Good morning, all!
My hubby is working close to home for a few days, so I was up early this morning to get his breakfast and fix his lunch. As I walked down the hall toward the kitchen, I noticed something extra on the hall table.
I turned on the light and found a long, cylindrical package laying at the edge of the table with a note behind it......"I love you, Mom....your baby"
I smiled at the thoughtfulness of my almost 21 year old baby as I unwrapped a lovely white rose.
What a nice way to start the day!
Almost as wonderful.......he had taken care of the garbage when he got home at nearly midnight.
Let me explain....
I've been cleaning the basement. Did I mention that in the last post? This has been a huge job, resulting in piles of garbage. We have a large garbage bin (the type you see behind restaurants, etc) and normally I call in for pickup every 6 weeks or so. Well, I filled the bin and called to be on the list for the next two pickups. Problem is - they only come around every 2 weeks. So, last week, after they emptied the bin, Daniel took the garbage I had piled up in the basement and filled the bin again. The garbage truck was probably not too far away and the bin was already overflowing again. I pointed out to Dan that we needed to be able to put the household garbage in the bin so he'd have to take some of the 'other' garbage out. (the household garbage, naturally, needs to be out of reach of the dogs and coyotes and skunks and foxes and whatever other animal is attracted by it) The basement garbage would be of no interest to any but mice - and they wouldn't spread it around the yard. Dan said he would take care of it.
As of yesterday, I do not know what he had done, but the bin was full to the top. I emptied the garbage in the kitchen and then cleaned my fridge - resulting in another bag of garbage. I am too short to reach into the bin and pull out some cardboard or a box or whatever needed to come out in order to put the kitchen garbage IN, so I left Dan a note asking him to take care of it when he got home. (We were in bed and asleep LONG before Daniel got home)
My point is this......I got up early and was blessed by not only my son having done a distasteful job in the dark (our yardlight doesn't work) but by a token of his thoughtfulness and love.
I am a lucky girl......
Which brings me to Essential Number 8.....
"Sincere gratitude will lift and inspire you. Recognizing and appreciating all you have empowers you to find and express true joy."
There is Biblical truth to this statement. The Bible instructs us to "Thank God, no matter what happens" . There is always something to be thankful for.
One of the things that I have done in my life to cultivate appreciation and thankfulness for the 'little things' in my life is to make note of something each day that blessed me in some way - it could be something someone said or did - or it could be the way the sun made the frost on the trees glitter - or I could have purposely appreciated some everyday item such as my dryer....or clean water to drink....or fresh food to eat.
I was working on this habit when I found a 'meme' in blogdom.....hosted by Living to Tell the Story, a group of people regularly participate each Friday by listing 5 of their favorite things from the past week. I, myself, participate in this each week on my other blog....Musings from Me I suggest you consider making yourself notice the little things and appreciate them. If you know God, thank Him for these blessings in your life. If you do not recognise Him, then at least recognise the beauty and the lovliness in your life. Either way, some weeks it is hard to find five things to be thankful for. Some weeks it seems impossible and I have been tempted more than once to just not participate. But you know what? When I sit down and make my mind think along the lines of gratitude, I always find at least 5 things - often more - and suddenly, the 'tough week' doesn't seem so bad.
When you have made a habit of gratitude, it is easier to face the difficult things with thanksgiving.
In my own life, I am facing many challenges just now - it would be easy to wallow in the negative aspects of all the changes because they are easy to see. But having been practicing to find the blessings in life, I have easily found te things to be grateful for in my challenges......
1. My daughter, SIL, and 2 grandchildren are moving to Zambia in 3 months. They will be gone indeffinately and I do not know when we will be able to be together again for a visit. This fact breaks my heart because I have a close friendship with my daughter AND my SIL and am bonded quite closely to little Seth and Taliah. Since I cannot change their plans, I CAN be thankful that I am not putting them on a train to travel to the coast to board a ship that will take them on a weeks or even months long ocean journey to the coast of Africa then have to journey by cart or foot to the landlocked country of Zambia. This is what parents of missionaries a couple generations ago faced. Months, even years, without communication from their loved one. So.....I am SO thankful they will be flying - and will be able to communicate with me at different points on their journey. I am thankful for SKYPE through which we will be able to communicate 'face to face' with the babies (if I have to pay for it myself, they will have internet at their home). I am thankful we can chat, email, telephone, almost whenever we want to (Since they've been there before, I know what to expect). I am thankful they have been saving their money and sending it to the YWAM base to have a house built....they will have their own home by the time they get there. They may not have a bed, but they will have a house. I am also thankful for their hearts desire to live with the poor and teach them how to make their lives better. Even though that desire takes them away from me, I am thankful for it - because it is what makes them who they are.
2. There looks to be little work for my husband after this next week or so - until at least fall. He also was home for more than 2 weeks in the middle of the season where we make most of our income for the year. This is a pretty shaky position to be in......BUT there is something to be thankful for here, as well. The 2 weeks he was off? Those 2 weeks were utilized by head office to make personnel cuts. SIX people from Jim's department were let go. He wasn't. VERY thankful for that. I am thankful that his immediate supervisor is an honest guy who has known Jim for more than 20 years and is willing to 'tell it like it is'. He doesn't make promises he cannot keep.
I'm also very thankful that Jim has a job to go to while the industry is depressed here at home - he has been asked to return to the company he worked for in Louisiana during the winter of 07/08. Providing the person at the boarder grants him a visa allowing him to temporarily work in the US, we will be 'moving' to LA for at least a few months.
There is much that I do not like about this plan - primarily that we will be away for most of the little bit of time we have left with our daughter, etc. But also, we do not like being so far away from any of our kids/grandkids. That is a big deal to us. Then there is the hassle and expense of maintaining two households from a long distance away. Also, I am afraid of the tornadoes NW LA gets in large numbers (to me) and of the poisonous spiders I need to be on the lookout for. Then there is the weather......The winter was lovely, but to hear the natives talk, they absolutely HATE summer weather. For a girl from Alberta where the humidity is normally very low and the temperatures in the summer do not ever reach 3 digits, the thought of over 100 degrees F with 100% humidity is a little daunting.
BUT there is much to be thankful for here, as well......beginning with the opportunity. It is not an 'overseas' job where my hubby would have to go by himself and work in an area that is hostile to our western culture. I get to be with him. This is the biggest blessing of this arrangement - we have a 'normal' life in that my husband comes home at night for supper every night. That alone, makes eveything worth while. Another blessing is that I end up with lots more 'creative time' since there are little demands on me and I do not have to include 1 hour travel time in any shopping exercise. I am also thankful that we will be returning to the same area.....we are familiar with the area and fell in love with the people and the culture of NW LA. We didn't make alot of friends, but there are at least 2 ladies that will be happy to see me. AND we'll get a chance to see the things we 'meant to' see but ended up leaving before we got to them.
These are just 2 of the major events going on in my life just now.....and the things I've found to be grateful for in the midst of them.
Truly, cultivating a habit of gratitude....of noticing your blessings....of stopping to enjoy the color of a flower or the sparkle of frost.....brings joy to your life - even in the midst of difficulties. Most especially, if you know to thank GOD for the good things in your life, your burdens will be lighter.
Try it, you'll be surprised at how many blessings are in even a difficult situation.
I recommend joining in with the Friday's Favorite Five exercise at Living to Tell the Story.
No real change in my weight this past week.....well, actually, I was down 2 pounds for 3 days but today I'm back up to the 217 mark. Could be a one day spike, could be an actual gain. Either way, it won't stay there long!