Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Grateful and Humble and Happy and all those other things

For several years, I've followed Glennon Melton's blog, Momastery.  I love most of her essays but every year my favorite thing to read is her "Holiday Hands" post.  Each November, she opens up the blog and asks readers to post needs/ requests they may have.  Other readers then reach out and offer to fill (or partially fill) the request.

Last week, I logged on and gave myself five minutes to read some of the requests.  Then, I proceeded to sit there for 45 minutes reading page after page of requests.  In the back of my mind, I kept thinking, "Anna's sleeping so..... I should shower, I should clean the kitchen, I should vacuum, I need to change the laundry, I should empty the dishwasher, etc. etc."  But instead, I read and read and read and read.  And then, I realized my eyes were brimming with tears and my throat was becoming tight and I had little uneven heart palpatations-- the things that happen to me when I get a little over-emotional.  But as much as I tried to tear myself away from the computer, I couldn't.  There were pages upon pages of listings for things like:

 *Cards for sick daughter
* Family of five can barely pay bills
*Car payment for my mom
*Stroller needed
*Safe bed for my son wanted
*Letters to lonely stay at home mom
*Groceries on the table
*Warm clothing for two teenagers needed
*Coats, hats, boots needed
*Penpal friends for 10 year old daughter
*Clothes---anything helps!
* Fresh fruits and vegetables
*Heat for our home
*Holiday dinner

And the list goes on and on and on.

Sometimes, life in Spahnville is tricky.  We have hard days.  There have been evenings when I look at Mason and consider our day a success simply because everyone in our family is alive and (relatively) healthy.  We have crazy days and busy days and logistical mess-ups.  (I thought YOU were taking Charlie that day!) Sometimes we eat cereal for supper and we have had a cookie or two for breakfast-- just to stop-the-whining.

But we have it ALL.  We have groceries.  We have heat.  Sometimes, we turn the heat up to 73-- just because it's cold and we don't want to wear thirty sweatshirts over our Underarmor.  We "waste" electricity on electric blankets and baby sound machines.  We have two vehicles-- and we can afford to maintain them and fill them up with gas.  We have every possible infant accessory, we have safe and warm places for our children to sleep, and we have plenty of warm clothing for our children to wear.  We have shelves overflowing with books and an entire basement filled with toys-- where our biggest problem is figuring out what we can get rid of.  We play and travel and indulge in luxuries like swimming pool passes, and college football games, and theme-park day trips.

It's easy for me to get caught up in the daily hum-drum of life, but reading these requests made me stop and really focus on what we have and how grateful I am.  Oh, and those penpal requests from people?  I was all over that-- and instantly fired off an email to the requester!  Can't wait to connect with my new pal.  :)

(Don't you love that crooked smile?)-- So thankful for what we have. 

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