You wake up groaning because you suddenly have a sinus cold and you are acutely aware of the fact that you stayed up much too late last night cooking food for today's big dinner and should have gone to sleep instead so that you had the physical wherewithal to fight off the cold you will battle all day
You drag your sore self out of bed, you rush around getting four people ready for church while your husband grabs a shower and gets himself ready. You grumble, you complain. You say to yourself, "Just once I would like the luxury of getting only myself ready and YOU can get the kids ready. Just once." Which you know is a complete lie. You would like that to be the case more than once.
Your kids are dressed, diaper changed, breakfast eaten, hair is done and you venture into your closet to find something to wear. And then you realize you have nothing to wear. You pull down the basket of seasonal clothing because it has snowed and you realize that you cannot get away with one more Sunday in summer capris. You rifle through your seasonal clothes and see everything that you've worn for the last two years. You realize that the last time you went shopping for clothes was in March...at a second hand store. Your mind floats to the images of the beautiful women at church. Women, who it would seem, have just stepped out of a catalogue. You try not to be envious as you think of a friend who has $70 high heel boots. You love this friend. And yet, all you can think of is, "Just once....just once, I'd like the luxury of being able to spend $70 on something other than groceries! Something on myself." Which is a lie, of course, because you really want it more than once.
So instead you take a deep breath, you try and tell yourself that your friend and her husband both work and have no kids. You have a different course that you are on. You are not willing to go into debt for clothes, you are living on a single income so that your kids can have you at home, you are being obedient to the things God wants you to do. But your heart betrays you and you find yourself still wanting those high-heeled hooker boots and a suede skirt, knit sweater and fitting accessories.
In frustration, you approach the mirror and realize that if you were any good with scissors you would chop off all your hair and give yourself a haircut that would somehow take away the dramatic reality of the dark bags under your eyes. You fiddle with your hair clip, and hairspray and swear to yourself that if paper bags placed over your head ever come into style you will champion their cause.
Checking the time you yell, with a voice far from meek, that in 10 minutes we're leaving whether anyone is in the car or not. You grab the vacuum and dramatically clean the carpets thinking, "Just once, just once, I would like it if I wasn't the only person who cared about how the house looked." Which, of course, is a lie because you'd like it to be more than once.
And as you miserably vacuum the floor--aware that you will have to wear running shoes with your outfit because you have no appropriate footwear (hooker boots included), that you look like you just came out of the laundry pile because you have had to get three children ready, that your hair is a possible example of a bad hair commercial--you ask yourself, "Why the bloody hell am I doing all this?"
And as you vacuum, you answer yourself, "Because it's Thanksgiving, and I want to celebrate it with my friends and family."
And then you stop. The vacuum hose falls to the floor as you cover your face and start to cry.
It's Thanksgiving. A day to be thankful. A day to count your blessings. A day to rejoice that your son isn't fighting in Afghanistan, that your husband has a job, that your children are healthy, that you have clothes to wear, a house to clean, a vacuum that works, food to have dinner with and friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving with.
And you think to yourself, "Just once, just once, I'd like the luxury of not comparing myself, not complaining about my life, not focusing on myself."
And then you decide that that "once" is now. Today you will be thankful and be grateful to God for all His blessings. Today your whole heart will praise Him for His goodness and favour towards you. Today you will say "thank You".
And not just once.