Chaos can be okay.

Time alone with God can help us grow, but so can serving others. Instead of feeling guilty about how little time alone I get, I need to look at how I can connect with God in the midst of my chaos. – Keri Wyatt Kent

I am grateful for work chaos that gives me opportunities for productivity and self-worth.

I am grateful for Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl chaos that is fun to watch.

I am grateful for those who have helped me this week in the chaos of being away from home.

I am grateful for all the glimpses of God in my life that I have noticed this week.

And I am grateful for a kind of chaotic weekend and looking forward to some fun.

“Sense”ible gratitude

Touch

The warmth of a space heater to take the chill away

Smoothest, softest sheets – I’m sold

The way my hair feels when it is clean and product-free

Smell

Men’s cologne that makes me want to follow

Crisp bills that smell like new money

Pine or balsam that smells like I’m surrounded by trees

Hearing

Hearing a yes, rather than a no

Silence after a loud day

Anjalie’s laughter – there’s just nothing sweeter than that sound

Taste

Judgment-Free Zone: Chicken with Vegetables from China Garden

Fresh mouth after brushed teeth

Oreo kind of chocolate

Sight

A picture of Mom that greets me when I open my Bible

A positive email response from the 497 emails I am pretty sure I sent out

Happy Chiefs fans everywhere

Sam, when I come home after a long week

Little miracles.

Dad prayed for our dinner at McAlister’s.

My tea was mixed perfectly by a very nice McAlister’s guy.

The foggy haze wasn’t so bad and the beauty of downtown Kansas City was in its glory.

We didn’t get lost going up and down and across the maze of streets hidden between the tall buildings.

We finally found a street where we could see the Marriott lights that pronounce Super. Bowl. Bound. and the KC arrowhead for all the world to see.

https://www.kcur.org/post/see-iconic-kansas-city-buildings-showing-chiefs-pride-ahead-sundays-big-game#stream/0

Dad didn’t seem to mind my silly desire to just drive and look.

My backseat has a few KC Chiefs things, ready for Sunday.

My sister took the time and the effort to spend an hour with me and let me unload.

Not only did I receive the gift of my yoo hoo birds, I also received the gift of five deer right outside my office window, and they decided I wasn’t so scary.

My legs are screaming sore which means I am working them on these stairs.

I resisted a piece of Grandmommy’s cake last night. Small victory.

The morning greeted me with beautiful snow as I walked out of Dad’s hotel in the darkness of the new day.

My wipers work as does my seat heat.

Salt covered the parking lot and sidewalks so I didn’t slip and fall on my way in to work.

I have a lot to do at work, I am privileged to be a member of the best team, and I love my job.

The Chiefs are playing in the Super Bowl.

Jesus loves me, and I know it.

Ignorance is bliss.

I am learning not to fret over things I cannot change.

I am grateful today.

Yoo hoo. Don’t forget.

This morning, I walked in to work from the parking lot in the woods. The city has not yet said “Good morning” and the street lights still glow. But a little one is wide awake in the top of the tree, and she is welcoming me with a “Yoo hoo!”

It’s probably the sound I miss the most, now that I no longer live here. The city is full of my yoo hoo birds, and I have sweet memories of early morning walks and a walking pace set to the sounds of the yoo hoos in the trees.

It was as if she was saying, “Hey, remember me? I am still here, and this is your reminder to walk and be grateful with every step you take.”

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I am grateful for early mornings before the city is awake.

I am grateful for Chickadee yoo hoo birds.

I am grateful for a boss who makes it a game to see if he can beat me to work when I am here in town.

I am grateful for productivity.

I am grateful for a reprieve from conflict.

I am grateful for a nice couch hotel – thanks, Dad.

I am grateful for good dreams or no dreams as opposed to the other alternative.

I am grateful for the comfort of silence and seclusion, said the closet introvert in me.

I am grateful for my hearing aid’s blue tooth capability.

I am grateful for stairs to climb and sore muscles.

I am grateful for four eggs that I forgot I left in the office fridge so that I can keep my routine breakfast for two days.

I am grateful for a city alive with all things red and Chiefs, which makes me grateful that Dad wants to go drive around tonight to see the beauty of a city alive with all things red and Chiefs.

And I am grateful for the hymn, “Each Step I Take.” Internal jukebox today, for sure.

God music and joy in the naming.

I don’t know what it is…but my gratitude hasn’t been as easy to put into words lately. It’s not that I am not grateful. I am very, very grateful, and Psalm 46, 100, 121…they reside in my thoughts always.

I guess it isn’t easy to put into words because I do not take the time to make naming my blessings out loud or through my fingers a priority these days. And, when I do not take the time, it is like not taking the time to pray, or to read, or to eat well. The further away I get from naming them one by one, the harder it is to get back to it.

When I was in trauma and had a gratitude accountability partner, it was easy. I needed to find a blessing somewhere in the midst of the darkness. Last weekend, Chris, Connie, and Geri talked about Corrie ten Boom and her sister being grateful about having fleas in their beds that resulted in the guards avoiding their “dorm.” Trauma. Find the good. Count it ALL joy.

Just take the time. There is joy in the naming.

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I am grateful to be reminded today that Mom entered heaven seven years ago tomorrow.

I am grateful for a weekend away to spend with my Oklahoma friends. Safe space, laughter, and they allowed me to unload without fear of judgment.

I am grateful for our foster son who brings us so much joy and has added life to our home.

I am grateful for two little kittens who provide mental healing for Sam and for me.

I am grateful for a good vacuum.

I am grateful for a couple of former students who still include me in their lives.

I am grateful for winter which gives me reason to wear sweaters and hoodies and feel comfort in staying inside to enjoy the fireplace.

I am grateful for our first Airbnb booking.

I am grateful that I was at least smart enough to put this thing together all by myself.

I am grateful for reminders to live not to please God but to live to trust God. Thank you, Navigators.

I am grateful for the Chiefs. Simple joys, cheering for the team.

I am grateful for really great neighbors – it’s a big deal and one you don’t realize until you don’t have really great neighbors. We have them, and we don’t want to take them for granted.

I am grateful for Karen. She let me unload the personalist of personal thoughts, and she understood.

And I am grateful for the sound of a cardinal this sunny afternoon. God music. Thanks, Mom.

All things considered

Today was not as planned. I was supposed to be in Texas watching my birthday present coach her oldest daughter at a basketball game. We were going to spend our birthdays together.

But flu 2020 hit on Wednesday and knocked out my birthday plan.

All things considered, it was still an okay kind of day.

Tonight, I am grateful for a small stack of birthday cards.

I am grateful for a new journal from my sister.

I am grateful for a nap and lots of tissues and medicine and no cooking.

I am grateful for the energy to make myself a birthday treat, grandmommy’s mahogany chiffon cake.

I am grateful for a beautiful Ama ring with the Texas kids’ birthstones and names engraved.

And I am grateful for the unexpected birthday surprise of two more additions to our home: Banana and Split.