If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time you’ve probably heard me talk about my “ten things I’m thankful for” habit. (For those of you who don’t know: A little over three years ago I began starting off my day by thinking of ten things for which I am thankful. Most of the time it’s a prayer, expressing my gratitude to God. The habit has become so engrained in me that often my brain is spouting of things I’m thankful for before I’m even awake. This helps me start off my day with a good dose of gratitude and reminds me that no matter what happens, I’m still incredibly blessed.)
This morning my first thought was “I’m thankful for windshield wipers.” I had to laugh at that one because I’m really not sure where it came from. I tried to remember if I’d just been dreaming about cars, but to no avail. The random thankfulness did make me stop and think though, because I am thankful for windshield wipers. They’re useful little gadgets and driving in the rain and snow would be quite difficult without them.
So often I plow through my days, doing, doing, doing and never taking the time to stop and be still. I quite often think and say things I’m thankful for (expressing gratitude is extremely important in my book), but very rarely do I actually stop to express my thankfulness. It’s more like an add-on to whatever I’m doing at the moment.
This morning I drank in the stillness, huddled in my sleeping bag on the floor and looking out at the deep blue sky, enjoying the sunlight streaming in and thanking God for dozens of little things that really aren’t so little after all.
I have a lot to accomplish today. A list longer than I’ll possibly be able to handle and the rest of the week should be just as busy; but I don’t want to give up the best for the busiest and sometimes that’s what I do.
Life isn’t all about reading the most books, writing the most words, cleaning the most rooms or making the most meals. Life isn’t about always having the grass cut on time, the dishes washed every night or blogs being written at a reasonable time. Life isn’t about traveling all over the world or experiencing the most amazing adventures or running the most miles. Life isn’t really about having or doing or experiencing. It’s more about being. Being who God created me to be.
Because in reality, when it all boils down, if I’m not following God, then the doing, the experiencing and the having don’t mean anything.
This morning my list that’s a mile long was set aside when I saw my dad in his office and stopped to hang out with him for a little bit. Last night my plans were changed when my best friend wondered if I wanted to visit for the evening. Yesterday morning I stopped what I was doing and chatted with a neighbor for a while.
Maybe I’m over-thinking life or being overly sentimental because my birthday is coming up and I’m left gasping at another year of my life being gone and what in the world did I accomplish in the last twelve months? Maybe I’m unknowingly freaking out at the thought that changes could come any moment and I need to let these wonderful days seep into my soul. Maybe it’s because it’s September because let’s face it: September is September.
Whatever it is, I’m thankful for the moments when I set aside my running thoughts and exciting lists (checking things off a list makes my heart happy) and piles of books I need to study and just exist. Because existing is good and I’m thankful for the reminder.