461. Finding a wonderful trail with a park close to our home
462. Successful replication of one of Adam's recipes
463. Scissor-tailed flycatchers - they look like they belong in Costa Rica, and yet... we have them here
464. Brooklyn eating a ridiculous amount of food for dinner
465. The little orange notes the postman leaves, letting me know that I have a package waiting
466. Already having the yarn I need to make a gift with
467. Running into Heath and Kristin at the park - it was so nice to see someone we know, randomly, in public!
468. A tiled kitchen for Brooklyn to "air out" in after a baking soda bath
469. and Google, for looking up diaper rash remedies (poor baby!)
470. Getting to church in enough time to pick up a quilt block to piece
471. A successful (translation: fun) dinner date with Brooklyn - nachos for me, applesauce and puffs for her
472. and a survey coupon for next time :)
Time together - that's something we've always struggled with. Adam is a believer in quantity time, whereas I seek quality. However, if he doesn't see the possibility of quantity, he tends to just give up on the quality part. And if I get hold of a small quantity of time, I am so bent on wringing quality out of it that I end up killing the moment. We both end up frustrated, and neither of us has a good time with the time that we have.
It seems, too, like the week before he leaves for an extended period is invariably a special sort of flop. Work explodes in uncharacteristic busyness and stress and then everything goes downhill from there. It's happened often enough that it's self-fulfilling prophecy - we both just sort of assume it will be that way, and then don't really even try to make it any different. We toss the paddles and then grumble as we drift downstream.
Adam was scheduled to be out of town (150 miles away) on Army business from April 25 to May 27. We had both been paddling at the same time (funny how much better that works out - it keeps you going forward, and you don't spin in circles!) and I was tentatively plying my oar while waiting for something to go awry. But it didn't. He kept getting sent back to Little Rock on assignments for a day or a few days, so we kept getting to see him. He hasn't really missed a lot as far as Brooklyn's development is concerned (and she has grown and changed a lot in the past few weeks) and the nights he hasn't been home we've been able to talk on the phone for awhile. We decided what to do with the time that was given to us, and we chose wisely and well.
We've finally gotten on enough of a roll that I've stopped waiting for it to end and just started enjoying it - which may have been part of the problem. I was so focused on what we didn't have in terms of time and communication that when we did have it, then I wouldn't bother to be grateful because I knew it was going to end soon... except, maybe, it was my ingratitude that was stopping it. In One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp writes about the way times slows when we fully immerse ourselves in the moment - fully grateful for that moment and its every facet.
"Everyone gets to decide how happy they want to be, because everyone gets to decide how grateful they are willing to be," she says. I get to decide. I don't just have to float along, angry that the current isn't taking me where I want to go - I can choose to be grateful for what I do have, and it will make what I have seem like more (or, cause me to see it as the gift that it is...) So I'm grateful for the time that we've had (an answered prayer in itself) - and grateful for the conviction on seeing every single moment as a gift, instead of withholding my gratitude until I've been given "enough to be grateful for."
474. Not getting Brooklyn's laundry put away because we were reading together on the couch
475. "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" and The Nester's encouragement that led to taking a designing plunge
476. Knowing ahead that Adam is going to be here for a few days after we leave, so I can confetti our apartment with notes
477. How much I can get done, cleaning-wise, when I'm actually focused
478. Musical design inspiration and songs on repeat
479. No more weight checks for Brooklyn - an answered prayer!
480. Lunch with Adam's parents
481. Sitting up late and talking with my Mum
Next week I'll reach 500 gifts counted - it's been a perspective-altering journey for me, and one I think we all should go on, so I'll be giving away a copy of One Thousand Gifts and a journal!
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will trust in Him."
Won't you join us in counting (and recounting!) His mercies anew? Just grab a journal or notebook (it doesn't have to be fancy) and a pen and write them down, then join us in a weekly link-up to encourage each other by sharing all of the blessings we've spotted. Catch up on everyone's posts and add your own below (please stay relevant to the topic when linking up!) and if you don't have a blog, feel free to participate by commenting, instead!
Check out these #NewEveryMorning hosts, as well, and don't forget to use the hashtag on Twitter so that we can find each other:
What have you forgotten to be grateful for because it didn't look the way you expected or wanted it to?