14.7.08

Mostly Little Things

Yesterday I gave away my mammoth double jogger stroller. I need the space in my storage room more than I need to save it in case I have another child this year. Actually, I'm trying to wait until next year to have another child but that's another story. I'm also packing up what feels like a ton of other stuff that we don't need to give away. I feel a bit like I am drowning in stuff these days and it's time to purge.

But here's the thing. Getting rid of all of these things has me thinking about how well we have been taken care of the past few years. It's a count my blessings type of moment. And I wanted to share some of it with you.

I couldn't have gotten rid of that stroller, which I was able to buy at cost because the store where we bought it was owned by our friends' family, if I hadn't won a brand new stroller last year in the Chico stroller giveaway that Mel hosted. It's just like the stroller we gave away before we left Canada, only prettier, and better in every way. There are upgrades like an umbrella and cup holder. It still folds up into a neat shape for storage, but the locking mechanism is better so it stays shut. Our old one stopped doing that after a while. And it has shocks. And little pad in the back for an older child to stand for a while when they are tired of walking. I love this stroller. Thanks yet again Mel and Chicco for giving it to me. It even fits on the bus.

The Baby's first car seat came from our good friends who's baby out grew it almost immediately. The Baby took a long time to get to 15 pounds so she's loved this seat for over a year. Thanks Emily.

The new big girl car seat came from my mom, and my dad drove it down here when he last visited.

I have not purchased any new clothes for the Baby since she was about 3 months old. Even though I gave all of the Girl's baby clothes away before we left Canada. My dear friend Megan, who has adorable taste in girls clothes, keeps passing to me the clothes her baby has outgrown so that mine can wear them next. The Baby has had the most stylish wardrobe a one year old could ever wish for. Megan has now moved away for a while, just as the Baby is big enough to start wearing the Girls' clothes that I do have saved. It's yet another little thing that adds up to huge blessings for us in the long run. Thanks Megan.

Megan also has passed on tons of other stuff that I've completely lost track of, like swim wear and floaties for the pool, little toys for the kids, and even more that I've forgotten.

The TV that we got for free from the GH's parents died a few months back. It wasn't that big a deal because the kids only watch shows on the weekends anyway, but we did miss it a little. Not enough to buy a new TV though. Last week our new friends across the green, I'm going to start calling it a green because it sounds so much cooler that way, gave us their old TV. They bought a new bigger TV and just gave us their old one. How cool is that?

I guess one of the things that got me thinking about all of this was last Friday. Thursday night the same neighbor, she of the TV, also a professional chef, brought us homemade brownies for dessert. In the morning another neighbor, a friend of the boy's dropped off some school books they thought the kids might like. (My kids get so excited over new school books, it's really funny.) Yet another neighbor walked past and put a brand new hat on the Baby's head and handed me another. "They were on sale at Walmart for $2, I just had to buy them for her. They were too cute." Another neighbor brought over 5 DVD's with kids movies on them. My Indian neighbor next door gave me a big bowl of Pampagi to try. (I have no idea how to spell that.) Oh so good. She fed the GH samosas all the time while I was in Canada too.

It was a glut of generosity from the people we see every day. A palpable reminder that we are blessed, in our friends and in our lives.

Sure things go wrong from time to time. On Friday the service station where the GH took the car in for an oil change FORGOT TO PUT OIL IN BEFORE HE DROVE AWAY! The Engine is shot. We don't know how long it will take to rebuild. It's our only car, without it the GH can't work. It feels like a disaster, but it's not. The guarantee policy at the service center covers car rental while they sort it out. There are things in place here to protect us from things like this so they aren't disasters.

It's easy to focus on the near disasters in when they happen. It's even easier to look ahead and stress out about imagined potential disasters. I find it takes a little bit more discipline on my part to notice the blessings, to count them, to not take them for granted. That's why I named this blog She Laughs at the Days. I need to be reminded every day to notice and think on the things that are praiseworthy. That, and I aspire to be the woman the passage I stole that phrase from describes, "Strength and honor are her clothing, she laughs at the days to come."

