10.18.2007

Thankful Thursday


I just read Iris's Thankful Thursday post, and am a little sad right now to hear that she is taking an extended blogging break...which reminded me of something else I am thankful for...Iris! I'm thankful for the *push* of Thankful Thursday to remind me to stop and focus on my blessings in the midst of whatever else is going on...even when I don't feel like it (which is when I need to the most)...and I'm thankful for Iris's sweet spirit of encouragement. On more than one occasion, she has left a comment or sent an email with just the right words at just the right time...and, she has been one of the people who has made me feel most welcome in the blogging world. What a neat thing that God can use people who we have never met IRL to bless us and minister to us online in very personal ways! Iris...I'll miss you and be praying for you during your break!

I've been sitting here this morning trying to think "what am I *especially* thankful for this week?" It's one of those mornings that I didn't wake up *feeling* especially thankful, so I'm having to work a little harder at it. ;-) But...with a little bit of self-prodding, I've realized I'm actually thankful for quite a bit this morning...

1. I'm thankful to be missing my husband this week. :-) Last week he was on vacation and home all week, and since he has gone back to work this week, the children and I have really missed his being here all the time. I'm thankful that he's the kind of wonderful guy that we *do* enjoy having him home all the time, and that we *do* miss him when he goes back to work!

2. I'm thankful that we have a *normal* week this week. I got up Monday morning and realized that we didn't have a *single* outside commitment this week other than our normal church activities. I love those weeks! We've been so off-schedule the past few weeks, it has been *really* nice to get back on schedule (mostly ;-)) this week and just be able to putter through getting the things done that we need to do at home. We have a lot to pack into these last two days of the week, but I'm looking forward to attacking the *to do* list and getting it done.

3. I'm thankful to be getting excited about Christmas. Those who don't know me *really* well won't understand how amazing that statement is. My Christmas spirit has been in hiding for several years now, and this year has been like the freeze thawing in Narnia after all those years. I grew up with huge storybook Christmases...lots of extended family, two colossal dinners (usually within hours of each other), presents everywhere...lots of love and tradition and family togetherness. Our Christmases have been shrinking for years....as our extended family has shrunk...and that has been hard for me to get used to. Then 3 years ago, my dad died just a couple of weeks before Christmas, and ever since, we have been dealing with some sort of extended family crisis during the holidays. By last year, not only was my Christmas spirit *gone*, but I didn't really even miss it. I would have been perfectly happy to skip Christmas altogether (not an option, of course, with four young children).

But this year, as we began to discuss Christmas music for the two choirs I'm involved with, somehow that long-missing Christmas spirit began to creep back in. God has really convicted me this year that I need to "forget what is behind" and "press on toward the goal of the high calling of Jesus Christ"...and that part of that means letting go of my *what Christmas used to be* thoughts, and making Christmas a special time of celebrating God's gift to us for *our* family. I was suddenly struck the other day with the thought that someday we may very well *have* the big extended family Christmases again...but I'll be the grandmother then! In the meantime, it's time for us to make some new traditions and make it special the way things are *now*. I am thankful that God has given me excitement about this and is beginning to give me ideas about creative ways to celebrate and begin new traditions.

4. I think I've mentioned this before, but I am thankful to have a piano at home again after many years without one. Playing the piano was always a major stress-reliever for me...my family could tell by how hard I was hitting the keys what kind of mood I was in! It's been really nice recently to be able to just sit down and play, and I've even enjoyed getting into a practice routine as I work on pieces for the Children's Christmas musical. After over 10 years without a piano, it's taken me several months to feel like I am *getting my piano fingers back*, but I'm finally beginning to get there. And the kids and I are really enjoying singing around the piano as part of our school day!

To see what others are thankful for this week, or to share your own blessings, visit Iris at Sting My Heart.

14 comments:

Denise said...

This was a lovely thankful list, bless you.

BP said...

Thank you for sharing. I hope you enjoy the Christmas season this year. I know it is difficult having a loss in the family so near the holidays.

Brandi said...

What a sweet list. . .I'm thankful that you chose to be vulnerable in your list. To tell you the truth, I woke up in a bit of a funk too, so I had to think a bit harder for my list. It's amazing, though, that once you get going it just starts to flow. I think thankfulness begets thankfulness!

Brandi

UKZoe said...

We have my hubby home for the week, next week, hope we get to enjoy him as much as you obviously have this last week.

Robyn said...

Thanks for your list. I had a rough growing up years and didn't ever really enjoy Christmas a whole lot. Now that I am grown up with kids of my own I am learning to really get into. The key for me is to get all the shopping done early and then really reflect on what Christmas is all about during the holidays. I hope you have a wonderful time this holiday season!

Kathleen Marie said...

Christmas! Yeah! I have been getting into the spirit a bit myself. How wonderful that you hubby could spend a week at home. I always miss my hubby though out the day.

Have a great weekend!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Thank you for sharing your thankful heart with us. Iris is truly a treasure, isn't she? I hope her blogging break is productive for her, but short lived (for us).
Normal weeks are my favorite.
Have a blessed week ahead!!

Andrea said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing, and I am totally with you on playing piano being a stress reliever...it is for me too, and I am also SO thankful to have one in my home!

Andrea said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing, and I am totally with you on playing piano being a stress reliever...it is for me too, and I am also SO thankful to have one in my home!

Meredith from Merchant Ships said...

and that part of that means letting go of my *what Christmas used to be* thoughts, and making Christmas a special time of celebrating God's gift to us for *our* family.

This really struck a chord with me. Our family has experienced a similar dwindling and subsequent crises. The burden of providing Christmas was getting heavier.

Thanks for the encouragement to let those feelings go!

Ella said...

Thank you for sharing your list with us, it's very nice. I'm glad you've got your Christmas spirit back, this is a wonderful time of the year. I love Christmas as well.

God Bless

Ann said...

I'm glad God has re-ignited your love of Christmas--may you have a blessed preparation season!

carey said...

Thanks for that inspiring sharing about Christmas. I'm not that excited about it yet...maybe because most of my siblings are not here, and that just leaves the three of us - my parents and I - for the holidays, though the family is praying my sis and her hubby and new baby will be here for the holidays God willing. That's something to look forward to, but as you've said, it's also time to make new traditions and get creative even when things don't go the way we like them to be.

Have a blessed weekend ahead! :)

Annabelle said...

Thanks for sharing your Thankful Thursday! I too really enjoy Christmas!