Ted and I have yet to realize that we are stuffed to capacity when we are thinking that we are still unsatisfied.

On our second anniversary, Ted and I went to this amazing restaurant called Liv at the White Oaks Resort and Spa. Hands down one of my favorite restaurants. The meal was amazing but whenever I go, it must always be finished off by their chocolate fondue…which is designed for 2 but I make it applicable for 1.

Needless to say, we stuffed our faces. We walked back to the van after eating, and when we climbed in we both said how disgusting we felt. We proceeded to celebrate our anniversary by undoing our pants, reclining the seats and taking a nap to sleep off the overfull feeling.  We have laughed at this memory so often, and yet, we have since had other meals that require the same recovery.  Unsatisfied – a devious mental state.

I learned today that it takes a full 20 minutes after eating to realize that you are actually full.  That hit me. And the question to follow was ‘How long does it take your soul to realize that your life is full?’  

When Summer was 3  I started teaching her to say, “Thank you, Jesus, I have everything I need” whenever she really wanted me to buy her something. It  was kind of like a mantra that I wanted her to repeat so that she would remember that she was good…she didn’t need anything else.  I didn’t want her to tell her self she was unsatisfied unless she got ______.

Since then I have often reflected that I need to start saying that mantra…practice what I’ve preached.  I scroll through different online sites, not even looking for anything in particular, just something fun to buy. I will often crave some new piece of clothing because I want to look fresh and new to Ted…I want him to notice me. I think that he won’t think I’m pretty when I wear the same-old-same-old. And to window shop or scroll online only perpetuates that feeling that I don’t have enough…that I want more. 

On this journey of forcing myself to be thankful for even stupid little things, I think I’ve been seeing flashes that my life is quite full. I just don’t realize it. But let me tell you about a few simple moments from yesterday.

My oldest stepdaughter, Avery, and I had a great 5 minute talk in the van on our way to dance. She had taken a big step yesterday and we kind of rehashed it. No big revelations but I felt proud of her.

I got to drop off Jaden and Blake at their moms and as I left I had the gift of thinking, “Huh…I’m going to miss them.” Children who I had to LEARN to love with a motherly love…I now feel a hole when they aren’t with me.

And my Summer…before bed she told me that her tummy hurt. I gave her a bowl to puke in and then put her to bed. She laid on her back as I caressed her face over and over. Cheesy word…caress…but totally accurate. At that moment I was thankful for her lethargic ways…it gave me an opportunity to feel her cool, soft cheek; to watch her eyes slowly close because the weight was too heavy. And when she eventually threw up at 11pm, I sat beside her and had the privilege of rubbing her small back. My mom was my hero when she did that for me…now I got to be hers. 

I would not have noticed any of these things because I was never looking for them, but when I actually make an effort, I see my life is full. So full. I just think I crave the things that don’t satisfy.

Like marshmallows. Who gets full eating a bag of marshmallows? As sweet and tasty as they are, they won’t satisfy me and give me lasting power for the things I need to do.  They are just instant gratification. And eating a bag of them doesn’t leave you feeling good. It might even lead to another instance of having to undo your pants and sleep off the disgusting feeling. 

That is the battle of my life. 

When I slow down and take in the things that matter and are truly precious, I feel unusually calm…satisfied.

When I buy pointless things on Amazon, or outfit after outfit to get Ted’s attention, or just constantly look for the next thing I ‘need’, the hunger only grows…I only feel more unsatisfied. Not full. 

Sometimes it is hard to notice those satisfying things, though, when it isn’t going as planned. Like today. Today I will be at 2 courthouses. Today I will be struggling through tough decisions. And right now, at this moment, I want to be sad. I know sad is ok. But I want to drown in it. Not even fight to get to the top for a sweet breath of fresh air. That’s not ok.  

This makes me think of when the kids pick out onions or whatever else looks weird on their dinner plate. They pick it up all on its lonesome on their fork, noses turned up, and ask, “What is this?” We tell them to just eat it. You won’t notice it and it tastes better when you eat it in the sauce as it was intended to be eaten. 

I don’t want to live unsatisfied.  I want to see my life as full. I want to LOOK for the fullness…the full moments.

I don’t want to pick out this or that with my nose turned up, saying to God, “What is this?” I want to scrape it all together on my plate and eat it as it was intended.

Sure, there might be ingredients in my life that I don’t love on their own but when you embrace the whole meal, it is actually good and I feel full. Not unsatisfied.  

So today I have a choice on how to see the things I’m facing. Until I wrote this, I just wanted to use my proverbial fork and scrape the gross bits to the edge of my plate and just eat what I like.

Maybe this is a wake up call. I’m going to scrape it all together today. Give thanks and eat everything that is on my plate. 

I hope the only reason I have to undo the pants of my life today is because I stuffed my face full of thankfulness for all of the tiny gifts in my life on this day.

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