We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. - I Thessalonians 1:2

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

On Gratefulness

I don't really know the best way to put what I've been thinking about the last few months into words, but I'm an English major so this is my attempt:

I recently stumbled upon this blog through a link on a friend's site and kind of feel like it's one in a series of things I am learning on being grateful (I am in no way trying to trivialize this man's experience, so please don't take it that way when I say that it's "one in a series" of things that are teaching me). I am grateful for a relatively easy pregnancy (though it was low amniotic fluid that kept my activity limited from 20 weeks on) and uncomplicated delivery (unless you count forceps and a few stitches as complications, but I don't). And I am grateful that I have Eric to help me raise Cate. The CF Husband blog (which I started following in late January) has also humbled me and I am grateful that Eric, Cate, and I are healthy.

In his job at The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Eric sees firsthand some of the burdens that many families shoulder as a result of a loved one's illness. We've both always been organ donors, but are now on the marrow registry too.

During our Consumed Study with Crossroads Church, a fellow group member talked about how as she prayed one night, she thanked God simply for health insurance so that her son could go to the doctor and get medicine for an ear infection.

Not too long ago, another friend had a Facebook status that said something to the effect that she shouldn't be complaining about her grad school classes but should be thankful for the opportunity to take those classes.

Hmmm...it's humbling in a sort of strange way. Anyone who knows me well, knows I can complain and whine with the best of them. And knows that I can get in moods where things just "aren't good enough" for me and I want more (an appropriate mood when thinking about something like time with God and growing my relationship with him; less appropriate when thinking about something like my wardrobe or shoes).

As I adjust to being a mother (along with being a wife and a teacher and a lover of music and print and photography and coffee and dessert and other things that made up my identity pre-Cate), there have been some ever so slight shifts in my thinking. I used to be so future-minded, wanting time to pass quickly (hurry up to finish high school so I can get to college, hurry up and finish college so I can get a real job or get married, hurry up and get established so I can have a baby). I forgot about enjoying the present moment sometimes. I am grateful for the present moment. Cate is sleeping contentedly on her tummy and makes baby dream-coos every once in awhile...and thinking about that is better than thinking about when we will be able to afford a bigger house (I am grateful in this moment that I have a house...even though I complain about keeping it clean and stuff needing fixed every once in awhile).

And so I am grateful. I am grateful for my family, for my marriage, for Cate. Especially when I see people my own age beginning to divorce, burying their parents, and struggling to conceive. I am grateful for my job. Especially in today's economy- I have steady work; we'll always need teachers. Which is why I am thankful for the class I'm taking right now to advance on the payscale, even though it takes a little time away from Cate when I work on it (though I mostly do it when she's napping). I am grateful for my car to get me places. Even though gas prices suck right now and we pretty much walk whenever we can. I am grateful for a lot of things...tangible and intangible.

And that is what I've slowly been learning these last few months.

~Melody :-)