I know I'm getting my holidays a little mixed up here, but I thought I would take the opportunity presented by Easter to focus on things for which I am thankful. Because when I think about my future hope, I also think about the many tastes of that hope I get to have now--ways that beauty, life, and wholeness show up all around me in the midst of the suffering, brokenness, and pain. I'm fairly certain this is a common blog post genre--the thankfulness list--but its commonness doesn't undercut its value, in my opinion. So here's mine, in no particular order.
- Pete. I hope this is fairly obvious from anything I've said about him on this blog, but it must be said. I could spend pages listing the specifics here, but I'll try to be brief. He's fun to be around. He takes time to understand and enter into my emotional ups and downs, and he challenges me to pull out of it when I'm stuck in woe-is-me land. He's incredibly fun to hang out with. He likes theater. And finally, he has awesome sperm.
- My parents. I firmly believe that I have the best parents on the planet, hands-down. They weren't (and still aren't) perfect, but they're actually willing to admit and talk about ways they messed up. After my brother and I were both out of the house, they picked up and moved to Africa to do non-profit work. I love that they have their own thing going, so I don't feel like they're living just to visit me (and waiting for grandkids). I'm also able to talk to them about our infertility issues more easily than anyone else, because they're sympathetic, caring, but also hopeful. They encourage me to trust God without minimizing the pain I'm going through.
- Children. I know it's ironic, but I actually really enjoy hanging out with kids, which I get to do as part of my job. Sure, it's hard to hang out with them when I'm feeling particularly depressed about our own situation. But most children over the age of about 2 are simply fun to be around (I'm not a big baby person). They're surprising, hilarious, sweet, and they seem to have no limits on the love and affection they give away.
- Food. I adore food. I absolutely love to cook, bake, think about food, serve food, learn about food...pretty much everything but clean up after the food has been consumed. And Pete does that part.
- My teeny garden. Not because I enjoy gardening. In fact, I really dread it and have to make myself do it. But at least now I can say I have tried with some success. I even managed to grow cauliflower last year, which I learned soon after planting it was supposedly one of the hardest plants for home gardeners to grow. But by some miracle, it grew nicely in my dirt. The carrots...well, we don't need to talk about them.
- Books. I love them. I spent six years of my life studying them, and I still find my appetite for reading is not satiated, nor is the pleasure I find in losing myself in a good book at all diminished.
There's a lot more I could say here, of course. I could get uber-spiritual and list all the ways infertility has helped me to grow closer to God and be a deeper person. Or I could name the friends and church community that really mean a lot to us. And I could definitely mention how thankful I am for the wonderful support system I've found on this thing called the world wide web--all you guys. Finally, I could say how thankful I am for the fact that Christ died and rose again to give me hope and the ability to be thankful. I really am thankful for all those things, but I don't want to lead any of the less sentimentally-inclined of you to start gagging on the saccharine. I'm approaching that point myself. So I'll stop at the even number of six for now. And hope that each of you can find a minute this Easter, whether you celebrate it or not, to reflect on your hope and gratitude.