Life is messy, it's busy, it's filled with crazy chaos at times. While standing at the free (because our local martial arts studio loves parents!) coffee center at taekwondo last night, waiting to get a small cup of bean juice, I stepped out of character and started talking with the other mother who was getting coffee ahead of me. We laughed about the fact that we wake up in the mornings and our first thought is "how long until bedtime?" Every day this week has been hijacked by appointments (planned and unplanned), errands, and life. I am firmly convinced that God created coffee beans for parents. Step aside perky teenagers and college students...Mama needs her coffee!
This morning over on Facebook, I've been staring at the blinking cursor after the words "January 18: #iamthankful..." for far too long, my mind drawing a blank. Sometimes it's hard to focus on gratitude in the middle of life...which is exactly why I practice the habit of intentional daily gratitude. One of our girls has put down, "thankful for the chips you packed in my lunch" every day this week for one of her 'thankful for' items. And while I want her to start thinking BEYOND food for her gratitude list, this week I have had to chuckle because sometimes the "bag of chips" is all you can think of -- and you truly are thankful for them!
On Wednesday morning, I was picking out bananas at the grocery store and looked up to see my childhood friend who tragically lost her husband one year ago (and gave birth to their son just hours before the funeral). She was picking out flowers and a balloon to place on his grave. I have watched her over the last year as she has worked through the grief of widowhood and the joy of being a new mom, sharing both the sense of loss and the wonder of new life through her Facebook posts and her blog. Seeing her in the store on the one year anniversary of her husband's death was a stark reminder to me not to take any of these crazy days for granted.
Last night, during all of our running around in the car, I told the kids that I was going to play the audio Bible that I'd been listening to. Although it was for me (and my sanity) and not specifically for them, as the narrator began to read out of 2 Thessalonians and then 1 Timothy, the car became calm and peaceful. As the last words of Paul to Timothy ebbed away, I heard my 7 year old son say quietly - from his seat in the very back of the car - "That was good." Yes, God's Words are always good. They are edifying and thought-provoking. They remind me that this life (and the chaos that often comes with it) are just temporary, and we are to make the most of every opportunity that we are given. Life is a vapor...live it for the Glory of God. And in everything, give thanks.