When we get worn down, especially as moms, it's usually the little things. A puddle of pee on the floor by itself isn't enough to do it. It's the puddle of pee after 5 other puddles of pee, three middle of the night bedding changes, a sick and sleepless infant and a husband who just put his dirty socks down on the dinner table AGAIN that wear us down. I'm good at listing off the things that pile up and send me to the edge. What's also true, for me anyhow, is that there are dozens of little things that make my life easier too. But how often do I list those? How often do I take the time for gratitude and give thanks?

Today I'm doing just that. Want to join me? Leave me a comment telling me about the little blessings you have received this week. Or let me know if you post it on your own blog by leaving me a link.

11 comments:

  1. carrien,
    your post is so what i needed to hear. last night was rough but we are nearly to the end of a hard 'single parent' season as my husband's grad school load is going to taper off for a bit and he can be home more. and yes we do have so so much to bless the lord for (oh my soul and forget not his benefits...) gosh i need to read that passage this morning i think. so anyway bless you and your precious children and husband. bless your endeavors to be fruitful and to trust the lord in every area of your life. you are an encouragement to me. aloha, esther

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  2. What a great idea! I'm blessed to have so much morning sickness, because that means my baby is healthy!!

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  3. Great thoughts! It is always so easy to get overwhelmed by the negative. But you're right, there are always just as many things, or more to be thankful for.
    Good luck witht the car!:)

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  4. I totally needed this reminder as I am prone to look at the negative side of things.

    I have been excited to have a garden for the first time this year. We have been enjoying fresh vegetables lately and have had enough to freeze some, too.

    The freezer is another blessing. It was only in the last year that we have had a place to put a freezer which means now we can stock up when things such as meat are on sale.

    We have also been really blessed with very nice furniture. My brother-in-law has down-sized to a condo (albeit a VERY nice one) and he gave us all of the furniture he didn't need, and he doesn't skimp on quality either.

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  5. Anonymous6:44 AM

    WOW I really needed this post. I was just sitting here thinking about how much life sucks when I came across your site. We are expecting another baby and feel horrible with morning sickness and other pregnancy issues. I was suppose to be at my grandmother's this week but had to cancel the trip. Also, she was recently diagnosed with aultiemers (sp?) My mom and I had a fight over the phone last night. My husband is working 14 hour days and comes home tired. But I'm going to change my thinking and start counting my blessings. Thanks for the "kick in the pants" :) I needed it.

    Rachel

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  6. I wrote a post here

    http://owlhaven.wordpress.com/2008/07/15/thankful/

    Thanks!

    Mary, having a hard week

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  7. Thank you for this reminder.
    I am thankful that the only thing we have had to purchase for our 7 month old is one pair of shorts (thanks to cute and barely worn hand-me-downs!).
    I am thankful for the family around us that my children get to grow up with.
    I am thankful for a husband that lets me vent to him about my day without getting frustrated (which is what I just did, before reading your post!).
    I am thankful for God, who keeps me in His hands and provides, truly provides, exactly what our family needs, and those needs have been many over the last little while.

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  8. Sunday a friend pulled me to the side at church and placed a postit in my hand. It said GOODNITES S/M. She asked "Do your girls wear these?" Yes! "Because our insurance pays for 11 packs a month, and we only need two. But it's all or nothing, so we are getting a little overwhelmed. Thought maybe you could use them." We drove home with several hundred dollars worth of diapers in our trunk. Hurray! God is so good, and supplies our needs in ways we couldn't even imagine.

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  9. Anonymous2:39 PM

    It must be a rough week for many of us as I am reading! Even through dealing with a deployed husband, pregnant and about to explode, just moved, dealing with custody issues yet again; I am thankful for friends you like Carrien who remind me to smile and dont sweat the little stuff! That we are blested with so much more and the ability to realize that! Miss you and our afternoon chats and the laughter of the kids in the background!

    Megan

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  10. What a nice post!

    I'm thankful for getting a phone call out of the blue from a friend I haven't seen since 8th grade. It made me look at how much my life has changed--and for the better--since adolescence.

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  11. I'm so glad you won that stroller!

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