When Thankfulness Is Hard To Find

Sometimes I have to fight for a thankful heart. When everything feels like it's working against me. When I am tempted to feel sorry for myself. When I want to complain. On the days when I see more of what I don't have than what I do have. It doesn't come natural to me to be thankful.

There are so many blessings I've been given and I really want to be thankful for them, but some days I feel like those blessing are a little harder to see. When I am constantly giving all of my time and energy to my chlidren, and in return they smear things on my wall that really shouldn't be there (chocolate or poop?). They chew up crayons and spit a colorful rainbow on my floor. They make it rain brown sugar after they find the bag of it on the counter. 

I take a deep breath while I'm standing at the top of the stairs watching sugar fly into the air like someone just won a million dollars. I pull out my phone and take a picture of it to send to my sister, because I need someone who can laugh and remind me that it's only a season. I wash out his crayon-coated mouth for the fourth time and tell him that we only put food in our mouths. I wipe the decorated walls. I wash and rewash as we master the art of going to the bathroom in the toilet and not everywhere else. 

In desperation, I ask God to help me. He knows my heart best. He knows how much I want to enjoy my children in this season, but the season seems too long.

I beg God, as I'm trying to get my strong-willed son dressed. Through tears I beg him to help me to be thankful, because in that moment I'm not.

I notice the paint stains that brighten the patio because Vitali was helping Elias make handprints. Drops of red, blue, and yellow slipped inbetween his fingers and onto the ground. I think about scrubbing it off, but it is a reminder that they are here with me, and they are making their own memories together. 

I hold my baby girl and her little body sinks into mine as I make myself sit down, slow down, and enjoy a moment with her. She eats her spilled popcorn off the couch, and I help her eat it up, one by one.

I watch my five-year-old who won't be five for long splash in the pool. He is so joyful and such a good reminder for me to be thankful during this season of life.

I want to give thanks when things aren't going my way. When thanksgiving is hard to find, I want to look for it. I want to ask God to help me lean hard into the imperfection, the frustrating moments, and the tears, and help me to see the beauty in all of it. I want to thank him for another day in this season.

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© 2014 Natalie Falls