Giving Thanks

When this week started out, I thought of all the normal things I’m very thankful for …

… my home, no matter how dirty, keeps me warm and dry

… food, that I’m not going hungry

… freedom, the freedom we have in America is something some take for granted

But today I’m thinking about what I’m really thankful for the most … and that’s life.

I’m thankful for …

… the life behind every one of the Twitter avatars that come up in my stream. Some of you I have never even met in person, but each of you have touched me in one way or another.

… the life behind every one of the Facebook pictures that I’m friends with. Most of you I’ve met and yet, you still want to be my friend.

… the life of my closest Skype buddies who I’ve yet to meet. Y’all are a great support to me when I feel like pulling my hair out.

… the life of all my Proverbs 31 Ministries sisters. I’ve just recently become really involved with this ministry and every one of you have welcomed me into the fold with open arms and most importantly prayers.

… the life of every one in my family. From parents, in-laws, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, great-neice, great-nephew, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents — even the ones who have passed from this world. They’ve all had an impact on who I am right now.

… the life of Duck and Doodle. Duck is my best friend, my provider, my caretaker. Doodle is my best daughter who’s growing up too quick. She’s beautiful, smart and artistic.

… the life God saw fit in talking me out of taking 7.5 years ago. If it weren’t for His love, there are many of you I would not know today.

most importantly, I’m thankful for …

… the life of Jesus and that He would give up His life for me is sometimes unbelievable. I am so unworthy. I went to Women of Faith a few weeks ago with my best friend from college and her mom. It was a great weekend of reflection and catching up on 16 years worth of life. Looking back at how I was when she and I hung out, all I could think was I’m a totally different person now. Jesus is that difference and I’m eternally grateful for that.

I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. May you remember everything that you have to be truly thankful for in this life. Please feel free to share what you’re thankful for in my comments area. I love y’all.

Lessons from a Doodle

She’s not much of a Doodle any more, but seeing as how that’s what I’ve used for her nickname here, I should probably continue to use it. She’s getting tall — up to my eyes and probably could wear my shoes if she wanted to. This past week and a half, she’s said some interesting things. She’s growing up and I’m not sure I’m ready for it.

1. Care about others. And by caring I mean praying for others. On our anniversary, Duck’s group had been invited to do music during a revival service. The pastor got up and asked for prayer requests and Doodle raised her hand and shared one. She had two, but the pastor didn’t hear her correctly. I told her that was ok because God knew she tried to speak up and hears her prayers. The fact that she spoke up in a strange church where she didn’t know anyone surprised me. But it was absolutely awesome to hear her requests for other people and hear the concern in her voice.

2. Don’t be hard on yourself. We left the house a few minutes later than I would have liked. When we pulled into Bojangles (don’t judge me – she won’t eat anything else for breakfast), the drive-thru line was long. I made some kind of comment about how I messed up and we should have gotten up earlier. Doodle said, “stop being so hard on yourself Mom! Everyone makes mistakes.” Thing is I am often very hard on myself for what I do wrong and I see Doodle reacting the exact same way. Especially when she misses something on homework.

3. Don’t speed. Before we went on vacation, I was late leaving the house to pickup Doodle from school. There’s a side road I take to her school through a residential area. I thought the speed limit was 35 but the cop who pulled me kindly told me I was doing 45 in a 25. So when I did get to the school, Doodle was fussing at me because I was late. When I explained to her what happened she promptly asked if I told the cop that “my daughter is waiting on me and was very worried something bad had happened to me.” Um. No. You don’t tell cops that sort of thing. They don’t really care. This morning I was speeding up on the highway to pass a car and get over for our exit and she reminds me ever-so-kindly to slow down because we can’t afford another speeding ticket.

We can learn a lot from our kids. Some of it you might not want to see (like the bad habits they’ve picked up from you), but all of it we need to see.

The Great Unplugging

It was supposed to be last week. Then the rains came, and didn’t stop. So we postponed it to this week. Tomorrow we’re packing up our motorcycles and heading to the mountains. We’re celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary a little early this year. I’m just thankful we’ll get to go this year. I really missed not going last year.

I’m leaving my computer at home – so no email, Twitter, Facebook, working on websites, none of it. I will have my cell phone to call home, but other than actual voice calls, I’m not going to use my phone. This is major for me. I’m quite the computer addict. I decided to leave you with a list so you may know when it’s time to go on vacation or just unplug for a bit.

5 of ways you know it’s time to unplug

  1. when you dream in code (html, css, php)
  2. when you wake up in a panic realizing you didn’t set your alarm last night, rush into your child’s room to wake them up for school only to realize it’s Saturday
  3. when you get a speeding ticket on a back road because you’re running late to pickup your child from school
  4. when you hear your spouse snoring down the hall, and you’re still working on a project
  5. when your child has to ask you repeatedly for a drink

and one last bonus way to know when you’re ready to unplug, when you feel like this:

Yes, that’s me. I remember the exact moment this picture was taken. I don’t know why I was upset in the first place, but Dad had sat me on the kitchen table. My oldest sister, Sue – who is 11 years older than me and should have known better – snapped this picture of me which made me even more upset. And Dad got mad at me. I couldn’t understand it. But Dad didn’t get mad at me a lot, so it kinda jerked me back into reality and stopped the gushing.

But if you’ve been feeling like this, I pray you get a vacation sometime soon! Or if you can’t do a vacation right now, just get a book that doesn’t make you think and go somewhere away from your house for an hour. Give yourself permission to unplug. I promise Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the Internets will still be there when you get back. After all, you’ll be here when I get back, right? 🙂