Normal, Everyday Celebrations

What normal, everyday things are you celebrating today?  What has happened this week that is worth stopping to gratefully notice?

After this was asked over at (in)courage last week, I started drumming up my response:

Today I am celebrating kind words that a dear friend said about me.  And my daughter’s cozy bed as she and I snuggle and chat before she falls asleep.  And middle schoolers who still want to talk to their mom about friend drama and boy-girl crushes.  And my toddler son’s magical smile as he whispers to me “you’re my girlfriend, Mommy– okay?” And an argument with my husband that ended in a hug and an “I love you.”  And hearing a stranger’s courageously vulnerable story about how she is struggling as a new mama.  And how I was able to share with her my own challenges in that journey— and see that it brought encouragement and inspiration to her.  And blog posts that show up in my mailbox at JUST the right time.  And bedtime!!!

And I’m thankful for these, too:  Inhaling the gentle scent of a lilac tree.  Waking up before the rest of my family and having a few quiet moments to myself.  Farm fresh eggs.  My frolicking dog, eating and drinking like normal, despite the fact that just three days ago I wasn’t sure if he would make it to the end of the week.  A chance to hike two days in a row!  The shade of an old oak tree.  Memories of being a part of something special.  Feeling like perhaps my words and my story matter after all.  The way our cat snuggles my daughter— as though she’s trying to hug her human-style.  The shadows on the hills an hour after sunrise.  Praying with my kids on the way to school each morning.  Bedside family prayers each night (even though I’ve got a child as old as 13).  Knowing that when something hard happens I’ve got a crew of friends who will come alongside me and pray with me and help me through it.  Being asked to pray for a friend’s challenges.  Birthing a blog post.

And this: I celebrate living in a diverse part of the country.  A freshly mowed lawn.  A day in the garden—  with (miraculously) no arguments among the kids!?!   Wispy clouds in a blue sky.  The anticipation of a week away from “real life”with the family.  A couple hours with a dear friend as she shows me how to do my makeup in a new fun way.  The sound of gravel crunching under my feet as I trek up the hiking path near my house.  Stargazing on the trampoline with the family.  A flock of birds doing synchronized dancing in the sky.  Nearby crickets chirping musically.  Preparing intensely for something and then realizing on D-Day that I was actually more than ready for it.  Coming home and realizing my husband cleaned the kitchen already.  Hearing of a friend’s well-earned victory.   The smell of a neighbor’s fireplace in the distance.  Dancing in the kitchen like a fool before taking the kids to school.  When I finally locate the rogue mystery hair that has been tickling the back of my arm (and driving me nuts!) for several minutes.  A fridge full of food.  A working vehicle.  A steady paycheck.  A mentally tough husband with a sensitive, thoughtful soul.  Thick, warm socks.  Epsom salt baths.   A long car ride with my BFF.  Learning a new skill.  Hearing my kids giggle.  Freshly popped popcorn with lots of butter.  Waking up with breath in my lungs again today.

Thank You for it all, Lord.  I could go on and on and on.  Every time I slow down to notice what brings me joy, I am overcome with gratitude.  I appreciate all these gifts— both large and small— that You have chosen to let me enjoy.  Wow.  Thank You, Lord.  Amen.  

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What about you?

What normal, every day things are you celebrating today?  What has happened this week that is worth stopping to gratefully notice?

Please share your journey in the comment section below.  


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