March 15, 2012

Double Fours

It was unusually cold that year. Ice was so heavy on the trees, they were nearly doubled over.

I've heard Mom tell the story a hundred times at least. I've thought of it often this year, clinging to the hope that Winter could still arrive. Instead, Spring blew in early and dug in deep.

This year, I celebrate 44 with a sort of melancholy. Not because I'm getting older, although I am. Not because I'm so far from being the woman I want to be, although this, too, is true. Not because life isn't brimming with grace and many wonderful things, because it is. My heart has been too prone to fixate on the few things that aren't so wonderful, to keep me a muttering malcontent. I too easily forget that there is grace upon grace.

And so I choose today to give thanks.  To remind myself of my blessings and the Giver of them all.

1.   Salvation through Christ alone
2.   His Word
3.   His grace
4.   His patience
5.   The love of a steady & faithful Christian man
6.   The way he makes me laugh
7.   Dancing with him in the living room
8.   Our friendship
9.   A girl who still calls me Mommy from time to time (when no one else is listening)
10. Her giggles
11. A sanctuary to call home
12. Friends who love me unconditionally
13. Parents who do the same
14. Books
15. Chocolate
16. Hot tea
17. Coffee
18. Sweet iced tea
19. A pantry and multiple freezers full of food
20. My health
21. A group of iron-sharpening women from all over the world
22. Technology that allows for #21
23. Music
24. Quilts
25. My cell phone
26. Homemade bread
27. Cooking side-by-side with my daughter
27. My husband's green thumb
28. Living 10 minutes away from my parents, my sister, and my husband's brother
29. Flannel sheets
30. Appliances, big and small
31. The sound of my Mom's voice
32. Prayer
33. Creamline milk
34. Homemade ice cream
35. Long talks with my man
36. The steadiness of a routine
37. The unexpected pleasures of breaking the routine
38. The library
39. My job
40. My husband's job
41. My girl's dreams
42. God's sovereignty
43. The prayers of His saints
44. New mercies every morning

Forty-four bits of my life, some much more mundane than others.  Yet all have been woven together into a rich tapestry of days that evidence the overwhelming goodness of God.  As I head into my 45th year, I pray I will not easily forget how truly amazing He is.


Kim Shay said...

That's a wonderful list! Have a blessed birthday!

Carrie said...

And please allow me to wish YOU a very HAPPY 45th year of life! =) I love your list and how you state that all of those things are woven together into a rich tapestry. That is so the case! Thank you for living life so beautifully! I'm so glad to be able to call you my friend!

Anonymous said...

God bless you Melissa. I love your blessing list. I just may have to borrow this idea on my birthday.

Jill said...

Happy birthday and a blessed year ahead, dear friend!

Elizabeth DeBarros said...

How admirable that you choose to lift your head and give thanks when you have every earthly reason to hang low. You show that this is not your home.

Thanks for sharing your heart, and all 44 bits of your life.

Deepest sympathies and much love,

Becky said...

Melissa, I love you so much and thank God for you, sister.

Giving thanks with you today to our Father who doesn't forget our pain and gives us new mercies every morning.