Monday Confessions on gratitude

      I hope that this isn't just white noise in a sea of gratitude posts but I think it's very important to all take a minute to reflect this week. I have to be honest, I have gotten a lot of comments lately like "you seem to handle the kids and business well." Please my friends, do not be fooled! I am already feeling the weight of today with work, phone calls to insurance and various other unglamorous mom tasks. If I have learned anything in my 33 years thus far, it's that with most blessings come huge responsibilities. My four children are my biggest blessings, but also my biggest and most exhausting responsibilities. The fact that I am an American woman who can own and operate my own business based of the college degree I earned at a university are all HUGE blessings. These things I take for granted are unimaginable in other countries in the world. The fact that I OWN property and AM NOT someone else's property are all still novel ideas across the globe! With that being said, my home, car, business and everything else can bless the socks off of me and wear me out at the same time!

   There is no super mom cape over here...sometimes I just have to lower the standards if I am honest. Some days it's about the business, some days it's about the house or the kids or my husband but RARELY can I do a great job at all of them. I am challenging myself though in this holiday season to slow down and soak it in. All the things that have to get done or that keep me awake at night (this is a whole different problem!) will in fact get done somehow and I need to not be frazzled in the meantime. I need to be present with my family and take a few minutes to meditate on my faith this season. 

 To be honest, my church has been on a generosity journey over the last 8 weeks that has really influenced my thinking. We've listened to sermons on gratitude, been challenged to think about how we use our own resources and as a church, have given away $55K over the last week in our town. One huge thing last week was that every adult over age 18 in attendance was handed an envelope with $20 in it and challenged to meet a need. Can I just say that it took having that $20 in my pocket last week to really SEE people? I found myself praying for even simple trips to the grocery store to see where God might be working. It's amazing what having an intention to meet a need will allow you to experience. So many stories poured in of people truly in need who got the $20 while others just were a blessing to someone who needed it that day! (My $20 story was short and sweet with a Starbucks barista!) We even collected and delivered 80 turkeys yesterday to a local food bank that was praying for someone to provide turkeys!

  I hope you too can find some peace and slow down this season to really see people. See the people around you that you love, as well as those in your community who might not feel like they matter. As you find challenges in your days, just look for the good! I am going to be challenged in the same way this week and have in fact already been forced to look for the good in this Monday morning :) (I mean don't you love spending 18 minutes on a phone call with your insurance provider when you've been billed in error? See the good: I have insurance and access to health care. That's how this is going down this week!)