I have to admit that I completely let people and circumstances rob me of my gratitude for the first part of this week. A good bit of it is a blur. And what I can remember, I don't like. School was hard. Parenting was hard. And dealing with people outside of my household seemed even harder. I will say that this little experiment in remembering at least one thing from each day that I am grateful for and being accountable to it here helped me snap out of that by Wednesday. So I will just start there.
16th - We stuffed our Operation Christmas Child shoebox and talked about what we like and what we're thankful that we have. It was a neat little conversation and helped reinforce the idea that being "good or bad" isn't the only thing that can affect what you get for Christmas. We filled out the little sheet that was provided by the children's church program, and this is what my girl wrote. If you can't read it, where it says "I Love Jesus because" she said "he never leaves me alone". I love when I get little glimpses that she's really getting what it's all about.
17th - I got four hours off from being a mama. Well, not really, but they weren't with me. I did use a little of the time to Christmas shop for them and buy their food, but I also got to have a lunch date with a rather hot IT man BY MYSELF. And I sat for over an hour and read. In absolute silence. Saying silence is golden is really devaluing the silence, people. It's platinum or titanium and is inlaid with diamonds of the best clarity. Whatever that means. It was glorious. And my girls had the best day, too. In fact, Kayla is certain that her day was better than mine. I say that's some day.
18th - Four words. Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake. Add friends and stir. We had a fun morning. Before leaving for Chic-fil-a, I also got an email confirming that I can have a package taken to my LJ in the Philippines for her birthday in January. I am so thankful for that, and I'm still getting my small, easily shipped package together. Then there was an impromptu family night with the McKenzie crew where there was taco soup. So many things to be thankful for in that sentence.
19th - Today I went to Atlanta to serve at a Compassion table during the National Youth Workers Convention. I was disappointed that there were no sponsorships during my shift. However, I did get to talk to a couple of gentlemen who work with Compassion, and it was a good to just hang out with people who share a passion. I did have several conversations with potential sponsors. I hope those let to sponsorships during their presentation tonight. This was also my first midtown Atlanta experience totally on my own. I am very thankful that I didn't get lost and everything flowed smoothly. I'm also thankful for some unexpected savings on Christmas gifts that I found on my way home.
The last half of the week definitely made up for the first half, at least in part. I can't control everything, but I can control my reactions to life, and I have to work on finding joy in all circumstances. That is not negotiable.