Saturday, March 12

Crabby Pants

I am sitting here feeling belligerent. I have been really crabby today. If you have shellfish allergies, walk away now. Chalk it up to sleep deprivation. Or baby blues. Or the impending Ides of March. Whatever the cause, I don't feel like feeling thankful. If that makes any sense. Or, if I must express gratitude, doing it sarcastically, so that each statement of thanks rings out like a slap. But I am trying to be the grown up, here. And every snippy comment that I was composing before I sat down makes me ashamed of myself as soon as I type it.

So, first off, I'm grateful for the "backspace" button. Also, I am grateful for the opportunity to sort through my feelings and sift for what's worth keeping and toss what's not. I am glad I can vent and emote and rage just a little, and then collect myself and carry on with poise.

I'm grateful for my children, who know when I'm about to flip, and who start toning it down before I do (my daughter even put on my favorite calming music to help things along...)

I am grateful for enough mileage behind me that I no longer drag my tantrums out on purpose, and that I can recognize them as tantrums...instead of viewing them as normal, sustainable, defensible behavior. I don't enjoy being a crabby pants. But like rush-hour traffic, I just have to get through it and move on.

I would like to publicly acknowledge to God that I know many of my blessings from today, and I really am grateful for them: gorgeous weather, much needed yard work accomplished, safety in travel, a happy baby, responsible children I can depend on and trust, a husband who is easily moved by the Spirit...also, God, if you read my blog, I am sorry for being belligerent. Again.

And finally, I'm with Scarlett. After all, tomorrow is another day.

I have to type it, because it's my signature for every post on this blog, but I am typing through clenched teeth
What are you blessed with today?

Friday, March 11


Tonight was date night. I live all week long for date night, truth be told. I am one lucky lady: my husband is devout about taking me out. Thank Heaven! It's probably one of the main reasons we are still married and still (mostly) sane.

What was different about tonight's date was that we had a date with another dating couple. I have noticed that we have friends - lots of friends - but we don't see any of them socially. It is starting to bug me. A lot. I announced to my husband a few weeks back that I was commandeering one date night a month to go out with some of our friends. He is cool with this.

Oh my giddy aunt! Dating our friends is harder than I imagined. We are all so busy! We've had two different cancellations. I was inordinately bummed each time. It's like being stood up. Only I understand: kids, work, church responsibilities, finance, extended family, pure exhaustion...I live on that planet, too.

So, yesterday, our friends called to make sure we were still on. Heck yes! We didn't do anything exciting, per se; went out to eat together. And talked for three hours. I'm embarrassed to admit that because it sounds like we are awkwardly over-eager or socially maladjusted. It was awesome. We talked about our kids (of course), our health ailments (sad but true), politics (vigorously) and Chuck Norris (don't ask and Chuck Norris won't take it personally).

Not to knock my husband's valiant efforts, but it was the best date we've had in a long time. It was immensely satisfying to be chatterboxes and to chatter like boxes and to get take-out boxes so we could have our chatter "to go".  I am grateful for friends. I am grateful for friends who are as busy as I am, who understand what my life is like, and who can keep pace with my gift of gab for three hours straight.

What are you blessed with today?


We are blessed to be friends with an entrepreneur, the old-fashioned kind, with about a dozen business ventures going at any one time. He is so full of enthusiasm for what he does, it's infectious. He works long and hard and loves every minute of it. He is the kind of man I want my kids to look up to. I am so glad to know him, and to be able to point to him and say to my children (and myself), "that's why we work, that's why work is good."

The newest venture this man has cooked up is gleaning corn. He has arranged with different farmers to allow people to come walk their harvested fields and pick up the ears of corn missed by the harvesting machines. It's a lot of corn. And he hired my kids.

They were not as excited as I was when I told them they had a job. But they went, even the six-year-old. And he worked them hard all morning.

Not one of them complained when they got home. Why? Because he paid them. There, in their grubby paws, was the reward for their work. They have so loved having money. And they are waiting and willing to go glean again.

I am grateful for opportunities: opportunities to teach, to learn, to work, to earn money. I am grateful to know different people in my life with a full array of interests and assets and ideas. My family and I are richer - financially and metaphysically - because of just such people.

What are you blessed with today?

