Yesterday I was watching The Voyage of the Dawn Treader with my children. I’ve loved reading the Narnia books to my children and certainly enjoyed watching the movies as well. There was one particular quote that struck me as profound. Please forgive me because I do not have the direct quote with me. At the end of the movie, Prince Caspian says something to the effect that he has spent too much time focusing on what was taken from him rather than what was given to him. Isn’t that always the case? We are so easily sucked into lamenting what we don’t have rather than rejoicing in what we do have.
I’ve been particularly proficient at this lately. As a single mom it’s easy to focus on what’s missing in our family and our lives…it’s blaringly obvious. Sometimes it’s a giant behemoth of a thing that simply can’t be missed…but when I choose to focus less on my giant it does tend to shrink in size. And certainly when I focus on the blessings in my life, my blessings become quite large in their own right.
I have this little black notebook – which does not contain a list of possible suitors J - rather it’s full of the things for which I am thankful. Little things and some big. It’s amazing how, when you start looking, it’s quite easy to find blessings throughout the day. I found that as I began to pay attention, it was exciting to realize that I was blessed by the smallest of things. The sound of driving on a gravel driveway…candles lit really early in the morning…a thousand little things my children do daily that delight me…a breeze…newly dusted furniture (that’s kind of a miracle!)…making it to the auto shop WITH a dead battery (no kidding!...another miracle)…swirling steam off a cup of hot tea…and a million more.
The biggest blessings are my children, truly. And I don’t just say that because it’s expected. I wouldn’t laugh so hard or cry so hard if it weren’t for those 5 dear people. I’m in awe of God’s goodness to me in giving me each one of them. My life is richer, more challenging, happier, full of more love and grace than I could imagine because of those sweet children. I’d share the little things they do each day that bring me joy but my teenagers would probably want to kill me. I can say that each day finds me delighting in the sound of my amazing teenage son telling me he loves me – finding sheer joy in the fact that my lovely teenage daughter still values my opinion – enjoying the stories excitedly shared by my super fun 11-year old son – relishing the feel of a hug by my cuddly 5-year old daughter – smiling to my core at the antics of my sweet 4 year old daughter. Truly I’m blessed.
Those 5 people make me who I am…a momma. The loss of my marriage makes me a single mama but really that is just the number of parents in our home, not my defining feature. After being a Christian, “Momma” is next on the list. “Single” maybe somewhere down the list around 10 or 11. I might be missing a husband and partner in parenting, but I'm not missing the blessings of my life. I might be missing sleep but I’m not missing life…life is good, children are a joy, and I’m blessed beyond measure. So, like Prince Caspian, I can say that I will not be focusing on what’s missing from my life, I will be focusing on what I have…and what I have is very, very good.