I suppose that this is quite an old idea, but I shall return to it anyway. We’ve had a great Thanksgiving, but I haven’t had much time to think specifically about things to be thankful for. So I will write it here and go to bed. (in the order they come) and…a friend suggested to say what you’re thankful for and then add a because. I made my list first and will add the because in italics.

1. The sacrifice of Christ and gift of salvation. because without this I would have no hope

2. A warm blanket to curl up under. because it feels so good

3. Food in the refrigerator. because I know it will last several days

4. Adorable children. because this makes it easier to love them when they are less than good

5. A husband who takes the Bible seriously…no really, seriously. because his example reproves me every day; I want to be like him

6. Health because it sure does make life less complicated

7. Heat because I don’t deserve this and so many people don’t have it

8. Books because I love them, because of the opportunity to learn

9. Blogs because they provide so much relaxation and inspiration

10. Church because as imperfect as we are, we can grow to be more like Christ together

11. Friends because this again, I don’t deserve

12. Hard times because they help me to be thankful for what’s really important 

13. Forgiveness because I need it every second of the day

14. Mercy because I am such a great sinner

15. A laundry room with washer and dryer because I remember what it was like without them

16. A forgiving husband when I neglect to use the washer and dryer because this happens so often

17. Prayer because even though I continually neglect to use this amazing privilege, God doesn’t take it away from me

18. Soft, comfortable clothes because again, it feels so good

19. Most of all, mercy. because God is so good to me and I truly don’t deserve it

As of tonight…

I feel awful about the day that just passed. Some days you just wait the whole day for it to be over. The sad thing is, someone who would have observed the goings-on from the outside wouldn’t have seen anything wrong.

The girls weren’t particularly bad. I accomplished a lot, maybe even more than on an average day. But some days your heart just isn’t in it.

Quite honestly, I just wanted to be doing other things today. Things that didn’t involve other people, little or big. Just me. At every point in the day I had to fight my desires and bring myself back to what was important, to what was now.

Looking back, I should be grateful that there was at least a struggle. I didn’t get upset with the girls, or neglect what I needed to be doing, give in to a poor-me attitude or check out.

It just didn’t feel good. Why couldn’t I be abundantly thankful? radiantly joyful? endlessly creative? The only answer I can find is that I’m just a mom. I have four little girls and the load is huge. No matter how many times I get alone and do things by myself, no matter how often my husband helps me out, no matter how many people come alongside, there will be days when mothering is just not fun. It doesn’t mean I’m having a bad attitude or giving in to discontentment with what God has given me; it just means I’m real.

So for tonight, I’m going to have to put aside what I feel and think through what I know.

*God is good; He loves me and blessed me with this job.

*My girls are invaluable; I know that they know I love them and by God’s grace I believe they saw that in what we did today.

*I am permanently flawed. The new nature God gave me at the moment of rebirth will still have to fight my depravity until I am changed perfectly into the image of Christ. This means that struggle will be a part of life until the day I die. Struggle is not a reason to weigh the heart down, but a sign that good is prevailing.

*God gave me abundant grace today to remember Him and continue on. God gave me endless mercy as I constantly demonstrated selfishness, ingratitude and discontentment.

So why talk about this in public?

I have a lot of good days. Actually, mostly good days. The days that aren’t good are great; except for the few, few, very few days that are difficult, bad or really hard. I don’t ever want anyone to think that my life is without struggle.

Sometimes it’s because of the girls, sometimes it’s because of other people, sometimes it’s because of uncontrollable circumstances, but sometimes my day becomes a struggle because of just me.