I’m grumpy. I have pre-deployment crankies like nobody’s business. Just the same… I am still trying to cultivate a spirit of gratefulness.
As such, things that I am grateful for at the moment:
1) The anticipation of pink stuff and sweet potatoes on Thursday
2) The way Abigail’s lips part and she has a little smile when she’s really enjoying watching something.
3) Zyrtec easing Lainey’s constant congestion
4) The deep ways that I find it is well with my soul even when I’m grumpy enough to write about the grumpy parts.
5) Cottage Cheese in all it’s protein-y splendor
6) My folks coming for Christmas–something to look forward to
7) Andrew being home for ALL of Lainey’s first year. That’s a first for us and we’re grateful
8) TV shows to keep me company in the evenings when the time comes.
9) Wonderful, understanding teachers for my girls.
10) A husband who goes above and beyond to make sure we’re ready for this adventure.
11) Being married to a man who I love so much that I get excruciatingly grumpy and upset when having to be away from him.
12) The resiliency of children.
13) Having a perfect day on Sunday–Worship, and good time with husband…. A play that made us laugh so long and hard our faces hurt. And Five Guys Burgers to boot.
14) Lainey starting to dance.
15) A sense of humor that takes the edge off so much of the ick.
There… that’s a baker’s dozen and then some.
Now that that’s done, a little of the flip side.
1) Media stories highlighting ‘all the troops coming home for the holidays…’ still–or even just reminders of those stories.
2) (Wonderful, well-meaning people) who immediately ask if I’m going home during the deployment. Well. I AM at home. I live HERE. I’m a 30 year old woman with 3 children and this is our home.
3) Reading people’s comments to any article about the military. Do they not get that REAL PEOPLE ARE SERVING and that service members are more than a political talking point and that our lives are about more than whether or not a given person is for or against the ten years of war we’ve been enduring?
4) Powers of Attorney… Getting all of them and then still wondering if we’ll have the ones that we need should an unforeseen circumstance come knocking at the door.
5) The constant gnawing nausea in the pit of my stomach that I have dubbed ‘the dread bucket.’
6) The way that everyone wants to point out the silver linings to things that are tough. Yes, I look for the silver linings, and I count up my gratefuls, and I am taking comfort in them, but sometimes I just need to know that you understand that at the moment I’m just trying to embrace the yuck and wait for the steady ground to come again.
7) The awkwardness of telling people he’s going and their reactions. “I’m sorry,” is a right thing to say, but still a little awkward because… “This is what we do.” Just the same, “Well… This is the Navy, you’re used to this,” or “You knew what you were signing up for,” or just the assumption that it’s no big deal for us doesn’t hit me right either. Which yes, just means that I’m prickly enough that there is no right thing to say.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest let me go back to the Gratefuls.
I am grateful for words like this,
“In the stressful times : seek God
In the painful times : praise God
In the harried times : hallow God
In the terrible times : trust God.
And at all times — and at all times –
Thank God.” —Ann Voskamp
I am thankful for how those words calm me and bring me back around. I am thankful for how God sticks with me in my grumpy, prickly ick. I am thankful that He is sovereign and always with me in the hard stuff and always turning it all to good. I am thankful for many many things…. And this softens the grumpies even as I acknowledge them.
If I seem grumpy, know that I’m not ungrateful. If you hear my gratefuls, know that it’s still hard. Really it’s a wonder how we can contain so much within us at any single moment. And that double-sided coin is a tension I’m living in and marveling at all at once.