My path has been characterized by less-than-desirable circumstances lately, and when the light shines brightly, even the most frustrating of hindrences can be sidestepped or overcome… But on the grey days or in the dark of night, when the sun is hidden and doubt creeps in, it is all too easy to lose sight of the blessings, stumble in the low light and take a header over one of these bumps in the road. Sunday night I found myself sprawled on my bed, not sure if I wanted to cry out to my Creator or just have a good cry. Sometimes it’s hard, this life.

Mom has been in a lot of pain. She was in the hospital for several days, and then we were able to bring her home. Now the pain is back. She doesn’t want to go back to the hospital, she says they won’t do anything for her there. She appears to be content to simply live out her days under our roof. And I am committed to protecting my children. They are so very young. I am walking a fine line where respecting her wishes still overlaps with doing what is best for M&P. I feel as though the two will not overlap for much longer. I’m weary, and she is, too.

On the heels of Mom’s hospital visit, Miles bravely endured a stomach bug that shifted straight into suffering an upper respiratory infection. Piper avoided the stomach bug, but fell prey to a different virus. For days and days, the wretched virus  caused her body to fight with a fever that just wouldn’t stop. After several visits to the pediatrician and an eventual pneumonia diagnosis, she went on an antibiotic and is now well on her way to recovery. The cough lingers, but her energy is up and that makes this mama very happy. While my heart breaks for my mom as she struggles, the fear for a sick child can be paralyzing. We were not designed to live in fear, but it is so very easy to slip into dwelling there.

But then Miles and I went to breakfast Monday. Though we are regulars at the Waffle Shop, it was a particularly joyful morning for the two of us. After his parent-teacher conference, we walked, hand in hand, into a familiar diner with friendly faces all around. He set up his little cars, just like he always does. He ordered his regular selection (pancake with strawberries & whipped cream with a sprinkling of miniature chocolate chips) and then received a tiny container of miniature chocolate chips from his favorite server, Miss Becka. As he tackled the whipped cream on top of the pancake first, I had a tangible physical feeling of being blessed. Yes, mom still has a brain tumor. Yes, Piper is fighting a bug. But there is still so much joy in this life.

Sometimes the most ordinary of moments can realign my senses and bring me back to where I belong. And when I can see the joy again, the light starts to return everywhere.

And fear has no home in my heart. 

And things are better, even if the circumstances haven’t changed.

It was a simple day. An ordinary Monday, much like the other Mondays in so many ways. And yet, the day was incredible, extraordinary moments of joy woven into my normal.

When Piper donned her tights and leotard and pranced with joy at the very idea of going to dance class.

When Miles earnestly asked to walk home from kindergarten, all by himself.

 And when I said yes, trailing him the entire way, flashers blinking as I tiptoed along in my vehicle.

And when teeth were brushed and jammies were on, when we, all four of us, read stories in bed and my Pipergirl leaned into me and gently started playing with my elbow, I was soothed and blessed just as she was. As my happy boy snuggled against my shoulder and begged for one more story, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for this life.

And yes, teaching and laundry and dishes and email and neverending tidying account for the majority of my time, but the moments I cherish are the moments with my precious loved ones.

So thankful for ordinary days.

Starting today, this very day, I am blogging for good.

I am blogging to celebrate the cherished snippets of my everyday, to capture my many roles, to change my mind.

If I simply write story to go with the silly snapshots of my young boy with long legs and my wee girl with crazy hair, will that be enough? Will the process of writing help me make sense of my life as a hybrid of so many titles? Will the practice of recording and celebrating make me different?

I believe it is, it already has, and it most definitely will.

My days are far from easy or perfect. The decisions I make are not always wise or even well-informed. But this gift of life is good.

So I will create. And give. With gratitude. For good.

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