Practicing Gratitude [02.19]

>> Thursday, February 19, 2015

I'm thankful for another year of marriage.  The Man and I had our 18th (!!!) anniversary on the weekend.  In light of all the hubbub a certain movie has been causing, I can't help but be grateful for a relationship that is COMPLETELY different from the one currently being glorified on screens around the world.

I have a kind, thoughtful, generous husband who does everything he does because he loves his family.  His aim is providing for and protecting his wife and daughters ~ steadfastly building us up, endlessly encouraging us, gently helping us see where we've thought or done wrong, boldly spurring us to become stronger and wiser.  His life is lived in self-sacrificing love.

Our relationship isn't perfect and we hurt each other sometimes.  We get angry and treat each other harshly.  But those times are exceptions to the rule, and I'm grateful for the humility my husband models for me when he asks my forgiveness or readily extends it to me.  And I need it so often.  We're broken, like the rest of humanity.  But we also know the ultimate Healer of brokenness.  As we attempt to live the way He wants us to by the example set by His Son, we experience a wonderful acceptance, freedom, peace, and safety within our marriage that is increasingly rare in our culture.

I have a wonderful husband.  He has the capacity to amaze and infuriate me like no one else!  And I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm grateful he's working more locally since the weekend, too, which means he gets to sleep at home every day.  It's basically been a full year that he's been working away from home 5-10 days at a time.  And even if he's sleeping all day and driving nights, at least we get to have breakfast or supper ~ and sometimes both ~ together as a family again each day.

I'm also thankful this week to have survived my first "dry needling" therapy appointment!  It's similar to acupuncture, but its concern is the intramuscular stimulation of specific, problem-causing muscles.  An acupuncture-like needle is used to poke around directly on the muscle and if there's a knot in it, it will involuntarily spasm and then relax.  If there isn't, there's just a bizarre tingling sensation.  All in all, it was a very weird feeling.  I'd seen my chiropractor earlier the same day and she realigned my pelvis for me, so between the two of them, my hip/back got thoroughly therapied!  I see her again in about two weeks, and the needle guy in a month or so.  I'm grateful I've got treatment options, and I look forward to unimpeded lower back mobility again.

What are you thankful for this week?


Practicing Gratitude [02.12]

>> Thursday, February 12, 2015

This past week has been full of good things.  But full, nonetheless.

But good.  :)

Last Thursday night ~ or rather, the wee hours of Friday morning ~ The Man surprised me by coming home only three days into his normal 10-day shift away from home.  He was instructed to go back to the bush again later that same morning, but he refused, and that turned out to be a HUGE blessing.  Not only would the trip back up north in the semi have been for nothing (some other drivers did obey and discovered no one was even at the loading site!), but Friday afternoon the snow came and it kept right on coming for a full 24 hours!!
He thought he might head back to work Saturday morning, but with all the fresh snow, they called everything off until roads were cleared, so he ended up being home till Sunday early evening.  It was so good to have him home for the weekend when we weren't expecting him!

I never know how, exactly, snowfall gets measured, but I'd say there was about 5".  It doesn't really sound like much, but it's enough to make getting off the yard a challenge, especially after the grader goes past and leaves that nice ridge across the end of the driveway!  I was so thankful The Man was home to do all the clearing. Of course, it would have been nice if he'd been home when the next serious snowfall came just two days later, but hey, I needed some exercise.  I'm thankful my back handled shoveling the sidewalk and a car-length in front of the garage with little to no difficulty.

And shoveling the sidewalk in front of the house all over again moments later, when the roof let go!

And I'm actually kinda thankful for the amazing coincidence that the grader has STILL not come by for whatever reason, so I can still get on and off my driveway even though nothing's been cleared!!  And The Man is home again this morning.  Such perfect timing.  :)

I'm grateful for the beauty of winter.  Not so much the cold and whatnot, but the beauty helps make it bearable!

I'm also thankful the weekend blizzard forced me to do something I'd previously been too lazy to bother with: learning to make buns!  I'd signed up to bring two dozen buns to a church soup & bun lunch, but had forgotten to pick some up when I was in town on Friday.  I figured, "no big deal, I'll just get them when the girls have their hair appointments on Saturday."  But then, of course, the blizzard happened and we had to reschedule the appointment.  So no trip to town to buy buns!!  The first two batches weren't bad ~ good flavour, but a little chewy ~ but since then I changed to a different recipe and have made two VERY delicious, light and fluffy dozens!  They're quite a hit around here.

Speaking of that lunch...  I'm so  grateful for events like that.  Anyone who's spent time here on my blog knows I struggle with practicing hospitality (I'm a total hermit and I really have a hard time wanting to share my space with others.  I know that's selfish and I am trying to change, but it's a long, slow, hard process!!), and so meals like this give me a taste of the closeness that comes from spending quality time with others.

I'm thankful for a church family that's slowly-but-surely beginning to FEEL like family.  We started attending our current church a little over a year ago, but didn't know a single person there, so we had to start from scratch, so to speak.  We've made a few friends there now and while it still doesn't feel quite like HOME yet, I think we're getting there.

Which is also why I'm grateful for my Bible study group.

And I'm super thankful for the results of AJ's science test.  I mentioned last week I'd helped her study for it, and today she found out she was one of only two kids in her class who got 100%!!  This is a pretty big deal.  School doesn't exactly come naturally for her, so I'm extra grateful for times like this when she can see that hard work and studying really does pay off.

What are YOU thankful for this week?


Just One Thing

>> Monday, February 9, 2015

So, let's see a show of hands... who's still keeping their New Year's resolutions??  Or were you like me and just didn't bother making any this time?

I find there's still a lot of talk of resolutions, but it doesn't seem nearly as popular to actually MAKE them anymore.  (I have some opinions on what I think are a few contributing factors, but that's a discussion for some other time! ;)  I dunno, maybe people just don't talk about them out loud or publish them anymore.  Maybe we've just thoroughly fallen out of love with the idea of lying to ourselves about becoming better people year after year!

Because really, what most of us do when we make "resolutions," is make wishes.  We'd like to some things about ourselves to change, but we forget that to be resolved means to consistently choose the path of greater resistance, to work hard, and to shun what's comfortable in favour of the goal.  It doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen without effort.  Change demands dedication and hard work.

An idea started forming in my head the day of my whiner post from half a year ago (!!), and while I've certainly not mastered the concept and I struggle with consistency, I believe in its value.  My resolution this year is to do just one thing every day.

That's it.  Just one thing.

No, not just literally one thing over the entire course of the day, but one thing that's different today from what has been the norm. One thing that my current self isn't really interested in or is too lazy or selfish to do, but that the me-I'd-like-to-be would do without hesitation; the kind of thing that is just a part of who THAT person is.

Or will be.

If I start now.

A long time ago, I posted about being the product of what we have been becoming, and I guess that's really what this boils down to.  Rather than focusing on what I'm doing each day, I'm working at changing WHO I AM in the long run.  Some days the challenge is more difficult (like refusing to snack all evening long after the girls are in bed, or calling someone up to invite them over right when I'm thinking about it rather than waiting until I feel like I'm ready for it) and some days it's a little easier (like willing myself to de-clutter a drawer or desktop instead of sitting and reading or watching TV for that half-hour).  But little by little, as I insist on doing one thing differently each day, I change. It will be a long time before there is an outwardly noticeable difference, but I'm not just working at specific changes, I'm creating a habit of progress.

One small adjustment at a time ~
just one thing.


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