Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Sunday Drive and The Spirit of Gratitude

I fear James and I are becoming old people.

Photo cred: Aly Brooks photography
He gets grumpy when unfamiliar cars park outside our house ("I'm going to go turn the sprinklers on"), and I get tired before Late Night With Jimmy Fallon airs ("It's only ten? It feels like it should be midnight"). It's sad. We used to crank Beastie Boys in the car and jam! Now we turn the radio off because our children, clobbering each other in the backseat, are loud enough.

And speaking of cars and "getting older"... In true, "old people fashion," we like to take our family on Sunday night drives. (I know, I know...I can't handle how cool I am either. *wink*)

When our kids aren't fighting in the car, we find that we frequently have the best conversations with them. Our chats are often humorous, like the time we talked about prosthetic limbs and whether or not Donald Trump paid Melania to marry him, or deeply poignant, like one night (not too long ago) when Lilly started reflecting on Jesus...

"Jesus gives us everything," she said.

"That's right," I answered, contentedly, as I laid my head on my seat's headrest.

"He gave us our bodies. And our house."

"Yes," replied James, from behind the wheel. "And He gave us our friends."

"And our families," Cam chimed in.

And thus began a tender, fifteen-minute conversation with my children, in which they recounted all the things they have to be grateful for. Their glorious list included:

Beds. Toys. Oceans. Trees. Mountains. Space. All the planets. Ears. Eyes. Our hearts. Feet. Shoes. Clothing. Knees. Arms. Cars. Rain. Snow. Clouds. Sunshine. Animals. Our brains. Food. Juice boxes. Toes. Babies. Teachers. Music. Mouths. Teeth. Stars. Playgrounds. Roads. Flowers. Grass. The moon.     
With my favorites being:

Nostrils, so we can breathe, and elbows, so we can bend our arms.

Later, as I prepared to retire to my bed (thank you, Jesus, for my bed...I am a VERY tired mom), I thought about our Sunday drive and awarded it the "best part of the day."  Ah, the moments when being a mother is so, so, so fulfilling.  The more I pondered, the more I noticed the telltale lump forming at the back of my throat that always precedes the onset of tears.  I felt my heart swell with genuine "mama love," until it felt as though it was about to burst in my chest.  I recognized the spirit of gratitude at my core and--inspired by my daughter--created my own "gifts from Jesus" list:


Lilly.
Camren.
Bridget.

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