Being Thankful

For those of us in the Midwest, specifically North Dakota and Minnesota, this week has been hard.  After a few weeks of mild temperatures that lulled us into thinking that winter had finally left us, our temperature plummeted into the Alberta Clipper, January-like freezing cold part of the thermometer.

The week started off with yet another snow storm that closed schools, made travel difficult, and wasted our time as we cleaned off our sidewalks and driveways.  Some of us had considered putting our snow boots away, but we pulled them out again to keep our toes from falling off as we shoveled in near zero (fahrenheit) temperatures.  Our nights felt like January again as the wind howled around our homes.

It was a hard week.

However, it was also a week to remember things for which we are thankful.

On Tuesday morning, I awoke to the sound of scrape-lift-tap, scrap-lift-tap – the best reenactment I can do in writing of the sound of shoveling.  When I looked out my bedroom window, I saw my daughter, who despises the cold, shoveling the sidewalks so that she and her brother could do something fun that evening rather than shovel.

It was five o’clock in the morning, and the temperature – with wind chill factored in – was far below zero.

I am thankful for my hardworking children.

There was much to complain about this week beyond the weather.

For the second week in a row, my school’s website – remember, it is an online school…the website is important – has had issues which have made it difficult for students to log in and do their work.  As part of the leadership team at the school, I have had to assist in problem-solving, decision making, and communicating with students.  This makes for a long week as parents and students are important stakeholders, and our school needs to retain them.

I am thankful for a job.

The huz took a trip this week to renew and refresh while visiting some good friends.  I can’t imagine how those of you who parent alone do it!  Even though he left behind a car for the kids to us, the roads on Monday made it so that I still took the kids to and from school.  As teenagers, they need us as parents to talk through their day and problem-solve some of their issues.  I love doing this.  I also love sharing the load with my husband who also happens to be my best friend.

I am thankful for my huz.

With every hardship that comes our way, it is easy to see the difficulty and complain.  This makes for great girl-talk and Facebook statuses.  It also helps us to slip into and to dwell  in mire rather than seeing so much for which we should give thanks.

I know that many of us have struggles, but I wonder sometimes if we keep ourselves hostage to these struggles by focusing on them for too long rather than asking, “For what can I be thankful in this situation?”

I know that when my focus is on the struggle, I have blinders on that block out the thankful side of the situation.  However, when I look at all that I have for which to give thanks, I struggle a bit less and find that my contentment level increases even in the midst of chaos, confusion, and hardship.

What is your struggle today?  Can you see the “thankful” side in it?  I would love to hear about it in the comment section.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 - in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Happy Friday!

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