After plodding away at the day-to-day for four months- up by 6 a.m., at work by 7:20 a.m., attendance at 10:00 a.m., lunch at 12:20, dismissal at 3:20- this teacher needs a break. With only one day off since school has started, I need some time to recharge the batteries and gain a little perspective on my day-to-day life that I knowingly take for granted.
This upcoming week for me will be one of utmost joy- 6 days with my family in Knoxville. 6 days without students and lesson plans and tapping and “Mrs McNutt! Mrs. McNutt!”. 6 days in a place where I don’t have to do the grocery shopping or clean the toilets or water the plants (note to self- remind husband to water plants).
True refreshment after weeks of trudging uphill is a blessing. I’ve made it through the first nine weeks, the first trimester, and my final Master’s courses. This fall has been a doozy, and I know God has pushed me throughout it to remind me what I’m really made of as motherhood steadily approaches.
With Thanksgiving days ahead, it’s hard to ignore the sentiment of the season. Today, let’s take a few moments to focus on the celebration ahead by fixing our attention on the abundance in our lives God has bestowed upon us, challenging ourselves to not overlook the smallest, most seemingly insignificant parts of our days and lives as absolute blessings.
In late November, East Tennessee is utterly gorgeous. Just one block from my childhood home lies the Tennessee River, which is surrounded by cliffs specked with the typically dazzling array of fall foliage that is currently amiss in North Central Texas (brown, brown, and more brown).
To add to the spectacle, the Smoky Mountains lazily arise to the east of this picturesque view. To say that I come from and am writing to y’all from a beautiful place is an understatement.
For me this week, it’s easy to take a step back and consider all that God has graciously given me. With the extra time away from my husband, my work, and my life in Texas, I hope to reflect and gain a little perspective on my day-to-day life back in the Lone Star State.
As I’ve mentioned, Thanksgiving is absolutely my favorite holiday of the year. Yes, I love every detail of Christmas, but it the one holiday that certainly has spiraled out of control in terms of what the holiday truly is honoring. I’m looking forward to so much of the season, such as (in no particular order, mind you):
Could I keep going? Yupper doodle. But what I want to do right now, in this very moment, is not look ahead to all of that hustling, bustling Christmas cheer; rather, I enjoy the fullness of the present moment and appreciate all God has in store for me right now.
As I reflect on my life, it’s sometimes difficult for me to fathom that all I have received I have done absolutely nothing to deserve. This is really tough for me to grasp, because I’m the person who wants to earn the straight A’s, earn the praise and complements, earn the healthy body I have worked for. But that’s not how God’s economy works.
God’s kingdom is not about earning or deserving; it’s about believing and receiving the abundance.
God so graciously gives and gives and gives. Rarely do we stop to thank Him for the wealth He provides us with daily. When we don’t acknowledge and accept the Father’s gifts, we straight up hurt His feelings.
You know how it feels to put weeks of thought, effort, and time into a gift for someone who does not receive it enthusiastically. It’s hurtful. It’s disappointing. It makes you a little bitter even.
Luckily, our Father isn’t quite as immature as we sinful beings are, and He has more compassion and forgiveness and understanding in his little finger than we all have combined.
Today, either right now or when you have a few minutes, reflect on the abundant blessings God has given you with an attitude of gratitude. Open up your journal, get out a piece of paper, open a new Word document, or type in your note app 50 things, yes 50, you are grateful for in this moment. Challenge yourself to include the little, otherwise overlooked parts of your day and your life. Celebrate the small and big.
By doing so, we are glorifying, honoring and pleasing our Father. By doing so, you will be setting yourself up for a day and a week and hopefully an entire holiday season that is focused on gratitude, not picture-perfect place settings, Christmas cards, and yard decorations to put Clark Griswald to shame.
And y’all, I’ll share mine if you share yours. Feel free to share your lists in the comments. Sharing is caring, after all.
Here’s my list, again in no particular order:
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!