Let me tell you a little story.
About three years ago, Lara and a few other girls invited me to go to Buffalo with them for a little weekend away. Not sure why Buffalo was the destination but it didn't matter because I didn't have any kids or any reason not to take a weekend for shopping and eating out and putzing around and doing whatever we felt like. So we did that for a day and then we got a little bored and decided we should all get tattoos as a great way to pass the time. We talked about what we wanted, made decisions, searched the yellow pages for a tattoo parlor in Buffalo, and went on our way. We pulled into the parking lot and there stood a group of guys with probably thousands of tattoos and piercings between them, with their tight pants sagging, chains hanging, using curse words and smoking probably thousands of cigarettes. It was a petrifying sight to my suburban eyes. So like a spring-loaded knee-jerk reaction, I threw my body down onto the back seat of the car so as not to be seen by the hoodlums and shouted "Oh my God there's bad ass punks!". I was serious. Lara laughed a lot at me for that and hasn't stopped for 3 years.
Well yesterday, we WERE the bad ass punks. I don't believe that I cursed at all (if you don't count all the times I said "bad ass") and I know I didn't smoke any cigarettes but for some reason we felt like total punks, like some little suburban girls should be really scared of us this time.
Listen, just let me exist in my fantasy world, would you?
Anyway, both of our tattoos are deeply meaningful to us in our lives right now and I will let Lara blog about her own story if she wants (which you could catch over here). But seriously, I mean what punks:
Having just come out of a fairly long season of depression in my life, I'm realizing now more than ever just how important it is to be thankful for exactly what God has given me, whether I enjoy it or not. I wrote this post about my journey being fully present, living in the moment, and having gratitude for whatever that moment brings. Although with small children it's nearly impossible to ENJOY the things that happen to me every single minute (as clearly depicted by this fabulous blog post, which you should find hilarious if you have any sort of decent sense of humor), I am trying very hard to not be the one who decides what is "good" and what is "bad"...it's just all God-given and it's all for a reason. And there were so many times during my pregnancy when I could not get through the cloud of "bad" that lived in my head. I couldn't get any dialogue going between God and I because I just didn't even have anything to say. Depression is like that, it just sucks all your energy away. No energy to be happy or playful or talkative or much of anything. And when I had no words to say to God, nothing to ask him for or talk with Him about, I often found that all I could say was "Thank you." It was the only prayer I could muster up. I didn't even say what I was thankful for because I probably had no idea. But I knew that "thank you" was worship and it was enough.
Yeah, it hurt. For only like 5 minutes though and not that bad because remember how I gave birth to a child 3 weeks ago? But please do still consider me bad-ass.
So I will continue to give thanks. I figure that if I have to be reminded of one thing every single day for the rest of my life it should be to live with gratitude and to continually thank the Giver of all good things. Because I very much believe that one cannot live without hope, and cannot thrive without gratitude. I'm going for more than just life. I'm going for life to the full. Isn't that why Jesus came in the first place? I think I'll take Him up on that :)