Thursday, 30 July 2015

Gratefulness. Simple, yet not always easy.

In my last blog (which yes, I know was a loooong time ago!) I talked about the beauty of normal and an appreciation for moments. How the routine of each day can feel like a welcome rhythm rather than a monotonous cycle. What I didn't talk about was how I got to this place of contentment and satisfaction.

Gratefulness. Simple, yet not always easy. 

Sometimes my days can seem crazy. Between the "Elliott pushed me!" and the "She said it's red but it's PINK!!" I can feel exhausted before we even get to the park at 9 am! It's easy to make a decision about my day before it has barely begun. 

Oh boy, it's going to be a long day

I see they're going to be in that kind of mood.

How long until naptime??

And then when my day is done and Chris is home it's all too easy to give him the "highlights" of the day rather than the bigger picture. It got to a point where all he heard about were the fights and the time outs.

The poor guy probably thought I hated running a dayhome, which couldn't be further from the truth. Yes, there are a lot of "teaching moments" (that sounds better, doesn't it?) but I love what I do. I get paid to play, snuggle, kiss boo boos and tickle. I make sand castles and drink coffee at the park everyday, and I get a glorious hour of quiet time each day (which is often interrupted by at least one "Melissa, I'm doooooone!!" from the washroom, but hey, I can't have it all can I?)

One day a few weeks back I was having a particularly challenging morning. The kids had just left the breakfast table and I was already having to step in to prevent a conflict. Warnings were given and kids were sent to opposite sides of the room and I returned to the dishes I was doing. I closed my eyes pleaded for Jesus to help me. It was 7:40 and I wasn't ready to write off my day just yet. I stopped and I took a sip of coffee and as I finished Elliott's toast (a secret indulgence of mine is to pile on a bit more jam. Butter and strawberry jam is just so tasty) and time slowed down just for a moment. I've trained my spirit to recognize these slowed down kairos moments. I stopped and realized that in that moment all was quiet. Everyone was playing nicely. I had hot coffee and a bite left of toast to savour. I closed my eyes again and this time gave thanks for the moment. I accepted it for what it was- not wishing it would stay quiet all day or that anything would change, but just breathing in and appreciating it.

Thank you Lord for a quiet moment.

The morning went on as we ventured to the park and back and had a snack. Soon it was lunch and I remembered I had picked up a salad from the grocery store as a treat for myself. I mixed it up to find it tasted ah-mazing. 

Thank you Lord for delicious salad. This time I scribbled it down on a piece of paper.

That particular day I experienced an entire hour with all the kids sleeping. I snuck upstairs with the baby monitors in hand and sat on my couch with the sun on my face and a piece of dark chocolate in my hand.

Thank you Lord for sunshine and chocolate.

My day was far from perfect that day. There were tears and time outs and sassy pants. What was different at the end of the day however was my heart. Chris came home and asked me how my day was and for the first time in a long time I told him it was a little crazy (as usual) but good. I recalled to mind some of the cute moments and shared those things instead of the tears.

It's been a month or so now, and I still have days where I forget to be grateful and I want to pull out my hair by 9 am, but the days I remember to stop in the slowed down moments are my favourite. It feels like Jesus is dropping me hints throughout my day; like he's reminding me of something. I'll let you know when I figure out exactly what it is.

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