To be a reader.

Being a bookworm is sometimes a curse. For instance, today I need to finish the laundry, lesson plan and prep for next week, clean the apartment and find something to feed Nate for dinner. What do I want to do? Pick up Anna Karenina and get sucked into nineteenth century Russia. Ah, maybe later.

There is something wonderful about being pulled so deeply into a book that you forget what is happening around you. It’s almost as if words no longer exist and the story is unfolding in your mind, all on its own. You aren’t just reading the story, the story is alive and happening right in front of you.Β Give me a good book and I’ll curl up on a chair and read it straight through. I can’t help but read one more page, one more chapter until the story finishes and I can’t turn to the next because there is no more. Just ask anyone who has lived with me for more than a week.

I’ve been working my way through classics.Β Great Expectations, Huckleberry Finn, The Aventures of Tom Sawyer, The Three Musketeers, Anna Karenina… and while I certainly would not like to emulate most of the characters I’ve been meeting, they’ve been teaching me some important lessons about life. Take Anna, for example. Beyond the obvious lesson she teaches – adultery, especially as a Russian aristocrat in the 1800s, will absolutely destroy you and your life, I’m learning other things I take for granted. Anna’s adultery stems from her discontent, her selfishness, her desire to make herself happy at whatever cost – her thanklessness for what she has. Her misery is partially a result of her not being thankful for the people and things she already has in her life. And while most of us are as different from Anna as night is from day, we all tend to occasionally forget to be thankful for what God has blessed us with.

There is a trend on Facebook right now that everyone seems to be catching – a challenge to remember to be thankful every day for what we have and who we have. And while I don’t typically accept Facebook challenges, this one hit home for me. I’ve been a little thankless recently for the little things; being busy, stressed, tired and worn out have sucked my thankfulness right out. But this four-day weekend was the perfect reminder that I need to be thankful for the things I have and the people I have. So, in honor of following Facebook trends and remembering to be thankful, here are the little things that remind me that God has blessed me with so many big things, too.

1. I am thankful for creativity. And generous people who deserve handmade cards so I can craft with a good excuse.

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2. I am thankful for packages in the mail. They make any day a better day (thanks again, Mom and Dad!)

3. I am thankful for a generous sister that sent me a handmade, woven scarf I loved.

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4. I am thankful for a husband and best friend who spent his Friday sanding a night stand.

5. I am thankful for amazing Fiestaware yard sale finds.

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6. I am thankful for a cup of tea to inspire my lesson planning.

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7. I am thankful for a window that lets in afternoon sunshine.

8. I am thankful for God’s beautiful, epic creativity.

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9. I am thankful for color.

10. I am thankful for books and stories and authors who know how to teach, encourage and inspire with their words.

Much love.

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