This was a rough week, friends. Rough. Wow. And I think weeks like this make it even more important to find things to be thankful for. To find the gifts. There were many gifts during this week of storm-tossed seas. Here are some highlights:
1 My husband - During this whole, stormy week he spoke gentle, soothing words and fervent prayers. He rubbed my tense, aching muscles. He sacrificed his own happiness for my well-being. And in the worst part of the storm he held me tight (so tight!), so I wouldn't get tossed overboard. Good man. ("Good pirate.") I am so thankful for his faithful, generous love.
2 Our community - Their prayers, encouragement, and reminders of gentleness and love were powerful on stormy days. So good to have people that have your back. Even if its just to keep bailing water so the ship doesn't sink. And better still, these folks sing sea shanties and tell jokes and bring light along with depth. Good mix. MM and I feel supported and cared for.
3 Jack in the Box $1 Chicken Sandwiches - We mostly eat at home these days (2001, Year of Health!), but a couple times this week, we were crunched for time, or had other priorities ("Douse the sails! Batten down the hatches!"), and just had no time to cook. MM has a fondness for these little sandwiches, mostly because they are exactly $1. Not 99 cents. $1. He just gets a kick out of that. As soon as they change the price, they will be dead to him. But for now, we enjoy their junk foody goodness.
4 Our neighborhood - On one of our Chicken Sandwich nights, we ate while taking a slow drive through our neighborhood, noting all the little local businesses. We want to start spending time and money in our little borough. We found several coffee shops, pizza joints, ice cream parlors, and do-it-yourself car washes. There's a noodle house we want to try. Some shops we want to go into. An art gallery or two. The community center has a little theater that always seems packed on performance nights. It was good to spend a lull in the storm, thinking about future fun. Ways to enjoy our park. Ways to connect to our neighbors. Support these little businesses.
5 Homemade Bread - I've been using Tonia's super easy recipe to make super tasty bread. Its quick and painless and sooooo yummy. Nom nom nom. Tonight I'm serving this wholesome bread with roast chicken, potatoes, and carrots and the first asparagus of the season. (It is good, in the winter, to live in Fake New Jersey instead of Actual New Jersey.) This sailor is happy to pull into a calm harbor to share comfort food, tasty beverages, and good conversation with loved ones.
Their ships were tossed to the heavens
and plunged again to the depths;
the sailors cringed in terror.
They reeled and staggered like drunkards
and were at their wits’ end.
“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He calmed the storm to a whisper
and stilled the waves.
What a blessing was that stillness
as he brought them safely into harbor!
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
~ Ps 107:26-31
PS - MM's nickname for me is Captain Sassypants. He, of course, is First Mate. Arrrrr!