Friday, December 13, 2013

Crazy Thankful

I have fallen WAY behind on blogging lately!  I have been intending to write a post about hard goodbyes and the frequency of those here, but I just felt struck with an abundance of reasons to be crazy grateful tonight, so I am going to jot down some of that instead.

*  It is the Christmas season!  (Decided to do a whole separate post on it, I love it so much!)
Most of all, I am really thankful for grace this Christmas.  I am a person who always has a million more things on my to-do list and expectations in my mind than are humanly possible.  Yet, somehow, I feel incredibly pressured to cram in everything to make things (especially at a beloved season) PERFECT!  I am thankful for reminders again this Christmas that, not only is perfection not possible, Jesus came down to earth to save me from my striving and performing and failed attempts to make things perfect, and I am loved and covered in His amazing grace!
Through beautiful reminders in The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp (a sweet gift from my mama) and bloggers I love like Carissa over at 1+1+1=1 in her post "Choose Attitude over Activities," I have been reminded that the experience of this season for my family (and others around me) is more about WHO I am and how I encounter Jesus in this time than whether or not I pull off all the crazy crafts and projects and whatever else!

*  Muna Tamang is in my home again!
Having house help was a huge adjustment for me when we moved overseas!  It is quite common here, and if people have any means to do so, it would actually seem a little odd culturally not to have someone working in the home to help.  All of the basics of cooking and cleaning and keeping our home take more time here, so I have gotten to the point that I (mostly) stop apologizing mentally whenever I communicate about our house help to other Americans.  Our friends had a woman working for them when we came and lived with them for several months a few years ago (before moving here), and I just loved her.  Through a long set of circumstances (some less than pleasant), she is now working for us in our home, and I cannot even begin to describe what an incredible blessing it is!  She is absolutely wonderful!  I fancy myself a person who can get a fair amount done in a day, but she blows me away!  And, more importantly, she is just so sweet and an absolute joy to be in our home!  My kids adore her, and I just can't help but think of a million reasons that I am thankful to have her working in our home again!

*  I have things that keep me warm.
It is cold here.  I have friends and family who live in places that are actually much colder, but they all have central heating!  The houses here are made of cement and marble and stay quite cold, even when the outside temperature warms up to be quite pleasant during the day.  Combined with windows that don't quite fit right, let's just say that I usually have to put things IN my fridge to defrost at night because left out on the counter, they stay frozen!  However, we have a big gas space heater and lots of warm blankets and fleece sheets sent by loving family members and jackets and sweaters and just so many things to help us stay warm, and it is definitely not to be taken for granted here, as that is not the norm of what people have available here!  So crazy blessed!

*  My garbage is getting collected regularly!  Not a given but seems a new pattern of late and really thankful for it!

*  My parents visited us!  Here!  In Nepal!!!
Part of the reason for being behind in blogging is that I was completely wrapped up in the joy of my parents' first visit here in Nepal!  They flew all the way around the world to be with us, and it was such a great joy and blessing to have them here!  We are always glad to spend time with them, but it meant so much to have them here, seeing our home and life here and sharing time with us for a few weeks.  We got to do some really fun things, including a trip to Chitwan, which was beautiful, but it was also great to have them just do some of our "ordinary" things with us.  So thankful they were able and willing to come and for the memories of time shared here with them!  And, we are still enjoying tons of treats they brought for us--new clothes, cheese, candy, toys, books, and goodies!  Not only nice to enjoy the treats, but is a good reminder of them and their time here every time we use one of the treats!

*  I am surrounded by really incredible people!
I am constantly struck by all the really amazing people that we work with and have in our lives here.
I have a wonderful husband and two really cool sons.
Even friends and family who are far from us continue to bless and surround us with encouragement and prayers.
Really, really blessed!

*  Gingerbread and a hot cup of tea
It may not rank up there in significance with many of the things on this list, and I wouldn't have even considered myself a huge fan of gingerbread, but it was yesterday as I sat, truly delighting in a homemade gingerbread cookie and sipping my tea that I was just struck by how crazy thankful I am for even all these little things that fill my life and how many huge things I am thankful for as well!