I woke up too early this morning. I was (more than) a bit grumpy since I really didn’t want to be alert at that hour, but almost immediately some special people came to my mind, and I decided to take advantage of the peaceful quiet to pray for them.
The minutes began to add up as more and more people filled my groggy thoughts, and my grumpiness began to convert into gratitude. I have many wonderful people in my life. They are kind and brave and fun and generous. I began to make a list; I am proud of so many of them…
My mom – Although I know she was afraid of the cancer diagnosis and almost ready to die because of the pain, she chose bravely to undergo the surgery and the chemo treatments. She is making the most of her good days with friends and family, often doing favors for others. It isn’t always easy, but she is strong and an encouragement to me.
My husband – He has traveled to take care of his dad this week; I know it is hard for him there. It is discouraging to experience his dad depressed and weak and sad, a shadow of the man he used to be… Despite the challenges, my husband is sacrificially serving his dad – cleaning, cooking and being a companion. I miss him when he’s gone, but I am glad he is there with his dad.
My family – In my family and my husband’s family, there are others who do the major share of the care for our elderly parents. While we may fill in from time to time, they are present or on call almost every day. I am impressed by their willing hearts and their attention to innumerable details. I know it is frustrating and exhausting at times. They are my heroes.
My children – I am really proud of my children. They are each one very unique and gifted in so many ways. They are also imperfect and have all kinds of normal challenges and problems, but I love the adults they are becoming. I especially like that they love me too.
My friends – Both those from the past and my new friends from this year have added much joy to my life. I am inspired by their faith and their desire to grow and their determination to keep moving forward. Some of them have had to overcome some very difficult trials and hurts, but I see them committed to healing and wholeness and finding the strength to help others. I have received abundantly from their generous lives, and I am grateful for each one of them.
I never did get back to sleep… my list continued on and on, and I eventually realized it was a very blessed life I was waking up to meet. Not a bad way to start the day.
Who is on your grateful list? Who makes you proud?