As I left for work today, I had a wave of gratefulness wash over me.
In a new season — new state, new home, new friends; leaving everything familiar behind — I found it dangerously easy to point my heart toward ingratitude. Seeing the past through rose-colored lenses, adding every uncomfortable situation to the “I knew it” bottom line, feeding every lie with each disappointment . . . It’s therapeutic in the most toxic sense. Complaining is instant gratification for the weak.
I had been in this rut off and on since we moved . . . Sometimes instantly recognizing my attitude negatively affect those around me; sometimes subconsciously trudging around in my worries and fears, letting them dictate my emotions and actions.
One of the scary things about letting your mind go there is that you give yourself to any and all outside factors; you have no perspective in situations. Everything is against you. There are no choices. You are, essentially, the victim.
The strangest part of this morning is that I found the greatest joy in a previous stumbling block.
Let me explain. We are newly married, and we moved in with Garrett’s family: his sister, brother-in-law, their three kids, and his father. So, living on this property, there are e i g h t of us sharing a house. This felt a little cramped for me at first. Not only the lack of space, but the fact that I moved from my familiar family dynamic into a brand new, very different one. So, with the lack of space, and children being children — temper tantrums, bickering, getting into things — I was feeling overwhelmed. I wanted space. I wanted more for my husband and I: more time together, more room, less going on.
But this morning, I was about to leave for work, and my nephew yells, “Auntay Aubbay!!!!” and gives me a big hug around the knees, my sister-in-law is sitting on a blanket in the yard holding the baby who can’t stop smiling up at me, and my other nephew says, “Bye, auntie Aubby, have a good day at work! Miss you!” And for a brief moment, I took it all in and was so immensely grateful. All the messes, all the tantrums, all the busy is worth it just for those few blissful moments where love and adorableness come pouring out to you.
The Lord is so good to us. If we pay attention, there are so many (big and little) things in which we should be sincerely thankful. We don’t have to look far, we just have to look well.