Today is my 6 month Blog-iversary. Do you think the term Blog-iversary will ever make it into the dictionary? Ginormous has if you didn’t know. Anything’s possible.
Six months. Already.
I feel like I have been blogging forever but at the same time I can’t believe six months has passed since I clicked the “publish” button for the very first time. Boy was that an equally thrilling and terrifying mouse click. Anyone?
And yet click I did; despite the uncertainty, doubt and nagging little voice saying “what are you thinking?” Thankfully, I’ve gotten pretty good at discerning the voice of truth and ignoring the other one because as it turns out, Welcome Company is exactly what I needed.
Six months of writing, stretching my limits, finding me again. So much to be thankful for.
I told you a while back, in a post titled What is Love, about a book I had started but had been unable to finish. A book about giving thanks and finding joy in all aspects of life; “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. A journey of writing down one thousand things I am thankful for and in the process, learning to pay attention to all of the ways God shows me everyday that He sees me, that I matter to Him as a unique individual creation, “all the ways He whispers, ‘I love you.'”
“He who is grateful for little is given much laughter … an it’s counting the ways He loves, this is what multiplies joy.” – Ann Voskamp
I know I have a lot to be thankful for and I am thankful for a lot. Big stuff. A God who loves and sustains me. My husband. My children. My home. My health. Their health. We have been through some tough stuff (Beauty from Ashes), desperate heartbreak and difficult battles. But we are a season away now and there is so much laughter and joy. So much and yet still, I am so often stressed, tired, irritable, anxious, edgy, self-pitying. In need of escape.
Why? One of the ongoing jokes around here is that whenever a kid is yelling “mommy, mommmmy, mooooommmmmy … where are youuuuu?!!” The answer is quite often “France.”
She’s in France.
About ten years ago, my husband and I went to France and I fell completely, utterly and hopelessly in love. The food, the wine, the landscape, the history, most of the people. You name it. I love it. Vive La France! So, we joke that whenever the stresses of everyday life become too much, I go to France. Closing my eyes and escaping to cook and hike and shop in the open markets, study at the Le Cordon Bleu Paris, drink a good burgundy on a picnic blanket in a lavender field, restore a provincial farmhouse. Free from the mundane, the routine, the demands.
Don’t worry, by escaping I don’t mean that I am actually going to abandon my life and run for the airport. I am really not trying to be dramatic. I love my life. My husband. My kids. I am blessed. But I am also honest. And yes, in the midst of sassy back-talk, pre-teen door slams, housework, laundry, homework battles, endless kid fights over you name it and a mounting list of all that demands my attention, France sounds pretty good sometimes. And besides, my passport is expired.
A mom can get lost. Lose herself in the day to day. In the mundane, the routine, the demands. Before she knows it. Just ask one. Any mom. Ask her. Your heart can be filled with love to bursting. You can know that every sacrifice is worth it. But you can still feel lost.
But what if I didn’t have to escape.
What if I chose to write about all in my life that I have to be thankful for? All that I have to offer. To further explore and expound upon my gifts, my heart, my joy. To create a place that is me. A place to share this unique person God made. To find her again. Not an escape but an outward extension of who I am beyond the blessed role of wife and mommy. I am wife and mommy and I love being her, she is who I was born to be but she is not all that I am.
When I am lost, I am caught up in the stress of the moment, of the day, of the world. I have dropped my focus from the one who offers me peace. The one who reminds me who I am in Him. The one who’s whisper says don’t listen, you have a voice, a story – I have given it to you … click the mouse.
And as I write, and photograph, and create I find so much to be thankful for. There will always be stress but nestled among the challenges and frustrations, I find His blessings just waiting for me to see them. Right in my own backyard. No escape needed.
And I begin to notice. And write them down starting with one, heading to one thousand.
1. A bright red geranium.
2. Orange marmalade.
4. Breakfast on the patio.
5. My furry child. My son’s best friend.
6. Noisy, colorful Peach-faced Love Birds who visit to dine on the seed block.
7. A broken fountain filled with fresh herbs.
8. A clutch of quail eggs laid under the lawn mower.
9. An old rock water trough on the back of the property just waiting to be filled with flowers.
10. Peaches growing, ripening.
11. The Arizona Sky.
As the sun rises over the mountains and peeks between the branches of the mesquite.
And as it sets, lighting the sky ablaze with color.
The most beautiful sky in the world. Right in my own backyard. No escape needed.
I am so thankful.
In six months, I have published 73 posts, watched my readership grow and been overwhelmed by the encouragement and support I have received and the friendship and connection I have found in the blogging community. I really love you guys. I have been so inspired by your work and look forward to your visits and comments more than you could ever know. You are incredible.
I love this blog and the creative outlet it has given me. I love that I am compiling a story for my kids to look back on and that I am preserving precious family history. I love that I am finding me again and I would write even if it was only my mom who was reading. That being said, I am blessed by all of you – each and every one – who have graciously followed along, who read regularly or even just visit once in a while. I am so thankful for you.
“As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Joy is always possible.” – Ann Voskamp