There is no denying that gratitude is hardest when things aren't overtly wonderful. When I'm churning the wheels at a job that I'm still not sure exactly what I think of it, when a bike ride (with Loki) ends with a hurt ankle, when the pile of laundry doesn't ever seem to dwindle.
When I struggle to give thanks and to find things to pluck down with pen and keys:
**crisp walks in the dog**
**produce coming down in prices**
**fun, funky songs stuck in my head**
**tea and my bible in the morning (one of my goals this year was to read the new testament in 2 months, well, I didn't but I will get it done during lent)**
**the way Loki gathers all his toys in the living room**
When simply listing doesn't change anything, although it has changed me. The skies are still cloudy and the ground still muddy.
**a spontaneous trip to Marquette to see Christopher during a day when I wouldn't normally see him**
** waking up briefly to a kiss before he leaves for the day**
**sorting through things; a few boxes for Goodwill**
I grumble, ungrateful, cataloging the good but failing to see it - focusing on the clouds and the laundry and the pain.
**asking for forgiveness for an angry, ungrateful heart**
I cry frustration and hurt on my husband's shirt.
**his wise words**
**his fingers brushing away my tears**
**grace and forgiveness, given first by God then by my husband**
With repentance, struggle reaps fruit; with forgiveness, focus shifts to the good.
There will be cloudy and laundry and pain and all of those things do deserve a portion of my time and energy but by giving them my day, I make a statement about my day. Choosing to see the good, the blessings, the gifts while still wearing a rain jacket, folding laundry and taking advil and icing my ankle, is difficult. Being thankful for those things: rain jackets, folded towels, advil and ice is not my first instinct.
But in that kind of thanksgiving, though I don't have it all figured out, there is joy ... life ... peace.