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Challenge: Gratitude & Giving

Grateful for the chaos

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This morning I’m awakened by my 3-year-old at 4:30 a.m. Again. He’s always been a champion sleeper but this last time change has really thrown him for a loop, meaning he’s been wide awake before 5 a.m. for the past three days.

We’re all exhausted.

So when he shows up next to my bed and whispers, “Mama, I hold you,” I look at the time, then take a deep breath.

You might expect that I cry, maybe wake up his “can sleep through a freight train” father to take him back to bed, or even say a few choice words under my breath – but I do something far more shocking.

I pick him up and put him in bed next to me. I kiss him on his cheek as he whispers, “Hi Mama,” and that’s it. He snuggles his warm little body into mine and falls back asleep.

I, on the other hand, am wide awake but not the least bit upset about it. I lie here, holding my precious boy, thanking God over and over for making me a mama. For placing me in this moment of pure peace, soaking in the sweetness before the busyness of the day kicks in. Before everyone’s awake and needs breakfast – more juice, please! – and lunches need to be made and backpacks packed – don’t forget my folder, mom!

Some days feel like a lot – borderline overwhelming. Some days I joke with my husband that we’ll sleep when the kids are grown, and we’ll be able to think straight long enough to have an intelligent conversation when they’re past the “running circles and screaming” phase.

More days than not, our home is loud. Messy. Some might say, chaotic.

I’ve got two little kids, a husband, a full-time job with a team to lead, a house and about 5,000 other things to manage every day and yes, it’s A LOT. Some would call it chaos – but it’s my chaos. It’s my circus and these are my monkeys. And I love it.

There is so much beauty in the chaos of the everyday and I’m finding in this season that God is graciously making moments where I’m able to slow down long enough to really see, and feel, the beauty. In these moments, I exhale, and the gratitude fills me up and overflows into the day.

I am thankful our home is never quiet because that means it’s filled with family.

I am thankful for the changing of the seasons, for a yard littered with yellow and orange and fiery red leaves.

I am thankful to hear “Mama” no less than 65 times per day.

I am thankful for a husband who tells me how beautiful I am even when my hair is 85% dry shampoo.

I am thankful for coffee, which helps me do all the things.

I am thankful for dirty dishes because that means we have plenty of food to eat and yes, I am even more thankful for my dishwasher.

I am thankful for loads upon loads of laundry because that reminds me I have people entrusted to my care.

I am thankful for a backyard littered with slides and balls, because that reminds me the beauty of kids running around in the world God created.

I am thankful for our village that loves on our family in countless ways.

I am thankful for a house to clean because that means we have a safe, warm place to call home.

I am thankful we are all healthy in a season where so many are sick.

I am thankful for Amazon and Chick-Fil-A, for without them I would be utterly lost.

I am thankful for my parents who are such a big part of our lives, because it’s an amazing thing when your parents help you be a good parent.

I am thankful for long walks around our neighborhood where we stop and chat with neighbors and their little furry friends.

I am thankful when my big girl 6-year-old crawls in my lap because she needs some snuggles.

I am thankful for never being bored at work because one day is never like the next.

I am thankful when my 3-year-old tells his sister she’s his best friend.

I am thankful for never feeling like there are enough hours in the day because that means life is FULL – and that’s an incredible thing.

I am thankful for text messaging because it allows me to text my best girlfriends multiple times a day and stay connected.

I am thankful that my kids drop everything and run to the door when they hear Daddy is home from work because that reminds me I married way up.

I am thankful for an SUV filled with coloring sheets and stale pretzels and random articles of kid’s clothing because that means I have two darlings to run to and fro.

I am thankful for the utter exhaustion I feel at the end of every day because that means I gave that day my all.

I am thankful for two little darlings to chase and read to and sing with, who constantly remind me what is important in this life - and what to let go of.

I am thankful that my perspective is shifting and I am embracing the chaos, taking the good with the bad, and actively looking for the beauty – and fun – in the every day.

I am thankful for an early wake-up call – because it reminds me that I am the luckiest Mama in the whole world ... and coffee is coming.

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