When all is said and done...
When all is said and done...I'm thankful. Top 5 things I'm thankful for in the midst of the 24 hour a day calling of motherhood.
5. I'm thankful for the fact that I'm needed. My babies need me for everything right now, which is so exhausting, but at the end of the day I know that I have met needs, kept most promises, and loved so hard that it aches through my entire body, mind and soul.
4. I'm thankful for laughter. Watching my boys learn, discover, laugh and become who they are supposed to be is so awesome to watch. Noah is talking more and more, saying more words each day and expressing himself in so many ways it's hard to keep up! Luke is starting to notice everything so much more. Reaching for toys, laughing at faces, sitting up and then tipping over, grabbing on to his toes and squealing with delight. All things I want to record to keep me laughing and keep me centered in seeing the growth that is happening to see the progress we all have made!
3. I'm thankful for photographs and moments of reflection. So I know that I'm a photographer, so of course I'm going to love photographs, but I'm really thankful that we can record moments and keep them accessible to remind us of good times, to remind us of growth, and to point us forward to the moments of the present that can be captured. Sometimes, when I'm having a difficult day, I still stop and capture some of the chaos because I know this time will come to an end, this phase will turn into another and soon I'll look back and say, wow! Look at how they have changed, look at how I have changed, and look at how far we have come. So, yes, I will always be thankful that photography exists and that I can see a window into the past to reflect on who I have become today.
2. I'm thankful for the ordinary. The ordinary keeps me centered, the ordinary keeps my reality sane. The ordinary reminds me to take things one step at a time. Reading the bible study on Gideon by Priscilla Shirer, there was one sentence that really got me thinking. "Sometimes we prematurely pursue the mission to which we've been called and forgo the critical groundwork of learning about and walking in our God-given spiritual identity." This is for me why it's crucial to be thankful for the ordinary. If it is my mission to raise Godly men, and serve my family, I must thing of all the steps to get there, not just the romanticized ones. Yes, I want to be able to say that I have raised intelligent, loving, men of faith full of integrity in 20 years, but in order to get there, I must first change their diapers, teach them words, show them what true beauty is, feed them foods that benefit their health, show them discipline and expect great things from them. I must first just be the mom that they need today. I feel like things typically desired take time, and are usually the result of many small right decisions made one day at a time, one moment at a time. A healthy body, a healthy marriage, well-behaved kids, successful business, paying off debt, etc...all of these things require thousands of small right decisions in order to really succeed. The ordinary reminds me of this, the simple decisions we make day in and day out really do affect our outcomes in the future.
1. I'm thankful for this life of no secrets, all honesty and open-book living. When I was single, I could keep secrets, I could have privacy, I could share as much as I wanted and then keep things to myself. That was both good and bad. We all want our privacy, of course, but having a husband and kids, I don't want to have any secrets from them. Honestly, in this phase of life, I don't have time to consider what I'm sharing or who I'm sharing what with...which keeps me brutally honest with anyone and everyone! Family members, friends and random strangers I come in contact with get the same Angela. Really in this time of life, due to the constant motion and responsibility that lies before me, there is not time to filter through what I should share and what I want to keep hidden. Therefore, everything is seen. Good days, bad days, tired days, dragging my feet days and simple just go with the flow days. If I let up on anything, it can be seen tangibly. There is humility in this because sometimes the vulnerable is seen too often, but what freedom comes in this type of living. I'm not worried about what others' might think or what judgments they might make because I have too much on my plate to really worry about it. In all honesty, if at the end of the day, my children are not sick, well fed, safe and know they are loved, that is my utmost concern and everything else can take second place to that. No room for secrets, no room for anything but the truth. What a gift that is from the Lord!