I look around and groan inwardly. There are so many tasks that demand my time, my attention, my energy. None them include meeting the needs or being engaged with our two little girls. Life, it sometimes seems, is as cluttered as our living room strewn with toys and little girls’ artwork and art supplies and books. Some days the effort to clean up, organize, declutter the stuff is like an uphill climb, pushing that boulder like Sisyphus.
But it is in those moments when I am tempted to grumble or, worse, ignore it, that I am choosing to pause. To be still. To whisper a prayer. To whisper a prayer inviting Jesus into that moment. That moment of messiness and clutter. That moment of frustration or ambivalence or weariness. Inviting him to transform that moment from one of frustration and messiness into one of thanksgiving and worship. Letting him take the chaos and the tasks and give me his peace.
It’s not exactly a fair exchange. But if I take the time to pause. If I choose to seek him, to seek his face, he is more than willing to take my cares and concerns, to carry them so that I don’t have to. He is more than willing because he is faithful to his promises. His promise that I can cast my cares on him because he cares for me. His promise that when I am weary, if I come to him, he will give me rest. His promise that I can have not just life, but abundant life.
An abundant life. A life in which the ordinary is beautiful, the mundane is holy, the here and now is something to celebrate. A life of richness nurtured by an attitude of thankfulness.
And so this morning I choose to develop that attitude. I choose to be thankful. I choose to celebrate the life we have. The life we share. I choose to celebrate you and to share with you what I appreciate about you, what I thank Jesus for about you, what I think about but may not always tell you.
I am praying for you. Praying about your job with Hobart, praying for your music, praying for your heart’s desires. That you would discover your heart’s desires. That I would encourage you in your heart’s desires. That you would receive your heart’s desires.
I am proud of how hard you work each day. Not only at Hobart, but at your dream. That you get up at 4:30 in the morning to pursue your dream, to write music, to sit with God.
I love watching you read with the girls. The way that you naturally encourage their love of story. The way you engage them even if you have read that same book twice already. The way that they snuggle into you. The way that your face radiates love and joy.
I am thankful that you are a morning person. That you can interact with our little morning lark when she rises too early for my sleepy self. That you let me sleep. That when I finally greet the day you make me my first cup of coffee and allow me to ease into the chaos of our life.
I am grateful that you brave the buggy basement in order to do the laundry. You may not always fold the clean clothes, but knowing that I don’t have to face the dank, musty, unfinished basement makes up for any pile of clothes awaiting folding.
I love that you get so excited by things you enjoy: trains, the Foo Fighters, sports, birdwatching, spending time with me.
I appreciate that you encourage me, as a writer, as a mama, as a wife. That you encourage me in my faith, even when I am struggling to hold fast to God’s promises. That you encourage me when I try a new recipe and it doesn’t turn out well. That you praise me in front of the girls.
I am thankful that you listen to me. That you work hard at giving me your undivided attention because you know how much that matters to me. That it is part of my love language.
I like that you desire to create unique experiences for and make special occasions memorable. I still remember the scavenger hunt birthday you put together, the card hints you made, how much fun it was to figure out and celebrate with you.
I like that even when our finances don’t allow for big gifts or extravagant nights out or weekends away, we can find joy in talking about what we will do when our circumstances improve. And we find joy in remembering trips we’ve taken and moments we’ve shared. LIke that rainy hike in Kentucky and that Subway sandwich that was better than any five-course dinner at an expensive restaurant because we were famished.
I like that on Fridays I feel a sense of anticipation simply because you will be home on Saturday and we will spend time together. That we will do life together. Taking care of little girls, tending to chores, smiling across the table. That we will laugh together because I love the way you can make me laugh.
When I look at my life, these are the things I want to see. The abundant life surrounds me. Surrounds us. I don’t want to groan or grumble about what a day brings, what I don’t have, what I think I need. I want to appreciate the day. I want to appreciate the blessings. I want to appreciate that God gifted you to me because he knew that we could refine each other and encourage one another. That we work well together.
I want to live simply and richly. With you. Always with you.