We Have Much, We Have Enough

This time of year there's a lot of talk about gratitude. I totally love the concept. I think it's a great practice that we should teach our children. We should be intentional about it.

But I'm so often not.

I cry when my husband leaves for work early and comes home late. Then I remind myself that I HAVE a husband. Who will be home all weekend.

I complain about my "overwhelming" and "busy" life. Then I read about the grandmother in Ecuador who works fourteen hour days, six days out of the week, to support her grandchildren

I sweat and grunt over the long-left chunks of sticky on my white tile floor. Many live in homes with floors of swept dirt.

Aaah. It seems right to stuff my feelings in guilt for others who have different, most likely harder life circumstances than mine. I should stop the tears, remembering the moms who won't see their husband for months. I should push through the business, doing more, without complaint, because that's what so many others have to do. Maybe I shouldn't even clean my floor. I might become overwhelmed with the unfair "easiness" of my life and grow cynical.

But I'm guessing they would say -- "it's OK, cry for a minute as he says goodbye...it reminds you how dear he is...it's OK to want more time".

And "time is a tricky thing, we all want more, but then we realize what we have is just enough".

And "clean those floors, enjoy the feeling of fulfillment -- every mother loves the gift of a clean house, dirt floor or not". 

You see -- the other 96% of the population is grateful too. Because they have enough. Because God gives us just what we need, whether we believe it or not.
Counting my gifts has been a helpful practice, although sporadic at times. I want to see joy in the smallest moments, in the bluest of skies, in the crispest air. I want to recognize and accept God's gifts to me.

But what I've learned today is that my praise needs to go deeper. Down to the deepest parts of my life -- all the things I take for granted. It sounds trivial or even kind of cheesy to say "thank you for my husband" but really. Thank you. Thank you for my husband. Thank you for my warm home. Thank you for my children, beautiful and healthy. Thank you for the ability to save money, extra after the month's expenses. Thank you for friends and community. Thank you for family.

I'm a perfectionist. I hold myself to an impossible standard. I have high standards for everyone else too. But when I'm not satisfied in a relationship with another person, when I'm holding back my thanksgiving for them because they aren't meeting my needs or reaching my standards, I am blind to the gift that they are.
I am thankful that I have four living grandparents. I am thankful that my parents live in town. I am thankful that my boys have such good friends. I am thankful for my pastor and thriving church family. I am thankful for you, reading this.

I want to be thankful for the things I take for granted. And I want to think about that more. So I'm writing about it. I'd love to hear what you think too.

I'll not be guilty over my clean floor, or over my relaxing, productive day, or because my husband will be home soon to spend the weekend with us. I'll be grateful. Super grateful.