Gratefully April 13, 2010

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.

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