Gratefully

It’s Thankful Tuesday.

Last night I left my child in the care of a new friend and joined my husband in a home full of acquaintances, drawn by our common love for teenagers. We were there to hear from an older couple who are legends in the ministry I worked for (professionally and as a volunteer) for the past eight years. Bob and Claudia spoke about their lives helping establish Young Life in the fifties, loving kids, and watching miraculous things happen to broken young people.

As we mingled after the meeting, I came into conversation with Claudia, who eventually set aside general niceties, placed her hand on my arm and asked how I felt about leaving Young Life staff and moving to San Francisco. I stared at her, overcome. My eyes filled; I shook. I managed to say, “It’s been hard.”

I miss the sweet difficulty of giving up what makes me comfortable for the sake of kids. I miss waking August up from naps and heading to the high school in time to pick girls up for ice cream. I miss how deep I had to dig in my gut to leave my baby for a week so I could take kids to camp. The truth is, I’m so grateful to have been a part of Young Life, whether or not I’ll get to do it again. I’ve never known people more satisfied, more authentic, more fully exhausted than the friends who served alongside me in this ministry.

I’ve shared several times on this blog how I’m obsessed with my own need to prove myself as more than a SAHM. I’m sure you’re sick of it. What I haven’t said is how grateful I am to be home. I’m grateful that I have this moment in my life to see with clarity why I care how you see me.

I’m grateful to have stood in a ten foot wide concrete courtyard yesterday afternoon with my son and marveled with him that our favorite pigeon is going to be a father. Yep, he’s taken up in a nest next to our back door with a fair pigeoness, and both are sharing the egg warming duties. (Maybe they read last Friday’s post.) All afternoon, back and forth to and from the laundry room, quarters in hand, we checked on those pigeons who eyed us suspiciously. My boy was mesmerized: stalk still in the middle of a concrete ground, neck stretched nestward, surrounded by dumpsters, awed by two pigeon faces peering  from their nest.

Maybe these two stories don’t really go together. But in my head this morning, they match. And it’s Thankful Tuesday so I can be thankful for whatever I want…whether or not the stories tie into a neat conclusion.

So instead of smooth endings, I will send you to this article by Andy Crouch, one of my favorite Christian thinkers, begging you to click here and read. If there were ever an article written for Thankful Tuesday, it’s this one.

And if you’re up to it, tell us what you’re thankful for and why. Yours don’t have to match either.

  • http://www.atimetodance-amanda.blogspot.com Amanda

    I’m assuming you are talking about the Mitchells and so that makes me a wee bit envious. But…this Thankful Tuesday I am thankful for all manner of people who put their hand on your arm and ask about the deep places. I have a few of those people as well and I feel overcome with gratefulness for the way they really see me.

    I am also thankful that my baby girl is set to officially become a Kolman two weeks from today and how that adoption ceremony with all it’s significant moments always reminds me that our adoption as sons and daughters of Christ accomplishes the same thing…only times a gazillion. Here’s to declaring to the world that this child is my beloved and is welcome to all that I have!

  • http://mommymonk.wordpress.com Micha Boyett Hohorst

    Elaine (/Amanda), I loved hearing your Thankful Tuesday gratefulness. And I’m so happy to hear that Miss Ava will be officially yours…I can’t imagine the power of that moment…the only thing I can compare it to in my mind was making my vows to my husband. But what an incredible experience to take vows before your child, promising your life to her. (Someone should write a book about that. Insert *hint* here…)

    Yes, those Mitchells. And don’t you dream that one day you’ll be the wisest kind of woman who can’t help but ask strangers the real questions? Let’s make that our goal…

  • http://haleyballast.blogspot.com Haley

    Well, OF COURSE you are former Young Life staff. I met Jesus through Young Life, took my 2 kids (ages 3 & 9 mos at the time) with me to camp when I led a cabin of girls 2 summers ago, my parents have been on committee for years and have Club in their carport every week… Wow. One more thing to add to the borderline creepy number of things we have in common! :)

    As for Thankful Tuesday, it is now Friday but I am thankful for sunshine and 60 degrees, which is officially shorts weather in Seattle!

  • http://mommymonk.wordpress.com Micha Boyett Hohorst

    Seriously, Haley. How are we ever going to hang out and be the best friends forever we were always intended to be?

    I love that you were a leader…even with two little ones! And I love that you’re from a YL family.

    Now we just need to have a conversation that isn’t a reply on a blog post. :)

  • http://unorthodoxology.blogspot.com David Henson

    “I’ve shared several times on this blog how I’m obsessed with my own need to prove myself as more than a SAHM.”

    I really appreciate your honesty in this post. I’m coming to grips with a different sort of reality. I’m beginning to feel that, despite my efforts, all I am is a SAHD. I know I probably shouldn’t say that, because everyone tells you how its the most important job, etc., etc.

    Also, moving to Abilene probably hasn’t helped. :)

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