Tuesday, November 24

Slow End of the Learning Curve

Over the next few days, our front door will open and close multiple times. Family and friends will come and go, children will play, conversations will be had, and massive amounts of food will be consumed. We will catch up with each other, play games, laugh until we cry, and seriously enjoy each other. We will stop and take time to be thankful. It is one of my absolute favorite times of the year.

I have learned so much this year about being grateful--I feel like I am on the slow end of the learning curve. Things I have known for years in my head are finally making imprints on my heart. It has been a particularly rough year, in so many ways, yet I am still here, still surrounded by people who love and encourage me onward. In church on Sunday, our youth pastor reminded us that sometimes God takes us back to a place of remembering so that we can find true gratefulness. My friends, this is true. I've been there this year; I am traveling that road, and I have never been more grateful for the things I have and the life I experience. God is still God, and God is still good.

I am so incredibly grateful for my kiddos. They are my sanctifiers--more so than anything else. It is often that the house is chaotic--the laundry is in piles, the dishwasher is begging to be emptied, and the toys are scattered. I am still learning to be okay with it all--to enjoy them while I can...John does such a good job with this, and I, well, not so much really. They are getting older, and I spend so much time teaching relationship skills, explaining behavior, trying to get them to wrap their little brains around what is good and what is pure and what is right. I am learning to expose more of myself in the process, and though I am not always happy about it, I am learning to be thankful for these moments.

I am so incredibly thankful for John. He has extended more grace and love to me this year than one can even imagine. He has held my hand and walked with me, he has played his guitar for me (which he hasn't done in years), and he has gently guided me and the kiddos. He has made me laugh when I felt like crying and made me fall more and more in love with him daily...he picks up the pieces I drop and never, ever complains about it.

I am so incredibly grateful for the friendships I have been given this year--friends that have reached out and encouraged me when I didn't even know I needed it. Friends who have helped me re-define my "normal" and pushed me forward. I am such an onion--layers and layers--and I am so grateful for the friends who have taken the time to truly get to know me. Friends who have ventured into the hard places with me...I might not have dared to venture there at all without them.

Mostly, I am grateful for where I am this year. I am not in an easy place. But God is still God, and God is still good. And I am thankful to be here.