Some of the things we've dealt with since. Some of these are little. Some of these are enormous:
The Rodeo's transmission went out (it will be well over $1000 to fix.)
More bills than money.
Potty training a three-year-old boy who would rather be a "yitto boy" than a "big boy."
Cleaning up after a fourteen-year-old dog.
My running partner was the first on the scene when a woman (also running) collapsed (and later died) on our running route. She was 43 and left three children behind.
Weeds. Weeds. Weeds. Even more weeds than bills. So many many weeds. A plethora of weeds.
The water softener stopped working (which doesn't sound like a big deal, but my cracking skin thinks it is.)
Cracking skin. I mean, come on. I've had cracked fingertips in winter since I moved to Utah, but the constant, never-healing cracks all year long? Getting way old. Way way old.
A husband who works too much, too hard, too long (and for this I respect him greatly) for most of the summer. When does his crazy schedule end? Three days before school starts. Fair? Not fair.
My mom's cousin died after a 43 year battle with MS.
My great-uncle was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Wednesday the van's brakes went out.
And then there are the things that aren't discussed publicly but weigh on our souls like lead. These private griefs can be ever as painful as the public griefs, but because of their nature, we suffer them alone. Suffering alone is much harder than allowing people to suffer with us, isn't it?
Through this, I've had moments (OK, even hours) of anxiety, panic, fear, and grief. But the emotion I feel most often?
Strange, isn't it?
I've listed many of the things that have forced me to my knees over the last couple of months. But here are some of the things that have kept me there, giving thanks.
You. My family and friends. Your prayers. Your love. Your kindness.
Learning to feast on the scriptures again. I'm studying carefully, taking notes, and the Lord is teaching me important things every day.
Humility. You can't have experiences like these without recognizing your own nothingness. I am weak. I am utterly imperfect. And I have found grace through my imperfections. God loves me, even when I least deserve to be loved (which is most of the time).
My family reunion in Idaho.
Being able to run up my hill.
Having people I ADORE visit and stay in my house so we can stay up late talking.
Three-year-old hugs and kisses.
The Segullah writing retreat.
My piano group.
The Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
Finding strength when I don't think there is any more strength left.
Feeling peaceful even when I know I should feel anything but.
Life is hard. Yes, it is. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise or you'll be disappointed when you hit the bumps.
But it is also beautiful. I'm learning to see the beauty even when it's dark around me. And when I really see the beauty, really really pay attention? The darkness lightens, and more and more and more beauty pours in.
Neat how that works.