Some days the thanking comes harder than others. Some days I don't even want to thank. There is something sinful in me that wants to wallow, sometimes, something that shrinks whining from the light of the freedom that gratitude brings, and wants only to peer into the dark.
I'm on my fourth child. Many have borne more than me, in quantity and "quality", if you know what I mean. I wouldn't dare to try to claim that I've the heaviest load to bear. But for me, for now, this load is some days all that I can carry - more than I can carry. And I forget, sometimes, Him on whose shoulders the government rests, who offers to bear the load with me, to share the yoke, to catch my tossed-on-him cares, to care for me and give me rest for my soul.
It was one of those days today. The fourth child is birthing his own fourth, an eyetooth. Stubbornly sensitive, lingering, that pearly little gem will not emerge. The tender bud that will be gets in the way of everything he wants to chew: toast, beloved apples, even cheese. Understandably, he resents that. Unfortunately, he resents it loudly. Unrelentingly. Even in the middle of the night.
I don't know how many times we heard him last night. At first, forgetting how it works with him, we went to him, all sympathy and warm comfort. He hushed to our caresses ... until we laid him down. How he wailed. No one had e're been wronged like he had. To be left alone! In flannel-sheeted crib with special plush blanket! (Compared to Mama's arms, it was a hardship).
By morning we were wearied, equally from his whining wails as from lack of sleep. Some "extra" hour we'd had.
But gamely we pulled ourselves together and went to church. All teary-prone, my "fine" fooled no one, and a few listened with sympathy to tales of teething, and remembered.
Later, when I had rested, I flipped some pages in my notebook and pen in hand began to think. In all my weariness and utter, pathetic lack, what is there to be thankful for?
God's always good: there's always something (usually more). Here's what I found, today, bleary-eyed (and wanting only what I couldn't have: cease of pain):
391 - sympathetic ears
392 - hope for a new day tomorrow (and a better night tonight!)
393 - teachings of truth
394 - their delight in braided loaf, with butter and cheese
395 - long afternoon of quiet
396 - wealth of persimmons, overflowing baskets despite the birds
397 - the good-humored chuckle amidst all that whining
398 - wooden puzzles
399 - pampas grass swaying, shining silken in the sun
400 - sunlit life
401 - smart-alecky husband (but you're right, dear, I wouldn't want you any other way!)
402 - wool sweaters and afternoon coffee
403 - an outside for them to play in!
404 - "this too shall pass"
(my own refrain of praise, from #1 till now ....)