Tuesday, August 23

Sick as a Dog

I am sick today. Not the hip sort of sick, or the mental type. No, it's the "I don't feel like I've been hit by a Mac truck, but I wish I had been, because then I wouldn't feel anything" kind of sick.

I am not grateful to be sick. Let's just get that out there. Being sick does, however, bring many things into sharp focus that I am grateful for. So I will list them for you here.

I am grateful for my older children, who help run the show while I am down for the count. They cook, the field phone calls, they fetch things, they change diapers, they entertain the wee folk so I can sleep, they even "shush" them up for me while I am sleeping.

I am grateful for my husband, who loves me and pampers me, and feels really, really, really sorry that I am sick.

I am grateful for the people in my life (outside the home) who are concerned for me, and offer to do whatever they can to lift and assist.

I am grateful for good books, that distract me temporarily from my misery.

I am grateful for painkillers.

I am grateful for a comfy bed to curl up in.

I am grateful for sleep, so I can be unaware of being sick for entire blocks of time.

I am grateful for opposition, because if I was always healthy, I wouldn't know how nice it is or appreciate it very much. I hesitate to put that on the list, because I don't want God to think I'm asking for additional opposition in my life. Ready or not!...

I am not grateful to be sick as a dog. I am going to be really grateful to get over this and get on with my life.

What are you blessed with today?

Monday, August 22

Guest Post: Going Back to Say Thank You

[from my youngest sister, who spent the first part of her marriage in a really big city, far from everything familiar.]

I am thankful for the ability to say thank you. 

When someone helps you out, and then one day you run into them again and are able to thank them for the difference they made in your life? I love that, and I think it is the most beautiful moment you can share with someone. To let them know they touched your life and to give them the courage to go on doing those small things that require us to step out of ourselves for someone else’s sake.

Last Sunday I went to church and most of the people who were there when I was living here are gone. But one lady who sat next to me every week without fail was there. 

By this small act, she made me feel accepted and more comfortable in a sea of strangers and older, more educated women. She had no idea that something so small as sitting next to me could keep me coming to church and feeling loved. 

Thank you all out there who do these small things that help each of us get through those rough moments in life.

Sunday, August 21

Eyes to See

I ran into an old friend this evening. We haven't seen each other in a very long time, and we haven't truly talked for even longer. Tonight I was able to visit with her for 15 minutes or so. It was very good.

Funny how some people always teach me. I ride around on my high horse more than I care to admit. This gentle lady, however, has taught me so much, and it shouldn't surprise me that she continues to teach me more.

During our conversation, I made a blatantly judgmental comment, sort of off-handed. Unfortunately, I do that when I'm trying to banter and be witty, only I don't realize it until hindsight. My friend didn't correct me or act shocked. She simply told me a story about her son:

Her son has spins bifida. He used to have more mobility and verbal communication than he does now. She told me how he used to wheel his chair up to the scariest, most intimidating, mean-looking person in a crowd, and say, "I think you need a hug." And, without fail, those were the people who smiled and enthusiastically accepted the offer. "It was the 'normal' people who avoided him, or ignored him, or tried to get away from him," she said.

Here I was, making uncharitable generalizations regarding the lives of people I didn't know, contrasting them to my obvious superior life choices. It was a "knee jerk" moment, and I am ashamed of it. I know my friend's son. He would never have done that. People judge him by how he looks, but he never makes that mistake.

It's because he sees a person's heart, not their appearance. I want that. I want to not be so critical, to not judge total strangers in a casual, pious way. I try, and at times I do better than others. Then, just when I think I have put that high horse out to pasture, I am given a little clarity, and see just how far I have to go.

I am grateful for eyes to see, to see things (and people!) as they really are. I get glimpses now and again. I am grateful for friends who teach me through their experiences, and who share their wisdom gently and without judgement. I want to be able to do that, too. I am grateful for this woman, and for her son. They soften the hearts of everyone they touch.

What are you blessed with today?