When God comes as a Photographer and a Steak n Shake Waitress

November naturally brings on the onslaught of “thankful Facebook posts” that I have a love hate relationship with.
I love them because I love seeing people be thankful for what they have.
I hate them because I’m afraid people may think they can only  be thankful in November.
I know that’s not the heart of most people when posting their thankfuls starting November 1st.
I hope.
I found Ann Voskamp and caught a passion for listing my thankfuls and I have made an effort to write down three things I’m thankful for.
Some days it’s easy.
Some days it’s painfully hard.
But regardless of how I feel…God is still good.
Yesterday was that day.
We rushed home from school to get ready for family pictures.
A shiver runs down my spine just thinking about those two words.
Family pictures are NO. JOKE.
We pulled up to Heather’s studio and Ellie was the only one who was excited about our pending pictures.
I’m mad at the kids not wanting to be there, Jason’s mad at me for being mad at the kids, Max is mad at the world, Phoebe is mad because we didn’t eat first, and Reagan is mad at the sweater Max picked out.
Essentially no one liked any one, but BY GOD YOU WILL LIKE EACH OTHER!   YOU WILL SMILE AND LOVE YOUR FAMILY FOR 45 MINUTES.
Heather May is a saint.
She is so patient with my kids.
I’m so grateful for her.
And the fact that she can look at me and tell me to “chill out, they’re fine” and be comfortable to pull Reagan around by his nostrils.
She’s my hero.
I got to thinking, I’m more thankful for the hard stuff.
I’m thankful for two sons who hated church when they were little.  And for every Sunday that was a struggle and fight. It made me more sympathetic to the needs of other kids who hated church too.
I’m thankful for a son who hated school.  For every day that was difficult those years when the teachers were difficult and the personalities didn’t match and the words were misconstrued.  It made me help make the experience for the kids I deal with everyday who also hate school.
I’m thankful for the embarrassment I felt when 90% of the Kings Kids were receiving certificates for learning their memory scriptures.  Instead of feeling like a failure and accepting the voice I heard, “See, you’re failing at this too.  You’re a pastor’s wife and you can’t even help your kids learn scriptures.  You’re ridiculous.”  Instead, I accepted it for what it was, repented for not fostering a love of memorizing God’s word and prayed to do better next time.
I’m thankful for a waitress at Steak n Shake named Michelle who breathed life into me as I was paying our bill.
I must have been wearing my weary like a thick coat because as she gave me a total, she leaned in and said, “You know, your kids are precious.  I know you don’t think so, but they were so well behaved and I can tell, they really are awesome kids.”
I’m thankful for bad times that come on the heels of good times.
When a good evening gets shot all to Hell.
I’m thankful for times when my ugly comes out.  Those times when my words are ugly, my behavior is ugly, my thoughts are ugly.  It makes me realize how each day is a work in progress.  I’m a work in progress.  And that even when I hate the ugly, I’m reminded that God loves ugly.
I’m thankful for the mess that leaves make on my front porch from the neighbor’s trees.  Especially when God whispers to me that His specialty is making beautiful things from messes.
Lastly, I’m so thankful for you as you read this.  I’m thankful for what God’s doing in your life.
I never take you or the time you take to read this mess for granted.
confetti
Everyday.  In all things.
I’m thankful.

Leave a Reply