November is fast becoming my favorite month of the year. Not because Mr. B is always leaving to go hunting (I hate that part). Not because of the cool crisp temperatures, the crunchy sweet-tart apples, or the lovely gold, crimson and orange brittle leaves.
I think my favorite part of November is the thankfulness. Thirty days devoted to gratitude.
In a book I’m currently reading – One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp – the words thanksgiving and gratitude are interchanged with the word eucharisteo. Eucharisteo may be my most favorite word ever. In the book, the author is challenged to write down one thousand eucharisteos. One thousand gifts. One thousand things to be thankful for.
By day 25, I’m hard-pressed to come up with anything profound. Family and God and Salvation and Roofs Over Heads and Dogs and Food are all easy to come up with. But when thanks have been said for the big things… what then?
Does anyone care that I’m really thankful for soft-yet-strong toilet paper? Not likely. Is it appropriate to post on Facebook my gratitude for an empty yoga studio on the only day I happened to be running incredibly late to teach class? My boss wouldn’t love that. But then again, giving gratitude isn’t about anyone else.
Often we miss the small things, look for the big things… and come up feeling disappointed. What I have found this year, is that paying attention to the small, silly, and even insignificant things has made my heart feel just plain glad. If I can find one thing, just one tiny thing, to be thankful for in each day; the bad things don’t seem quite so heavy. I understand this year, more than ever, why often it is recommended to have an attitude of gratitude. Because it really is an attitude – a choice. You can choose to be grateful for all you have – or you can be remorseful for all you don’t. You can be happy for how far you have come – or you can be mad about how far you have to go.
I will share with you my list of eucharisteos for the month of November…
Day 1: I am thankful for Mr. B. God knew the desires of my heart when He created him. Neither of us are perfect, but we are perfect for one another
Day 2: I am so thankful for Little K. For a girl who was never going to have kids, I am head over heels for that little guy. I can't imagine there is anything better to be called than "Mommy".
Day 3: I am thankful for my parents. They are truly the best.
Day 4: I am thankful for my best friend for life, my sister, Ber. Because who else besides a sister can say things like, "Where in the hell did you get that skirt?! Molly Ringwald's closet in 1989?" And that, my friends, is a direct quote.
Day 5: I am thankful for our home, it may be little but it is full of love.
Day 6: I am thankful for God’s grace.
Day 7: I am thankful for my BFF Linds. She is more of a sister than a friend, and I would never have accumulated so many hilarious/crazy "do you remember that one time..." stories without her. Love you "Linds the ruthless"!!
Day 8: I'm thankful for a very exciting opportunity that seemingly just fell into my lap.
Day 9: I am thankful that, two years ago today, I conquered my fears and insecurities, and began CrossFit. This picture is of me during my very first CrossFit class, feeling like a 30# press was very hard. I have come a long way, thanks to my amazing coaches. I am thankful to all of them (past and present) for encouraging me when I wanted to quit, yelling at me when I was being lazy, and for congratulating me every single time I have tried my best. I'm nowhere near the fastest or strongest person at my box, but I am light-years ahead of where I was when I began (physically, emotionally, and mentally).
Day 10: I'm thankful for tomorrows.
Day 11: Today, and every day, I am thankful for my freedom. I salute all of those who have served, and are serving, our country to protect our right to freedom. #hugaveteran
Day 12: I am thankful for my Daisy girl. She was our first "baby", she gave us someone to love, and made our house feel like a home. She made us believe we would be good parents someday. Now at 7 1/2 years old, she still brings us joy with her wagging tail and sweet snuggles. She protects Little K like he is her own and makes sure the mailman knows who is boss. #doglovers
Day 13: I am thankful for wine.
Day 14: I'm thankful that our family is fortunate enough to have our needs met. We truly are blessed.
Day 15: I am thankful for CrossFit WODs that challenge you to the point that you feel like a total rock star just for finishing.
Day 16: I am thankful for all of this awesome (and very rare) one-on-one time with the best mom in the whole world!!
Day 17: I am thankful that Mr B and Little K are coming home this afternoon. It has been a long 5 days without my handsome guys!!
Day 18: I'm thankful that my husband is not afraid to pitch in and help around the house. Among many other things, he knows how to cook, do dishes, vacuum, clean floors, dust, and do the laundry. His help is hugely appreciated during this time I am adjusting to working part time while still being a stay-at-home-mom. #backoffladieshestaken
Day 19: I'm thankful my parents taught me to stand up for what I believe. Today I am standing up for all of us who know and believe that leggings are, in fact, pants (just as long as they aren't see through when you bend over... And please, for the love of all things holy, make sure the frontal region doesn't make you resemble the lowest part of a certain humpy animal).
Day 20: Today I am thankful for sweatpants.
Day 21: I am thankful that CrossFit is such great stress relief. A tough WOD sure gets the aggression out of your system in a hurry!
Day 22: I am so very thankful for my family. All of them. I'm sure I've already said that... but it is true today, and every day.
Day 23: I'm thankful that our Christmas shopping is now 90% done!
Day 24: Today I am thankful for fuzzy blankets and naps.
Day 25: I'm thankful my car does not need a new transmission after all! A catalytic converter is expensive, but not transmission expensive.
Day 26: I'm thankful for a month devoted to Eucharisteo. Gratitude makes my heart feel happy.
Day 27: I'm thankful for the loud echoing laughter.
Day 28: I'm thankful for too much food.
Day 29: I’m thankful for my in-laws.
Day 30: I’m thankful for (kid-free & guy-free) girl time with my mom and sister!
Even going through and rewriting all of these things for which I give thanks, my heart swells with gratitude. I may not be swimming in diamonds and pearls or have the perfect body or the biggest house or the nicest car or every outfit I’ve ever pinned on Pinterest… but I have more than that. I am blessed with so much more than all of that.
Thirty days are done, but I think I am going to carry on with Eucharisteo. I desire to live a life of gratitude. Not a life of entitlement and want. I need to remember daily that we have been blessed fully.
I challenge you to join me in one hundred days of thanks. You can start today if you’d like. I am looking forward to hearing of the gifts you are blessed with, and I want to hear how your daily gratitude is changing your attitude.
Look for the little things. Give thanks. And thank you for keeping me In Good Company.