Thanks-giving leads to Thanks-living

In the midst of the terrible hurricane that has hit the Northeast last night and today, we personally have only experienced high wind gusts and much cooler temperatures; thankfully most of the people in our area have not experienced power loss.  Our CC group was cancelled for the day as a result of the storm, so we've spent the day at home.  

In today's multi-media, fast pace, gotta.be.involved.in.everything.all.the.time world, it is easy to become discontent with staying home for a day.  Even my kids frequently ask first thing in the morning, "Mommy, where are we going today?".  Much of the time, we are going somewhere.  

Recently, I've cut a weekly event from my schedule because I'm a wife, a mother, a runner, and a doula; going out every day was just too much.  Taking the kids to a morning-long activity is often exhausting and all I can do when I get home is get the kids fed, the kitchen tidied, eat lunch myself (I often forget), and put them down for rest time.  

My work can sometimes pull me out of the house at odd hours of the day, for long periods of time.  

I'm training for a 1/2 marathon (which is in 18 days), and truth be told, that takes a LOT of my time.  On Saturdays after long training runs, I'm usually exhausted - both physically and mentally (seriously, 11 miles, while great, will do you in!).  

Generally, I like to rest for at least an hour in the afternoons just to give me the energy to carry on through the evening hours after Daniel gets home.  

Given the above, in my house, laundry is often piled in mounds, cobwebs have appeared out of nowhere overnight, toilets are in dire need of cleaning...  you get the idea.

Today, we are home. All day. 

Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts"  has it written right on the front: "A dare to live fully right where you are."  To live fully.  Right where you are.  

Much of the time, living fully where you are is hard.  

Cleaning toilets, folding laundry, wiping grody-nosed baby faces (or cleaning poopy bums for the 3rd time in a day!), cleaning up last night's crumbs in the kitchen, loading the dishwasher, wiping down the counter tops, sweeping the floor, etc. can get mundane.  

It is exhausting.

One of the best bits of encouragement my mom has ever given me (paraphrased): Remember: when you are folding those socks {or that mountain of laundry!}, that you have those socks because you have a husband and children. {Thanksgiving right there!} Be thankful for those socks, that mountain of laundry!

That I have those socks, little and big, that positive Mount Everest of laundry, is the representation of my blessings.

Today, we stayed home.  We started the day off slow.  

I texted my sister and dear friends to be sure they survived the wind-storm. (They were all okay, Praise Him!)

I drank my spiced chai - it burned my already raw throat.  ;)  Daniel and I read 1st Kings 3 together before he left for work.  We talked it through.

I climbed out of my warm bed into a cool room and cleaned the positively snot-crusted face of my baby while singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" to my sweet Cammon (her favorite song).  I donned 3 running shirts to ward off the chill in the air before I poured dry cereal for Patrick and Erin.  I dawdled on facebook, checking in on many friends in the Northeast. I made a cup of coffee or two (or three...).  

I laughed with Patrick and Erin as the wrestled, tangled amid the blue hand-knitted blanket I made years ago.  I intervened and moderated fights between the best-friend-siblings.  I protected the little one from these spats.  

Laundry was thrown into the dryer and the washer filled to the brim with dirty clothes.  

I talked with my mom on the phone, interrupted by a spontaneous visit by my dear friend, 22 weeks pregnant (for the first time) with twin boys, as she stopped by to drop off a fuel belt (water bottle belt, literally) for me to borrow during the next few weeks as I gear up for my 1/2 marathon.  

I rejoiced with Hannah at her beautiful baby belly, knowing how many years she has longed for that belly.  I felt the movements of her sons.  I gave her shirts.  She left and I called my mom back and we talked until Daniel called during his lunch break.  Daniel and I talked and shared eucharisteos for the day.

Nap time came.  Children were put in bed to rest.  I was tired.  I checked facebook once more to check in on dear friends.  I went to rest.  I, nearly asleep, was interrupted by Patrick who came to my room, two tin whistles in hand, wanting a quick lesson on the things we practiced last night.  Exhausted though I was and through His grace, I knew the tin whistle lesson was worth far more than a few moments rest.

We practiced for 3 minutes.  Patrick performed beautifully and was satisfied with his lesson.  He gladly left the room, closed my door and headed to the playroom, tin whistle in hand.  I tried to rest.  It was 5pm.

Needless to say, I didn't get much rest.  I am tired now as I write, yet, today was beautiful. Beautiful truly doesn't even begin to explain it.  

Today was a mundane day by many people's standards.  

Yet, I was blessed by time in the Word with my husband, nurturing my children, finding out all my dear friends survived the hurricane OK, washing a mound of laundry, drying a mountain of laundry, fellowship over the phone with my mom, video chat with my sister, a short visit with a dear friend, cooking dinner, rest-time interrupted by a child eager to learn...

Seriously, what more could I ask for?  I am thankful.  Truly, deeply, thankful to my Father for the blessings of an ordinary day at home.  

Thanks be to Him, I was able to fully live where I was.  I look forward to tomorrow and the blessings in store.

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