All month long I've been reading my friends' and family's posts on facebook for the 30 Days of Thankfulness. And, with every post, I've felt more and more like a slouch for not participating. But, that's me--this frustrating combination of hating to be late, but always missing deadlines.
So, as we cling to this final day of November, I'm clinging to the caboose of gratitude and giving it a twist. Here, in brief, are a few things I'm grateful NOT to have:
1. My DVR. I know, I know...I'm such a TV junkie, I never thought I'd be able to handle not having immediate TV at my fingertips. But we're saving about $80 a month, and I'm watching a lot less TV. With that, I'm not missing anything. The only real casualty was not getting to see the final 4 episodes of America's Next Top Model, but the love of my family ushered me through that dark time. I hear the blonde chick won, right?
1 (a) -- I'm actually thankful for the new American Idol judges, because now I think I can be free from the burden of watching that show. On a side note, here's a great song from the original AI winner, Kelly Clarkson, whom I love. It is called, appropriately, "Thankful." Have a listen...
2. A gym membership--yet another casualty of our budgetary down-sizing. Because, for every day I went to the gym, there were at least 5 that I hated myself for not going, and then that one day a month seeing the membership fee sucked out of the checking account that left me riddled with more chubby guilt than any eliptical could erase. Instead, I have a dog who loves to go for walks, and a beautiful track where deer come out at dusk. And, no, I haven't taken advantage of either of those for about 6 weeks, but at least they're free!
3. Daughters. Sorry, y'all, but I'm barely a good mother, I know I'd never be a good mother to a child who might actually crave my attention and opinion. My sons are sweetly reticent and low-maintenance. We enjoy our comfortable silence and low-scale drama. If I were saddled with a creature prone to cry, I'd lose my mind.
4. A million dollars. Really--in light of the recent Powerball excitement, it might seem strange to be grateful not to have excess money. It's been an incredibly tight year for the Pittman family--these past few months more challenging than any since the early days of our marriage when I stole toilet paper from the faculty restroom. (I figure I'd eventually be using it anyway, so why not at home?) But, I've learned so much about myself, our family has learned so much about what really, really matters in life. We've found joy in such simple, small things, and most of all, we've been AMAZED by God's provision and faithfullness. When I look at our budget and then look at what we have, it doesn't compute. It doesn't balance. I'm tempted to think God is just as bad at math as I am.
5. Finally, I'm grateful NOT to have the burden of my sin--God's grace is sufficient to carry that all away, to leave me fresh and whole moment by moment as I look to Him for daily refuge. I'm thankful to have such a strong heavenly Father to take my burdens away, to soothe the emotional, crazed daughter the way I myself could never do. (see #3) I think maybe I stayed away from posting my daily thankfulness because i just couldn't winnow it down. I'm overwhelmed wih blessings--too many to begin to name. Enough to breathe gratitude in every waking moment.
7 years ago