Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thankful Thursday

It has been a very busy, but fulfilling week. I told someone yesterday that if I can get through October 5th (Frances' birthday) then I might be able to rest-but only for a day or two because then the Christmas madness will start. I am trying to really reflect on thankfulness this week and dig deep. I feel like I have used up all the "easy" ones and that is actually good. Thinking hard about thankfulness could never be a bad thing!

This week I am thankful for:

  • My co-workers at church. Especially Valerie and Louisa. Louisa has put together a religious education committee and Valerie and I are the only members (as of right now). We get together every few weeks to talk about our work, but also to do a book/bible study. We are reading In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership . It helps us to reflect on our duty to be servant leaders. It has also prompted some really deep discussion. We talked a lot about personal stuff yesterday and it felt very cleansing-it also helps us to know each other more deeply and work together better as a team.
  • 5:30 AM. I know you won't believe me if you know me, but I am thankful for 5:30AM. Henry is still breastfeeding in the morning and before bedtime. This is the indefinite stage for us. Frances nursed this way until 17 months when I had to be out of town for a weekend and didn't think pumping was worth the work. She didn't complain when I put her to bed that week without nursing. It is just part of her nature to be easy going. I was sad that it was so easy to wean her. Well, Henry and I have spent two or three weekends apart. I pump while I am gone, and he either takes a bottle or not-but when I get back, we pick up where we left off. He doesn't ever ask to nurse during the day-he is quite content with a sippy cup (and he LOVES lemonade-just like his mommy!). But at night, once he is in his pajamas, he starts banging on my chest and he is ready to settle in for the night. Lately he has been waking up early (I need to push back his bedtime a little bit). It has been anywhere between 4:30 and 5:30. He doesn't so much as cry, but yell out. At 4:30, he will go back to sleep, but at 5:30, not so much. And neither will I at that point. So I get up and get him out of his crib. I feel his cold little legs against me because he always kicks his blanket off. We go out to the couch where I can snuggle up with him and my green fuzzy blanket, and he nurses. The house is quiet and dark. His legs warm up as they lie across my stomach. I can listen to his snurglley breathing (I just made up that word-I think you know what it means). He nurses until he goes back to sleep and then sometimes I just hold him. I know that all too soon (even now while he's awake) he won't let me hold him anymore. Sure I can pick him up, but I can't just hold him. This is our time and I am thankful for it.
  • I am also thankful for me. I am trying to think of how to write this with the correct mix of humility and pride. It has been on my mind a lot lately and I am not sure how to write it. I said part of this in my book study yesterday and mentioned how it makes me feel silly. But here is goes anyway. I am proud of myself lately. Sure I still mess up and do stupid or unkind things, but lately I have stood up for myself in a few important ways. I have taught my preschoolers some things that make me proud. I have made a difference in some people's lives. Is it a "mom" thing or a "woman" thing to always try to hide in the background and pretend that you don't matter? Maybe it's just a "me" thing, but today I am feeling pretty thankful for who I am and what I do. In the youth ministry world, we joke about "9th grade boys" as being the silly, immature, epitome of who we are trying to reach. Last night, Ken and I took the kids out to eat. As I was walking into the restaurant, I saw one of my teens (a 9th grade boy!). Well there is a rule in youth ministry about letting teens acknowledge you first in public, so you don't embarrass them (or something like that), so I was ready for a smile and a nod; but this young man jumped up off the bench and gave me a hug! Then he said to his mom, "Look who's here!" At that moment I felt very proud to be an adult who can get that kind of positive reaction from a teenager in public. Teachers and ministers sometimes complain that they don't feel like they are accomplishing much, but this week I feel like I have made a difference.

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