life done well.

as i have said, i am working on being fabulous.  more specifically, i am working on living a fabulous life.  and even more specifically than that, i am working on realizing that the life i live is already fabulous, so i am noticing, naming and thanking god for each gift in each moment of my life.

this journey has been a mind-consuming thing.  to stop, and notice.  first of all, the moments in my house that are quiet, totally focused and still?  there have been about four of those moments in the last 7 1/2 years.  my life has felt like a whirlwind, especially the motherhood part of my life.  it all started with a scandalous break-up, where i called off an engagement to an impressive guy that most women wouldn't dream of walking away from.  but, i did and i know it was the best thing for both of us.  then in an even more scandalous rebound move, i met my beloved husband, the kind of guy, that NO woman would dream of walking walk away from.  so, i didn't walk away (for once in my life) and in one last move of scandal we ended up pregnant before we were married.   this is how motherhood began for me.  with a lot of unresolved emotional baggage.  even during those seemingly "quiet" months of pregnancy, where i didn't have any other children to run around and look after... there was a lot of noise.  there was so much noise in my mind.  just noise.  i started the painstaking process of sifting through my baggage.

i sifted.  for years i have sifted the noise of my upbringing; a divorce, a brother's life violently taken, a search for happiness in all the wrong places (and in all the wrong people.)  i sifted through the noise of my young adulthood; the regrettable choices, shame, mistakes.  i have sifted through beliefs taught to me, beliefs introduced to me by books, professors, the world, oprah and friends.  i have sifted through instincts, fears, ideals, and ideologies.  i've forgiven some unforgivable things done to me, things i took years to say out loud.  and i've sifted all the secrets i've been asked to keep, and those i kept on my own.

even before the actual, physical noise of motherhood, there was this inaudible noise of my mind.  it has been such a long, loud life.  attempting to be fabulous in my thirties is, for me, much more than looking great and loving life.  living a life of gratitude can only happen if i have sifted through enough past garbage to have a moment quiet enough to see what's actually happening right here and now.

so, my silly resolution of fabulousness is actually a deeply spiritual exercise in faith, healing, forgiveness and renewal.  i have resolved that as God makes me new each day, that at some point in my thirties He will graciously reveal a creation made new, and so stinkin' fabulous that i will undoubtedly have to write a book.

so, here is a moment of my life.  and in it, a thousand gifts, waiting to be noticed and named and appreciated.  i see the sunlight dancing on the blonde curls of, marlie, my second born daughter, as she pours herself a goblet of muddy-water tea.  she perpetually has one bun-cheek hanging out of her bathing suit.  london walks around.  she is bow-legged, and she's a little pushy.  in her veins, her blood is being pumped at a normal rate and her blood is all her own.  the bags of adult blood that were transfused through her body are gone, and what is left is her own healthy blood.  her bone marrow is doing it's job.  annalee, the eldest and "most likely to be class treasurer," fixes the strap on london's bathing suit, all on her own.  harper, my only son and the one who makes my heart simultaneously ache and leap with joy, dumps a pitcher of water on his own head... and then seems startled by the event.

these are all gifts.  i name these, and i write them down, and i thank God - out loud - for each of them.  i am naming the specifics.  i am thankful for the kids, in general, but something is lost in general gratitude.  i am specifically thankful.  in this moment, though, i am mostly thankful that in my mind, i have sifted out enough clutter to make room for the awareness of 1,000 gifts.