There was a very off-beat song we used to sing at Blessed Sacrament. Thank you Lord for this fine day, thank you Lord for this fine day. Thaaaank you Lord for this fine day, right where we are. Thank you Lord for (insert point of gratitude) ice cream and cake. Thank you Lord for Ice cream and cake. Thank you Lord for ice cream and cake, right where we are. It was a great way to get us to understand gratitude and I have sung it with many a little one since then.
Recently, someone said something I hear a lot. "I don't get anything out of church." Sadly, it's a common claim. And while there is something to be learned from that about training pastors and preachers as good counselors and homilists (is there a class in seminary called 'how to keep them awake??'), I also briefly mentioned that maybe the first step in going to church (if you feel that pull) is going just to say thanks. Because, truly, if we all sat back and thought about what we were thankful for, just today, we'd dust off the Bible, close our eyes and whisper, "Thank you Lord, for this very fine day." (And if it happened to be Sunday, maybe we'd whisper those words in a place of worship.) I've repeated these words from Fr. Tim many times. "When you go to church and get something out of it, that's God's gift to you. When you go to church and don't really get anything out of it, that's your gift to God." Isn't that what unconditional love is? Giving even when we don't receive?
Anywho- As I am typically a walking hypocrit, I'll take today's blog to be a little gratitude journal. Feel free to reference this when I morph back into a spoiled brat in an hour or so.
Thank you Lord for last Saturday evening's Mass with grandma and mom and Katie at Blessed Sacrament. Thank you for the moment shared when Mary Kate grabbed the pearls on her great-grandmother's jacket and looked up at her. GGma looked down at MK and in her not-so-good inside voice said "you are beautiful, so, so beautiful." Watching two of my favorite girls share that moment, watching my daughter sit between me and my grandmother at church, it still brings tears to my eyes. Thank you Lord for special moments between generations of family.
Thank you Lord for mommy sandwiches. Each morning Ross or I go get Mk and bring her into our bed. On one side of me I have my girl, nursing, nuzzled next to me. On the other side is my husband, his head on my shoulder, arm draped over both of his gals. I would love a picture of this most special time of day. I never want to forget the feeling of literally being wrapped in love. Ross works later than most of my friend's husbands and while I hate that each afternoon, I am thankful that it affords us mornings as a family.
Thank you Lord for daddy daughter morning play time. After I feed MK, she crawls her way over to her dad and begins their morning ritual of play-time. Ross calls Monty over and MK peeks over Ross's side at the big ole beast, beaming at her big brother. Ross throws MK in the air, tickles her, talks to her. She tries to eat his nose, pull his hair and on a good day, will lay her little head on his chest for a minute. Whether I'm next to them or peeking in on them, I am so thankful that the Lord gives my daughter this time with her dad (and vice versa!)
Thank you Lord for the richness of friendships. We started the week with playing with these beautiful girls. Watching Melissa mother those 2 girls while her husband is in the middle of CPA busy season was inspiring and encouraging. Yesterday MK and I went to play with the sisters. She swung on the swing with Sr. Brunetta and chased little Moses with Sr. Anunciela. How lucky are we that they love us? Later we went to lunch with Grady friends. I loved hearing about the patients and our friends who take care of them. Then we went to our sweet Natalie and Joy Elizabeth's house. Natalie went grocery shopping for both of us while I watched the girls (very nice plan! ) MK and JE smiled at each other and I thanked God that my daughter and I both get a great friend out of the Stanfield family. Later in the evening, one of my old Team Athens friends came over for dinner. While she was technically there to talk business with Ross, we gossiped and caught up and she brought Mike and Ike's so it was wonderful.
Thank you Lord for lunches with Ross. I say this because there are some negatives to Ross's job. But since we are feelng grateful, one of the good things about this job is that it is five minutes from home and Ross can come home for lunch. So on the days MK and I aren't out and about in between her naps, we see her dad. And this beautiful weather lately has meant lunches on the patio with our favorite guy. As we start a little bit of separation anxiety, I am thankful for this extra face time with her daddy.
Thank you Lord for a healthy little girl. My heart continues to ache for Kate McRae and for little Lucy Pittman, a doc friend's daughter. While they battle a recurrence of brain cancer, I took my girl into the doctor this week, convinced she had an ear infection. Nope- just teeth. Thank you Lord that we have had ONE sick appointment since MK's birth nearly 8 months ago. Thank you Lord that our biggest problems are teeth and forgive me for complaining so much about them.
Thank you Lord for our home. Thankfully not as often, but envy still finds its way into my heart sometimes. I know that a bigger home means more floors to sweep and beds to make. I know that a bigger car means more money spent on gas and less spent on chick-fil-a (and that CANNOT happen).
Thank you Lord for the gift of being at home. I know it is not for everyone, but when I am the least bit tempted by envy, I think of my days at home with my girl. You could dangle a 3 story home with a finished basement, a big ole SUV in the garage, a huge backyard and a jacuzzi tub in front of my face and I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole if it meant not being at home with Mary Kate. It took a minute to get to here, but I am so, so thankful to be working in our home with our girl. Every last one of the sacrifices we are making for this to happen is worth it.
Thank you Lord for the little girl chatting from her bedroom. Writing this post on gratitude is keeping me from moaning that she took a 31 minute nap and thinking about what the rest of my day could entail from said lack of sleep. She could never take another nap and I'd love her as much (might not look like it, but I would :)
Thank you Lord for the chance to talk to St.Vincent's girls. Last week I spoke to 3 classes of junior and senior girls about HIV/AIDS and dying with dignity. Their questions were poignant, mature and compassionate. Thank you for the chance to dispel some myths, infuse them with some education and to learn from them. Thank you for the chance to go back to see Catholic school in action and to be reminded of how much I'd love to give this gift to MK.
Thank you Lord for the gift of YOU. Thank you that experiencing you through the sacrifice of the Mass, through the gift of the Eucharist, continues to bring me immeasurable peace and joy. As a plug, I will say that I think church is like exercise or enjoying a hobby, the more I invest in it, the more I do it, the more I think "how did I ever go without it?" Thank you Lord for refueling me each Sunday (and each day that I actually sit down for qt with you). I couldn't for one minute raise that little yeller without your guidance and grace.