I've been reading Ann Voskamp's incredibly beautiful blog, A Holy Experience, for some time now and I have adored her one thousand gifts posts. This year, 2011, I've decided to join the weekly celebration of thankfulness and work towards posting my own 1,000 reasons to be thankful. I have been so incredibly blessed by God in so many ways - I am looking forward to reflecting on the many reasons I have to be thankful in my life.
Right now I'm very thankful for encouraging my youngest son to share his little clay creations with the other children at church, rather than discouraging him. I came so close to discouraging him from offering his little homemade clay guys to other children in his Sunday School class because I wanted to protect him, I didn't want his feelings to get hurt, so I almost encouraged him not to reach out and share gifts with others. You see, I saw him offer one of his homemade clay guys to another young child and the child rebuffed him - clearly not interested. I didn't want Duncan to feel bad so I almost told him not to take his homemade gifts to church.
But, I kept my mouth shut. Then, one day, a woman I didn't know came up to me at church and her young son was clutching a baggie full of very familiar-looking little clay creations. She told me that her son adored Duncan and he loved the little clay guys he gave to him. She told me her son sleeps with the little bag of clay guys next to his bed. Today, Duncan attended that boy's birthday party. He had a wonderful time.
I talked with his mother at church and during the course of the conversation, she asked me where my children go to school. I took a deep breath and told her that I homeschool, bracing myself for the questions, concerns, or comments. I was incredibly surprised to learn that she homeschools her children too. Unknowingly, I had connected with one of the very few homeschooling families in our church. She told me her son would love to get together with my son to play. We are making plans to get together in the near future.
How many times do we fail to reach out to others because we are afraid of being rejected? I'm so glad Duncan wasn't afraid to reach out. By reaching out, he made a friend. By reaching out, Duncan helped me to make a new friend. This week, I'm so thankful that my 9 year old son reminded me that making connections with others is worth the risk of reaching out and the possibility of rejection.
- the courage to reach out to others in friendship, knowing that rejection is possible, but taking the risk nonetheless
- birthday parties for children
- cake, cake, cake
- the Wilton cake decorating course I took almost 18 years ago that ignited my interest in making homemade cakes and gave me some basic cake decorating skills
- youth group at church for my teenage daughter and almost-teenage son
- older teens at church who mentor and encourage my two older children
- cell phones that make it easy to stay in touch with my teenager when she is away from home
- a fresh start with a new swim team
- my incredibly wonderful husband
- flannel sheets ( even in the summer)
- our incredibly beautiful king-size sleigh bed that I had always wanted
- the yearly mammogram that has the potential to save my life
- dental cleanings
- floss picks
- a pantry and freezer full of food
- the freedom to homeschool
- the freedom to attend the church of our choice
- our campus pastor
- my water-resistant Ironman Timex watch that I almost never take off.