Today, I’m thankful for things that I haven’t been thankful for before. They may be things I usually complain about and will probably complain about again, but tonight, God’s given me a different perspective.
1. I’m thankful for bodily functions.
Marcus’ speech is exploding right now and we’ve noticed that he’s got quite the potty mouth.
A: Who’s there?
A: Banana who?
M: Banana wants poo-poo.
(Eruption of high-pitched giggles.)
And who would have thought that potty training would increase his vocabulary?
One day, looking in the toilet after doing #2, he said, ” Eeew, stinky. So much poo-poo. HuMONgous!!!”
But besides the potty mouth, he’s also a big question-asker now. We are loving all the What, Where, and How questions. My favorite was when our little neighbor friend stopped by yesterday and without any prompting from us, Marcus said, “Hi Reese! How are you?” Mike and I just looked at each other and smiled and melted.
2. I’m thankful for a messy house.
I was proud of myself this week for folding the laundry and piling them up on the stair banister like this:
It was a huge accomplishment because they’re usually piled into laundry baskets downstairs and Mike and I have to treasure hunt for clothes every morning.
Before I had kids, I had delusional thoughts that I would always keep my house clean even after having children. My kids would be able to eat off the floor because it would be spotless, and I’d pass a white glove test any day of the week because I’d be dusting very often. The kids would pull out one toy at a time and put it back after choosing another one and they would demurely nibble on their snacks at the dining table and wipe sticky hands on napkins to avoid crumbs and fingerprints. There would be no messy piles of junk laying around, and I would finish all my chores according to schedule so that strangers could stop by at any time of day and see an orderly home. Was I on drugs?!
But seeing that my house in real life fails to meet the expectations of my fantasy life, makes me realize that my capacity is limited and my life is full. There are diapers to change, meals to prepare, a husband to talk with, a baby to hold, a kindergartner who needs help with homework, and a 3 year-old who loves to spoon in the afternoon. I’ll take that over a clean house any day.
3. I’m thankful that I don’t have a garage.
Believe me, I complain about this one every time I lug the 3 kids and backpacks and groceries on the 32 mile journey from the car to my front door. Most of the time, the baby’s crying from hunger or a missed nap, I’m impatient with the kids, sweating, and wearing an ugly scowl on my face that looks just like the whining in my heart. But God helped me realize that we are still living in our 2-bedroom condo neighborhood for some good reason. And maybe the daily trek to and from the car is actually good for Marcus. That’s 64 extra miles of walking per day for him that he would otherwise not have if we had a garage. And maybe that’s why he’s starting to gain more endurance walking and able to take a few small steps independently now.
Check out the first couple seconds in this clip. Kind of cool, huh?
4. I’m thankful for an anxious heart.
What? Yes, I’m thankful that I was anxious for the past week or so. Whenever we have an ophthalmology appointment coming up for Marcus, I get anxious that we will be hearing the news we most dread; that he is beginning to lose his vision. Due to various circumstances, I was more anxious than usual about an appointment this week. But what a sweet time it was to lay my burdens down at the feet of Jesus, search His promises, pray with my husband, and be comforted by Him.
The doctor told us that Marcus’ vision remains stable and that he is tracking even better now than before. This news was a relief to hear, but in a greater way, what encouraged me was the fact that the Lord continues to bring me near through situations like these. He doesn’t seem to let me wander too far off before He draws me in again to remind me that nothing will separate us from His love.