a country where I can listen to whatever radio station I want while we drove to church and was particularly thankful for Ravi Zacharius's program on BOTT radio and some uplifting music on KLove.
I was thankful for my amazing church who, just to name a few things, welcome our boys with such enthusiasm and know them by name, talk to the toddler so intelligently, check on him in the toddler room for me during Sunday so I know he is doing ok but won't see me and want to go with me, make the baby feel like he has about a dozen extra "aunts" who he is wonderfully safe with while I get the toddler to the potty, a snack, etc., who genuinely care enough about me to keep praying for my situation without constantly bringing it up and who respect and value my thoughts and insights during our wonderful adult Sunday School classes.
I was thankful for a squirmy, wild, fidgety toddler who ran from one end of the pew to the other, chattered about his tractors and snacks most of church service, full volume and wanted so bad to help with communion, "needed" a wafer and some wine (which of course he didn't get). I know he could be fighting for his life, like one little one I know, or hooked up to oxygen and not able to jump and dance, like another I know, or be gone from this world much to soon, like few sweet toddlers I know.
And I was again thankful for my church family, who sends me sweet smiles at his toddler jabber, even Pastor in the middle of his message, who pick up that squirmy toddler or hold his other hand to help keep him still at communion, who tell him good job when he announces to everyone after church that he peed in the potty and don't think its silly when he tells them he had to put his pants and shoes back on afterwards.
I was thankful for the 50ish year old, very rugged outdoorsy looking man in Walmart who stopped me and profusely complimented me on my "baby holster" (my Action Baby Carrier) and told me I was a "smart mom" and "doing a good job". It would have been a compliment and brightened my day from anyone but it came from someone I would have least expected it from and it was just what I needed, right when I needed it as the toddler squirmed in the cart and tried to throw our groceries out of it and the baby pulled my ears and bit my chin and I was starting to slip from my "thankfulness" mindset.
I was thankful for an ample supply of food and groceries as we waited in line for quite some time at checkout. I started to be annoyed but I reminded myself its all about perspective and I made myself realize there are people in this world who would give anything to stand in line to check out with any sort of food they wanted in the quantity they needed to feed their family.
I was thankful for my ability to nourish my baby with nothing but my own body when we had to find a parking lot and make a pit stop because he was desperately hungry because I know there are mamas who hurt greatly because for one reason or another they are unable to do so and for the focused mind of a toddler who was more than content waiting for the baby to eat since I had the forethought to park for said pit stop in a implement dealer parking lot.
I was thankful for a warm, safe home when I scanned the scattered toys on the living room floor.
There are many other thanks given today, some important, some mundane, some just too raw and personal to share right now. But overall, it was a really good day, not because of luck or because it just happened that way but because I chose it to be and change the perspective I was viewing it through when I first woke up. And it was a reminder of the lesson I've been working hard to learn and live this last 13 months...that joy and contentment and thankfulness can be found anywhere and anytime...if you decide to find it. Happiness is fleeting and man-made, but JOY, that comes from the inside, from a decision you make with your heart and then with your head. And once you find it, happiness isn't such a big deal, because you know you have something so much better. It doesn't mean you won't ever have a bad day...but it means when you do have one you have the ability to get yourself out of it instead of relying on some external force or event to change it.
What are you thankful for on hard days?