I am tired this morning. Not the “Looking forward to a nap” tired. More like the “Wait, why am I wearing my socks in the shower?” kind of tired. I worked back-to-back overnight programs and got very little sleep. It was a long weekend, but I know that I am a lucky girl.
My first group this weekend was a school that visits us every year. I’ve worked with them many times, and without a doubt, they are my favorite group. Not only do they look forward to learning what we have to teach, these eight-year-olds delight in teaching us. The first few weeks of school is spent on zoo stuff. Every subject builds them up for their visit. In Science, they research animals. In Language Arts, they write up the report. Math has them adding and subtracting bananas to feed the monkeys. In Reading, they focus on animal-themed stories. One year, they memorized “Wild About Books” and performed it for us at bedtime. And after their visit, they write the most wonderful thank-you notes. Every student. Did I mention that their teachers are creative? The school is at the top of their state in test scores, and it’s easy to see why.
These kids are a joy. Every single year, they are well-behaved, eager to learn, and greet each opportunity with enthusiasm. The school is tiny, and the teachers know and love each child like they are their own. They aren’t afraid to mete out discipline if necessary, but it rarely is. There’s a level of respect that isn’t often seen in schools these days. The kids behave often because they don’t want to disappoint their teacher.
One more thing I should mention about the school. A sponsor in their community makes it possible for the kids to come for their Overnight, as 60% of them or more live below the poverty level. And some of them live way below. Like, the teachers worry that school lunch on Friday will be the last thing they get to eat until they come to school on Monday morning. Many of their thank-you notes voice appreciation for the food we provide. They are poor, but here’s the beauty of it. None of them know it. In their world, they have a loving adult at home, teachers who adore them, a community who supports them, a sponsor who cares enough to give them a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To their minds, they are rich. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
So if a kid who has so little in the way of material possessions can feel so full in spirit, what about me? Today, my post is about being grateful for what I have.
This weekend, I earned some extra Christmas money.
My sweet husband wrangled the toddler yesterday afternoon so that I could relax and read a book.
I have enough food in my cabinet to feed my family for a couple of weeks.
The temperature dropped significantly this weekend. I flipped a switch, and I have heat.
I have an amazing church and church family, and great things are happening.
I have friends. People I can count on if I need them. I am not alone in the world.
My littlest one just interrupted my work again. To hug me.
My daughter, whom I typically have to drag into thrift stores, asked me yesterday if I would take her shopping. At thrift stores. And afterwards, she uttered the words “Thrift stores are great!” I may have wept with joy.
We found enough modest long-sleeved shirts and sweaters for fall and winter for under $25. Way under. And one of them was “Nightmare Before Christmas.”
Our 16 year-old cat is still with us, and she has gained some weight since her oral surgery.
My husband helped our middle son clean out and rearrange his room. It looks so great!
I have shelves of good books to read, and blankets to curl up under to read them.
My son still lets me dress him like this:
And what about you? What are you grateful for? Share with me. In your blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, in my comments, anywhere. That’s your challenge, should you choose to accept it. And I hope you do.