a november scrooge

i am so excited y’all. lauren agreed to guest blog here & her words will touch your soul. she’s not a lot of fluff, just pure & simple. she can paint you a picture with her words. thank you lauren for kicking off this month of gratitude. follow her blog at journeys of commitment

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Over drinks last weekend a friend of mine asked me what I was grateful for.

Seriously? I thought. Are we really doing this?

I’m not exactly Miss Merry Sunshine when it comes to the month of November.  I get awkward when the whole country gets touchy-feely. I start to feel like everyone is waiting for me to bear my soul in the line at Starbucks, like the red holiday cups must mean we all want to share our life stories. I suddenly feel pressure to be openly emotional, to create some dramatic life moment with a grand epiphany of gratitude at the end. Or, worse yet, I feel like the things I’m thankful for are the same things everyone else is thankful for – for my family, love in my life, a roof over my head, a good job, health, etc. etc. etc. And that just makes for boring conversation.

“Um.” Awkward pause. “This glass of wine?”

The look on her face told me my answer didn’t cut it. It didn’t even come close to cutting it. I would have tried again, but didn’t, for fear that I’d come up with something even more juvenile or less personal than the Pinot Grigio hanging in my hand.

I’m a November scrooge.

I fail at the giving thanks part of Thanksgiving.

I went home that night and lamented to myself. I didn’t understand why that conversation was so difficult for me. Why did I freeze when she asked me? Why couldn’t I offer up one silly thing? Was I not grateful? Were there no good things in my life to be thankful for? Am I broken?

I decided to get my act together.  The problem is not that I don’t have gratitude in my heart. The problem is not that God has not showered me with life abundant. The problem is that I am thankful, oh so very thankful, for the little, everyday things that no one probably wants to hear about. My thankfulness is the stuff of simplicity, the stuff of the everyday. It’s a mundane, tedious kind of gratitude, and one that doesn’t always feel very interesting to share.

For the way my husband still laughs at my jokes – I’m thankful.

For the way my son puts his five little fingers on top of mine when we read books – I’m thankful.

For the dishwasher running at the end of the day, a sound that makes me feel like I’ve actually completed something – I’m thankful.

For the tights I found in the back of my closet that, by some miracle of God, still fit me – I’m thankful.

For the leaves and the farm and the pastures and the centuries-old trees that my son could play in on Saturday – I’m thankful.

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For the smell of my mother-in-law’s beef barley soup on the stove – I’m thankful.

For the fact that I didn’t have to go to Target at 8:00p.m because there was one last diaper buried in the bag – I’m thankful.

There is coffee in my pot in the morning.

My husband puts his side of the blanket over me at night because he knows I get cold.

My little boy learned to say “plane.”

My Kindle battery stayed charged.

I get to spend my day with teenagers.

My neighbors brought our trashcans to our stoop.

For these gifts, these simple things, these everyday ordinary miracles – I offer up my thanks. I offer up a life that hopes to be worthy of them, that hopes to bear witness to their joy, that hopes to never forget I did nothing to deserve or earn them.

I hope my miracles know that I am grateful.

I hope my miracles know that they give me a life worth living.

I hope my miracles know that it is for this ordinary life of abundance, that I give my utmost November gratitude.

I guess I can raise a Starbucks holiday cup to that.

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