We did a thankful tree again this year. And Owen sort of got it. Every night, after dinner, he’d proudly proclaim that he was thankful “for the trapeze swing at Gleason’s Gym.” He would talk non-stop about this apparatus between visits to the preschool open gym, but then, once there, he’d tell me over and over “nonononono, Mom, I’m scared” until the very last minute of the open gym, in which he’d start sobbing because he hadn’t gotten to do the trapeze swing yet. It has been a vicious, endless cycle of thanks.
Towards the end of the month though, he started to catch on. He had leaves up there for me and his dad, for his friends, for cookies. He also helped us guess what Elsa is thankful for…most of her leaves centered on gnawing: cold cucumbers, pretzel rods, and the like. Though we’ve recently discovered her fascination with the animal kingdom, so dogs and cats made it up there too.
On Eric’s list were a job he enjoys, great freelance opportunities, a church community that loves Jesus in their everyday, that shares meals, and forges headlong into vulnerable conversation at any opportunity. He is thankful for me, for our kids, for The Hamembert.
Topping my list were two relatively healthy kids, a kind husband, honeycrisp apples, the fact that my kids nap at the same time in the afternoon. One of my thankful leaves includes a theme I cling to every day – that I follow a God who gently leads those who are with young. I am thankful for friends who are in this same stage of life with me, who know me, who know what it is like to continuously have toys all over your living room floor. I am thankful, of course, for every day I get with my little family…as well as for our greater families who love me, and more importantly, love my kids.
When Owen was tiny and new and never sleeping at the right times, I would groggily greet his falcon cries in the morning and change his heavy morning diapers. I would never be ready for the day. I was post-partum hormonal and kept having mastitis and as much as I loved this new little person, the hours of each day were long. But each morning, I would lift him out of his crib. Together we would go and open the curtains to let the sun into his room, and I would lay him on the changing table and sing, with my scratchy morning voice:
This is the day, this is the day,
that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made.
We will rejoice, we will rejoice,
and be glad in it, and be glad in it!
This disposition of thanks is solid ground. It is everything.
So while this is not quite the season for resolutions, let this coming year be marked by thanks. Thanks for a God who is crafting our moments and hours to precision. For our good. For His glory.
Let each day be the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.