Thursday, April 19, 2012

1000 Gifts

This morning I was ugly.

I was blind to it until my husband's voice, from the kitchen said, "You complain a lot."

Like a punch to the gut.
Not a mean-spirited punch...just...truth.

I stopped in mid-action.
Folding yet another pair of rip-kneed jeans that had been left on the floor.
My hands froze and I rewound my brain through the morning to view it like a shameful movie.

Me: scowl on my brow.
Me: taking in the mess of life all around me.
Me: with words coming forth full of negativity.
Me: overwrought.
Me: undone.
Me: ugly.

And then I rewound again and watched, not myself, but my family.
Them: numbering three.
Them: running, laughing, eating, smiling.
Them: making messes and then surprised at the fury coming from my mouth.
Them: healthy, breathtaking, smart, funny.
Them: joy.
Them: the face of God.

And then I saw Mr. B.
Him: making three lunches.
Him: carrying the heavy weight of responsibility.
Him: tuning the iPod to a higher volume to tune me out.
Him: a blessing to me.

I was shamed.
And then I cried for forgiveness. 
What can I do to stop this?
My plight - the plight of all mommies - is not going to change.
There will always be plates that sit in the sink, unmatched socks, floors to vacuum, crumbs on the counter, broken toys to step on.
I can't change that...but I can change something.
I can change me.

I've talked about Ann Voskamp's book before.
How it worked in me to make a difference.

And I started a journey there.
A journey of gratefulness, of counting my 1,000 {and ever more} gifts.

I saw the fruit of noticing His goodness to me in my life.
I saw myself realizing the blessing in the simple, the mundane, even.
But then I stopped.
The journal got pushed to the bottom of a pile and soon I stopped fishing it out to chronicle the good.
And I miss that now.

The list was young in these photos.
In it's 20's. 
It has grown to be in the 200's but it stalled there.
I'm ready to pick it back up.
To remember the gifts.
I miss the gifts.

I found my notebook and set it back out on the dining room table.
Open to it's page left from March...

Gift # 213. Warm foreheads and Disney movies to rest.

#208. A new two-year-old

#65. Honey-Vanilla pound cake.

#78. Little pink leotards and tutu skirts.

#129. Funny Friends.

#203. Humming of the dishwasher & dryer...quiet home.

#168. The first mosquito bite.

#172. Red wine and pizza.

#47. Safety from the storm.

I'm going to start reading the book again.
And penning my gratitude.
Because, she's right, there's something about searching for the gifts 
{and finding them, because they are always there}
that heals that broken spirit.
The spirit that is accompanied by creased foreheads and negative words spat before you think.
I need to be healed...again.

I may post some gifts from my list here on the blog now and again. that I'm not alone, would you please post just one 
{or two, or...however many you can come up with}
of your gifts in my comment section?
A gift is not a gift until shared. 


a.m. said...

Your transparency is inspiring. I try to pen something in my "Gifts Book" every day. Keeps me grounded. Believe me. I've had the hubs say those very words. And it hurt. But I'm grateful for them. Thanks for sharing =)

Jamie Willow said...

I'm having a hard day too. Feel kinda sick and the boys are alternating needing me so no breaks and Lance won't be home for 3 days. My gift today was my meal share group. The gal dropped off a vegan quiche and veggies and I was able to eat a nice meal in the midst of chaos. Judah took a nap and has been so sweet to me.

Thanks for the reminder.

Saundra said...

My group at work volunteered at a crisis nursery today; a house that takes in kids for up to 3 days when things go wrong at home. Then we had the Watoto children at church and we housed 3 boys and an adult that grew up in the program, Sat. night.....can we say HUMBLED.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Thank you for stopping by! I haven't heard from you in so long - AFRICA! Awesome! My cousins went for a month to hold babies a couple years ago and have been trying to get back ever since.

I hate it when I am ugly.
So many times a day I have to say to myself, "just STOP" - why do I want to PUNISH the people I love with my nastiness? Is that going to stop kids from being kids, or stop laundry from ending up on the floor?

Is is just what you said it is - ugly.

-My hubbie who "puts up with me"
-My kids who are so quick to forgive
-My Jesus who is quick to forget

Andrea said...

so, so beautifully written.

I needed to read those words today. thank you for this simple reminder.