the list

by Amy

i was blaming it on a full moon.  the one from a week and a half ago.  on the cereal i had for breakfast.  because i do believe that cereal is a sucky way to start your day.  that you get tricked in to feeling full but then, you aren’t and you are hungry thirty minutes later.  like chinese food.

i blamed it on a lack of sleep and on the pending doom of missing my husband.  i was stressed over lost shot records which made me look like a bad mommy.  those feelings led to assumed judgement of a mommy of almost four with people saying “if you can’t do the job, stop creating the work” and all sorts of other cruel things i imagined being pinned with.  what kind of mommy loses three kid’s shot records.  i know, the mommy who hasn’t organized her filing system in two years but instead just stacks papers together and prays for the documents she needs to jump out at her.  i blamed it on all of that.

i was so lost in my own world that i couldn’t see a way out.  i prayed about it but it sounded empty.  hollow.  i knew that there was something else not right and that my prayers were all muddled up with that.  was life really that awful right now?  life in my warm, clean home with my cuddly, energetic children with my supportive and goofy mr ballard…was it really that bad?  there were no deaths or divorces or starving people.  there was no dirty water or sickness or cancer.  there was nothing for me to complain about really.  nothing.

was i thankful for all these things i did have?  if so, i certainly wasn’t showing it.  maybe i should be.  amidst the temper tantrums of a two year old who is just playing off mama and the pouting of a six year old who just doesn’t feel like doing her school work, i was stuck there complaining (to myself) about a life lost luster.  it moved me. it moved me to a collection of notebook paper.

mini composition book and pen met.  a few things from the morning that i had found a glimmer of joy in filled the first page.  i set the book down, pen as my marker, for the next moment of joy i recognized.  for about two hours, i would find myself back at that white tile counter, standing on one leg.  like a flamingo.  one leg bent up and foot resting just above knee cap as i scrawled another small joy to be thankful for.

i would love to say it worked.  my mood did turn around as slowly only the good was acknowledged and the bad was released back into it’s wild.  the more i wrote, the more my heart changed.  i was seeing and acknowledging joy in the things God had given me that morning.  less and less i was shaking my fist at what i seemed to be in need of.  tears poured down my face as i uncoverd shot records in a place only Jesus could have led me to.  joy was washing away anger.  it was washing away all roads that even dared venture to anger.  i would say that list worked.

my little book of things to be thankful for.  a few more pages are filled each day as i find new meaning in cold green grapes that i don’t have to share.  or sprinkled valentines day cookies that i can’t help but share.  it’s filled with funny quotes and copied text messages.  spiderman jammies with matching slippers, warm towels from the dryer, puppy kisses and new body wash wish scrubbing bubbles.  it’s getting filled up.  and so am i.

and there may be a chance that the chocolate bar with liquid raspberry filling and an ice cold diet coke might have helped too.  just sayin….