Day 18, 19 and 20: catching up is hard to do

I have been a bit of a slacker in the blogging category, not in being thankful, but in actually typing it out for the blog reading masses (hey mom!). So, today we are due for a bit of catch up.

Day 18: I am thankful for laughter. I consider this one of God’s greatest gifts. Seriously. If you don’t have a sense of humor I feel super bad for you because your life probably sucks a little bit more than those of us who find lots of things funny (some say too many things). Laughter is one of the first things that attracted me to Peter. Sitting and laughing with him is still one of the highlights of my life, even if we are just making fun of poor saps on television. Laughter is also one of my favorite things about my family. I am so excited to get together and laugh this holiday season. There is never a shortage. No matter what is troubling us, when we get together laughter is sure to ensue-whether we are reminiscing about horrible school pictures (ahem Rylie’s lump and worm years, Jayna’s glare year (s), and my side braid year), poking fun at one another for any number of quirks, “enjoying” a Syracuse game with my mom (disclaimer: this can also at times be no laughing matter and requires a skill set that most people have not mastered. It is a delicate science. Some situations may actually not call for laughing but in genuine fear for one’s life) or singing Mulan songs (who am I kidding, that is serious business).  I love how my stomach hurts (from laughing) after spending a day with my family.

(Christmas Eve 2004)

I also love to hear my kids laugh. There is no better sound in the whole entire world. I am convinced. Hearing your own child laugh, a true belly laugh, that in our house often results in hiccups and puking, is the absolute best. I would almost go as far as to say it is a reason to have kids, maybe not entirely in and of itself, but it is that great. Also, if you don’t at least crack a smile, or more likely laugh heartily yourself when you hear your kid laugh then you are dead inside. I will pray for you.

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I think one of the things I like most about laughter is it reminds me that we are made in God’s image. I love to think about God up in Heaven laughing and enjoying Himself. Awesome.

Speaking of laughter, yesterday ended with some nice belly laughs at our house, which brings me to what I am thankful for for Day 19: blanket forts. (How did you like that segway?) But really though, when you are a kid the only thing better than a blanket fort is getting to eat a snack in said blanket fort. Am I right? Yesterday the kids built a pretty rocking blanket fort all by themselves. It was complete with “canopies”. They hung out in there pretty sure they and it were the bees-knees. And they kinda were. So blanket forts and all the genuine hiccupy giggles that come with you, you deserve a shout out for Day 19.

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And now today, Day 20. Day 20 hasn’t been my best day in a while. It hasn’t been the worst, but in an attempt to be super vague and annoying I will just say it hasn’t been the best for me and some people I love. Today found me at times not wanting to be thankful at all. It found me wanting to be angry or worried or indignant. But I think because I have really been training myself to be thankful these past 20 days, I was able to fight somewhat successfully against my raw emotions and find a number of things to be thankful for, the greatest of which is heaven. Some days leave all of us longing for the day when we can rest in the physical arms of Jesus, where there is no more pain or sorrow, no more suffering, or confusion, or fear, no more unknown future, or bad test results, or anger, or resentment, or loneliness, no heartache, or inadequacy, or stress. I hope I don’t sound melodramatic. Maybe I do. Maybe I am. But all I know is today I am thankful for the promise of Heaven. Like the words of one of my favorite songs proclaims:
“Sometimes it feels like I’m watching
from the outside.
Sometimes it feels like I’m breathing
but am I alive?
I won’t keep searching for answers
that aren’t here to find.
All I know is I’m not home yet.
This is not where I belong.
Take this world and give me Jesus.
This is not where I belong.
So when the walls come falling
down on me.
And when I’m lost in a current
of a raging sea,
I have this blessed assurance holding me.
When the earth shakes
I want to be found in You.
When the lights dim
I want to be found in you.” (Building 429)

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