For the past 3 months every Thursday morning we've done something most families do every weekday. It's nothing exceptional for the majority of life livers. We get ourselves ready, and we get out the door. This is exceptional for our family because most days we, how should I say, take it easy. This Thursday morning was the last of our routine, the final week of our homeschool co-op for spring. I can take a breath and let their dirty faces and pant-less bodies run amuck around the house next week. For the first time in ten weeks, this morning we actually got in the car and headed that direction with plenty of time to spare. We weren't going to be late!
As we made our final turn, I grumbled inwardly about facing my obligatory volunteer hour. Of all of the assignments, I was asked to assist in the sewing class. My experience with sewing machines is negligible at best. And the few times I've sat behind one, I ended up cursing violently, throwing things, or desiring to do one of those two things and resisting so hard my ears turned completely red. It was one of those comical assignments where I just threw my hands up and said, "Alright. Let's do this thing!" It was a big step for me to even join a co-op in the first place. (Hey, my name is Jennie, not sure if I've told you this 259 times, but I'm kind of an introvert.) I like my space, my time alone, interacting with people on my terms. However, knowing that my children are not all like me, I knew that those special extroverts were craving some "other people" time, and I obliged. (You're welcome, Abby.) So, I was grumbling a little bit about a lot of things, having to help in a sewing class, having to be around people, having to get the whole herd dressed and ready to go - including doing hair, putting on shoes, and hopefully wiping down snotty faces before getting inside the building.
When suddenly, I heard on the radio, a little spot about changing your perspective. A caller phoned in to the show and said, "I'm really glad you said what you did yesterday about 'getting to' instead of 'having to.'" She then proceeded to say how she gets to go to work as a nurse, she gets to drive home after her shift is over late at night, she gets to yadda yadda yadda - all things she whined about every day, until she realized there are a lot of people who would love just to do the things she grumbles about.
Can I tell you how much I needed to hear those words at that exact moment?
When I complain about the side-effects of carrying a baby, I need to remember the amazing privilege it is that I get to.
When I grumble that I have to take my kids somewhere, even co-op, I need to remember that I get to take my kids to a safe place to learn fun things I probably would never teach them with people who pour into them asking nothing in return.
When I sigh because the house is overrun with crap, I need to remember that I get to come to a safe, warm home, full of people who have been gifted with many luxuries above and beyond what we need.
When I whine that the grass needs cutting again, I need to remember that I get to sit on my mower and zone out, with or without a delighted little child at the steering wheel. That I get to look out of my kitchen window at a fenced-in yard with a sweet playground for my kids to run around and play on, tall grass or not.
When I notice that the milk and eggs are low again and have to go to the grocery store. I need to remember that I get to go to a store with money that I have to pay for food to feed my many blessings.
I could go on forever.
You see, I felt like I should share this with you all - because if it resonates even a little bit, I think it can really change our lives. Let's realize these things together. We get to.
"Homegrown" Ice Cream
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