What Jane Austen, mint M&Ms and skating parties have in common

You know what's better than a Jane Austen book? A Jane Austen book dripping with sarcasm. I found her satire Northanger Abbey in the freebies section of Good Reads and thought, "Hey, I can add this to that collection of classics on my iPad that I intend to read during the kids' piano lessons but never do because I'm mindlessly trolling Facebook instead."
(See also: that one summer I resolved to finally read Middlemarch in its entirety and made it a whopping five pages before I found myself clicking through a virtual shoe rack to confirm my suspicion that all of my dressy shoes were so dated that the hipster types are probably already wearing them ironically.)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Jane Austen. Northanger Abbey. This quote:
"To come with a well-informed mind is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid. A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can."
I know, right? I don't care if you weren't a big Jane fan before. You pretty much have to love her now.

I'm going to share a quick little list of things I'm thankful for, because unique and original and totally not cliche are the top three ways to describe me. I know because they were the first three words I found in that whimsical word search activity going around on Facebook.

(Does anyone else have the urge to create and distribute a much meaner version of this little game? Like, throwing in a few insults and expletives just to keep it fair? Stuff like lazyarss or narcissist or puppyhater or whyaren'tyoureadingMiddlemarchyoushallowlittleloser? No? Yeah me neither. I don't even have to time to think up such silly ideas. I'm too busy reading Middlemarch.)

But back to the thankful list. (Please for the LOVE, back to the thankful list). No particular order and by no means exhaustive:
  • for free classics, clean water, warm coats, and that mint M&Ms are back in season
  • that the roller skating party is over, that my five year old had the time of her life at the aforementioned party, for her fierce independence that had her waving me off within minutes of standing up on skates
  • for my sensitive little eight year old, for books that sweep us into story and sway even a tired old mom into reading just one more chapter long after lights should be out, for his self awareness and sense of humor, for our 20 minute chats while we circle eight times around the track
  • for friends who bring me back to who I said I wanted to be, to what I said I believed, for those who walk (and sometimes run) with me through the mess, who make me laugh so hard I can barely remember why I wanted to cry
I've opened the floodgates. I start typing and I could go on forever. Gratitude is crazy that way--you can start by saying you're glad about Boston cremes and Christmas Ale and then with each thing you list, the spiral stake twists deeper and deeper until you are grounded in gratitude, unshakeable, discovering that the grace and goodness of God spans from the most trivial to the most trying places.

So what are you thankful for today? Open the floodgates, my friends.

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