Thursday, March 10

Good Vibes

I had my own personal Michael Bublé concert today. It was so much fun. Thank you, Internet, for giving me youtube. And thank you, youtube, for the convenient cross-indexing and replay features. I love good music. And for some reason, I was in the mood for the upbeat crooner style of Mr. Bublé.  I love it.  It made me dance, and I've been so tired lately, I haven't had the energy to even think about dancing, let alone find some good tunes and actually dance. It's been so long. It felt so good. My little kids were a little weirded out by it. 

If only they knew. 

I used to dance. A lot. And listen to music that fed my soul. All the time. Before nap times and tweens with music opinions. I won't bore you with my scars. But it felt good to indulge, rinse, repeat. 

I'm thankful for good music. I'm grateful for how easy it is to give my soul an up-lift with some good vibes. I'm really glad singers like Michael Bublé facilitate personal concerts (insert Internet smiley of your choice here)

What are you blessed with today?

Tuesday, March 8

Seeking Love

Tonight my husband took me out to see the play "Bus Stop". It nice to go to a play, as opposed to a movie. It was billed as a comedy, but I guess I just read too much into things. Not that I didn't enjoy it. But it isn't funny for me to see people seeking so earnestly without actually finding. It seemed to me that it was all about love: losing love, wanting love, finding love, missing love the first time love found you, looking for love in the wrong heart, getting a second chance at love...

I suppose we are all seeking love. I know I am loved (I have a loving husband, my sweet children, a huge, close family and an even more vast network of friends, blessed lady that I am), but I still seek love. As I sit here thinking about it, I believe that I am always on the hunt for the evidences of love: a hug, a consideration, a kindness, a thoughtful gesture, a thing of beauty just for me.

But, now that I have made that little list, I see that I am given the evidences of love all the time. I miss seeing them, I think, because I am looking for other things instead ("Lord, I'm sick of this manna, just give me a cheeseburger, please!")

So, in all of my seeking, I need to allow myself to actually find. The most effective way to find love is to seek God. I do, I am not ashamed to say it. I seek God daily. And on those occasions when I allow myself to see Him, I feel love. I am thankful for the seeking, and for the love.

What are you blessed with today?

Monday, March 7

Shared Burdens

There is a proverb from some culture somewhere about how even a piece of paper is lighter when two people lift it. Or something like that. I think there is a profound depth to the idea of shared burdens. The people in this world I love the most are the ones with whom I have shared a burden.

Is it possible that God works intentionally with burdens? They are anchors for our souls, that keep us from drifting away. Today, I shared burdens. Some were mine, some belonged to others. But we shared them, emotionally, physically, however it is that we share a load.

At the end of this day, more has been accomplished than any one of us could do on our own. I am glad I can take the weight. I am glad others are willing to take the weight with me. I am grateful for shared burdens.

What are you blessed with today?

Sunday, March 6

52 Words Challenge: Bliss

Here is another word from the {Words of Me} Project's 52 Words Challenge: bliss.

Hmmm. Bliss. What an interesting word. It conjures up images of chocolate ice cream in summer time and hot soup on cold rainy days. Is bliss merely a function of comfort? Or is comfort a part of bliss? We don't use the word bliss much, except maybe to imply cluelessness or tinged with jealousy: "ignorance is bliss" "marital bliss" though we see someone experience it, and we feel awkward on their behalf, or we wish we had ordered the cheesecake, too.

The definition of bliss is "a state of profound satisfaction, happiness and joy, a constant state of mind undisturbed by gain or loss". Certainly, that is not the definition I would have given if you had asked me off the top of my head. But I think it is weighty in it's significance. Who among us would not want happiness that is not altered by gain or loss?

The only application I can think of for the true meaning of bliss is in the Atonement of Christ, and the plan of salvation I have access to because of it. No matter what happens (or doesn't happen) to me and in my life, I know He is there, and I have access to the power He has has given me. My testimony is sure, I am confident in my position in His grace, I am certain of the plan.

This means, I suppose, that bliss is mine. I have bliss, because I have a witness of Jesus Christ as my Redeemer, and of my Father in Heaven's plan of eternal happiness. Surely, by definition, "eternal happiness" is "undisturbed by gain or loss". I am surprised by where this train of thought has traveled: I am grateful for bliss. I think I will make more of an effort to recognize bliss in my life.

What are you blessed with today?