I stopped counting gifts for a long while; it seemed like a lie.
I wanted to stop blogging as well, but instead I waffled and grasped for words that hid behind a big shadow; the shadow of my life. I wanted to be honest, but I was too afraid.
I was not feeling close to God, at all, these past months. He had become a True Thing, like gravity. Something I believed but didn’t really care too much about.
I’ve always needed things to be perfect.
They never were perfect of course, but at least I could pretend to have a grip on things while I was settled, in one place. There’s something quite disconcerting about packing up your possessions, wrapping them in newspaper and entombing them in cardboard. There’s something about leaving your home and not knowing where you will end up…something that made my little perfectionist heart beat faster.
I lost my grip.
Things got messy and I got morning sickness. I couldn’t see the golden haired boys playing. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees, or my family for the legos. I wanted to burst into tears when I saw the piles of un-filed bills, and dirty dishes made me weak at the knees.
Taking a picture of something pretty in the midst of the chaos seemed false. My life wasn’t beautiful, it was dirty and messy. It was half-unpacked and incapable of touching raw meat. To write a list of nice things, of happy things, of good things…wasn’t that a lie? Wasn’t I telling the world that I was something that I am not? Something beautiful and full when I was really something messy and nauseous?
Then, I learned something…I don’t know who taught it to me, but I have my suspicions. I learned the key to contentment and sanity and getting out of bed each day:
It is good and true to see the beautiful things, even (especially) when your life is a mess…because your life will always be a mess, in one form or another.
So, I’m starting my list again. It will seem (I am sure) that my life is overflowing with beauty and wonder and extravagant gifts. It is.
It is also super messy and sometimes ugly. As I type there are THREE dirty diapers lying on the bathroom floor.
It would be a travesty to miss the wonderful because of the dirty diapers.
300: Oranges in a wire basket, vibrant flames in the midst of foggy days.
301: the view from my kitchen sink…and a geranium that kindly blocks an overgrown, 14-foot rose bush
302: Art sessions in Spiderman pajamas…at 3 p.m.
303: a playroom with a view
304: More diamonds than I expected to see in a lifetime, much less in a day
305: a kitchen where superheroes walk and shoot their guns freely
306: unexpected, chocolate-faced, handymen who show up in your hallway