11.12.2014

Day 15: Finding Gratitude in the Mess


"I shall accept that a messy house at peace is better than an immaculate house tied up in knots." - Lisa Jo Baker

This quote is #7 in Lisa Jo Baker's Tired Mother's Holiday Creed.  I clicked on this link yesterday, dreading the holiday rush, and as I read her words, I found myself fist pumping.  Yes, yes!  (I do fist pump alone at my computer sometimes.)  Even smack in the middle of a 30-day gratitude challenge I've been looking at my life with lenses focused yet again--on the mess.

  • Mess 1: I fill with frustration when my son crawls--and fast lately--toward the doggie dish one more time.  It's hard to think of my notebook, but I dare to shift--and smile at his crawling, glad we have a dog we can feed.  The gift back is opportunity to scoop him up and kiss his chubby cheek.
  • Mess 2: The Lincoln Logs strewn across my previously-clean living room floor dare me to find the grace to shift--and see my daughter building not just a big house with her daddy, but a relationship with him.  The gift back is a gratitude soak in the giggles that come when she destroys the mansion-like cabin.
  • Mess 3: In my online course the list of projects to grade weighs heavy, like a monkey on my back, I force myself into the grading chair and try to shift--to see the opportunity to connect, to give helpful feedback.  The gift back comes in seeing the students' creativity and feeling the peace of being done.

When I give thanks, I end up feeling thanked.  If I can find the patience to wait, a gift always comes back.  You can't out-give God.  In these moments, the situation did not change.  And yet, in changing myself, they did.  I struggle again and again to see this world with fresh eyes and a human heart, but the grace to see is always there.

We're half way through this gratitude challenge, and I don't know about you, but my lens is getting foggy.  But--if I look back with gratitude instead of regret, and I look forward with anticipation instead of dread, I find myself thankful, right here, right now having a blast in the middle of this beautiful mess.

Day 15 Challenge:
  • Look back over the last 15 days and shift your view point on one "mess" in your life.  Do the same while looking forward to the next 15 days leading up to Thanksgiving.

*This post is part of a 30-day gratitude challenge.  Subscribe via e-mail (on the left) or post a gratitude to WIN A PIE HERE.

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