It’s the Monday morning before Thanksgiving and outside my window is a blustery swirl of white cloud poop. Do I sound grateful? No I am not. Not even a tiny bit.
The yellow and red leaves are peeking through the blanket of white, crying “Too soon! Too soon, rescue us, rescue us!”
But I don’t step outside. The windchill is single digits, the dense gray threatens to smother me and I turn away. I have a turkey to think about. And table decorations. Guests to consider, napkins to iron. The list is long and I am weary.
In only a few days my home will be transformed into a Bistro of delicious smells and happy family. I can’t afford to allow an unwanted early snow fall to ruin my day.
I’m supposed to be thinking about gratitude.
But winter does not bring about thoughts of gratitude and love. It brings about thoughts of wondering what the heck God was thinking when He thought about cold and snow and did He have some nefarious evil plan up his sleeve when He planted me in the Midwest and then proceeded to provide me with ailments that feel pain upon every frigid moment? Because if He did have a plan, I want to know what it was.
This is on my list. My list of things to discuss with Him when we meet Face to Face. I hope He has a long meeting time scheduled for me, because it is a very long list.
I don’t like the sound of my own whining. But- I own it. I am whining about winter. I don’t pretend to like it, that would be fake and a lie, and I am about facing my truth. I am not about pretending to be perfect and liking everything and being grateful for everything. I am not… not even a tiny bit… grateful for winter.
So fine. Acknowledged and accepted. Expressed and removed from my head. Now that it is out of there, I can let it go. Goodbye crabby whining, goodbye bad winter attitude, I am moving on to better thoughts, better uses of my brain power.
If I can’t be grateful for winter, what can I be grateful for?
- I am grateful for my family- grateful that in a few days they will come, bearing the traditions of our holidays, food in hand, memories in hand, the same stories year after year and we will laugh at them as if it is the first time they have ever been shared. I love the time we have to share together, having my children around me, my husband home from traveling, the precious time to spend with my mother. And come to think of it, ironing napkins and tablecloths is relaxing and helps my creative brain. I am even grateful for the time I set aside for ironing. It gives me peace.
- I am grateful for my home blessing time, now that I remember- This is the time I bless my family and myself with a well loved home. My gift to them from my heart. I am grateful that I have a career that allows me time to do this for them and for myself.
- I am grateful for this home, intact and warm, knowing full well that only a week ago- just miles away an entire town was flattened by a storm so much more devastating than the harmless swirling flakes outside my window. (Perhaps, those tiresome flakes are not so bad, when I think about it after all.)
- I am grateful for the abundance in our lives, we have food on the table, savings, our needs are provided for, and we have our health. Okay, so yes, I have a few aches and pains here and there when the weather turns cold, but we are all free from cancer and disease, we don’t live in fear of illness or oncoming death. We are blessed that everyone in our family and close friends are healthy. So what are a few aches and pains? No big deal! I am profoundly grateful for our health!!
- I am grateful that I live a life that allows me to express my God-given creativity and talents in a way that serves others and changes lives. That is a precious gift, one I am thankful for every single day. Such a blessing as this is not to be taken for granted. Every day, I bow my head and ask, “How can I serve you?” and every single day, that prayer is answered in new and profound loving ways. I am truly living a gracious and blessed life.
- I am grateful for laughter, which reminds me that even on a gray blustery day, there is still plenty to laugh at, such as the antics of my three dogs who are running around out there right now, prancing in the snowflakes as if they are seeing them anew for the first time, delighting in the wonder of this “New” back yard they have woken up to today. They remind me that every single day is a fresh start, a new experience, a place to begin again, with a brand new perspective.
Such as…It’s the Monday morning before Thanksgiving and outside my window the world is alive with the wonder and magic of swirling snow. Do I sound grateful?
Because I am.
Denise Banks-Grasedyck says
I love it! Yes, you do sound very grateful. Sounds like a devotional, very much like all for which I am so immensely grateful. It is often the things which challenge us to show gratitude, that teach us to be even more grateful for something else. There really is a point fo gratitude in everything.
Great reminder to be grateful! So easy to forget! I do believe that gratitude can transform our lives. Blaming, complaining, and criticizing just brings more negative to our life!
Pamela Wills says
Wendi Wendi you make us laugh and cry all in the same minute, I love reading your posts. I’m with you, that “white cloud poop” (I am soooo using this hilarious expression from now on!!!) really drags a person down sometimes. But your wonderful way of getting the whining over and done with (believe you me, I’m right there with you, singing the Winter Whining Blues) and then on with the business of gratitude is FANTABULOUS! Thank you sooo much for showing us that being UNgrateful for some things some of the time is only human. And that sometimes, we can find our way to gratitude in spite of all that poopy white stuff. ;^)
Aly Pain says
Attitude of gratitude is so important for our emotional brains to be in the best place to take on the next thing. Our entire perspective changes with gratitude and so many things become small joys we previously over looked. Today I choose gratitude and joy, thank you for the reminder!
Elaine Wellman says
So cool to see how you went whiny to welcome. It’s easy to fall into the trap of complaining and victimhood. Love how you snapped out it and found the good. What else can we be grateful about in winter? Hot chocolate. Fire places. Movie nights at home with a warm blanket … and that Spring is just around the corner.
Gabrielle Taylor says
Love the pure honesty about your feelings towards winter, followed by the deep gratitude you feel for your life, your home, your work and family (and so much more!). Thanks for sharing from your heart, Wendi!
Jennifer Truesdale says
A few years ago we had our snowiest winter on record (I think) here in the Boston area. The first snowfall came in November and it didn’t let up March. The snow banks were 7-8 feet high…..All I can say is that was the sweetest, most delicious spring of my life! Gratitude is such a powerful practice. As I read this I could feel the warmth and love in your home. Thank you for sharing! Oh and having been a dog mom for my entire adult life I could just picture those pups romping around! Such a great image 🙂
Jill Place says
Guys . . . that’s why I live in LA! Snow is less than two hours away if I want it and, quite frankly, I haven’t missed it in the more than 50 years I’ve been here. But you’re right, we can find gratitude in everything, even a blizzard. If you read my recent post on my cat, you know got into gratitude about losing my loved one too this week. Right now, I’m so grateful to be going to sing ” The Messiah” in a few short hours. You’ll hear about it soon in the blog we’re posting tomorrow.