Oh, what a grateful heart I have tonight.
Tomorrow will begin the first of many meals and house hopping this weekend. While it will be wonderful seeing family, I can already feel the exhaustion that comes. For now, I'm reflecting on the special moments of the day.
Life is all about which side you want to focus on...the good or the bad.
Our morning began tense, as Noah woke up more than a little grumpy. He is so not a morning person, even though I let him sleep in until nearly 10:00. An unexplained scowl appeared across his face and his answers were short and tight.
I tried asking him what was wrong but "Nothing" is all I received. My shoulders stiffened and tears brimmed. It would've been so easy to lash back, as his attitude was undeserved. Instead, while slowly inhaling, I mentally forced myself to relax, pause, and hit reset.
Though I'd planned it for our last stop, I decided a trip to the food pantry was needed. They were having a lunch fundraiser and filling our bellies before running errands seemed like a good plan. As I prayed for our meal, the heavy emotions seemed to dissipate. It's difficult to stay angry when you think about the families who will line up later tonight in need of food.
By the time our BBQ was gone, my boy's sparkle had returned. We ran into the store, which I dreaded the day before a big holiday, to grab a few forgotten ingredients for new recipes we're trying. I made it a point to smile at everyone I saw, because I know the my-feet-are-tired-and-I-still-have-so-much-to-do face. Instead of it being a chore, the trip was pleasant and Noah and I shared lots of laughs.
Leaving the store, a lady on a mobile cart was stuck in the road. Without hesitation, Noah curved toward her and bent down gently, "Can I help you ma'am."
Be still my momma-heart. This boy.
He can put on a tough act but he is such a gentle giant. When I see him willingly care for someone in need, just because, it is all I can do but squish kiss him right in the moment.
I contained myself and didn't gush over him but instead tucked it away. My plan was to tell him later how proud I was. However, it wasn't five minutes later he was amazing me again.
As we left the parking lot, my eye caught a man sitting on the curb, cardboard sign sharing his soul. Noah rubbernecked as I drove past.
"Mom, he was sitting on a gas can. He needs help."
God was already tugging at me so it took no effort to turn around. And I barely pulled into park before he was out of the car, shaking the man's hand, sharing that beautiful smile, the love of Jesus pouring off of him. With his own money, he filled the man's can and listened to his story.
Only 15 but such a servant's heart.
May I cling to those little nuggets in the days ahead. Thanksgiving is bittersweet for our family, as while we are thankful to be together, we're ever-mindful of the one who left us seven years ago this very weekend.
What a blessing it has been - and is - to have two sons with such sweet and giving spirits.
One who is smiling down on us and one who continues to fill me with joy each and every day.