Just a little bit more gratitude….bear with me. I’m not sure the internet needs one more thought, list, motivation or creative way to improve our gratitude, but I did not finish my own reflections last week. Perhaps this post is simply for me. A purposeful way for me to pause, reflect, and to remind myself that there is much to appreciate. Much for which I can be grateful – even if I do not always see it as so. These prompts were a bit challenging for me. I even considered “ditching” this whole post, but all the more reason to press on. Like I said, bear with me. You might even find these somewhat non-traditional prompts interesting to consider. And, if you missed part one, you can find it here.
A STRUGGLE YOU ARE THANKFUL FOR. I will admit that I am not always grateful for struggles. I do not always appreciate a challenge or a hardship. The things which bring me to my knees – or, at least, to Him in prayer. However, that is exactly why I should appreciate the struggles. (Interesting side note: the harder the struggle…the more prone I am to pray.) There are several things I could mention for this prompt, but most of them are personal and not appropriately shared. Some are not completely my story to even share. But they are heavy heart burdens. Real spiritual and emotional battles and struggles. I don’t often say I am thankful for them but I am grateful – sincerely so – that the battle keeps me praying. Draws me close, and keeps me close, to my Heavenly father otherwise, I would be completely overwhelmed and defeated. I am also grateful for each small victory that I see along the way.
SOMETHING YOU APPRECIATE ABOUT WHERE YOU LIVE. Oh but this one was a struggle. I am quick (way too quick) to complain, grumble and whine about where I live. I have begged God many a time to move us. Somewhere. Anywhere. I don’t care where. Maybe a tiny exaggeration…but my bad attitude is real and I realized why would God honor that request? Unfortunately, I have only recently realized just how offensive a whiny, selfish prayer must be and am very late to the game of adjusting my attitude. The struggle is real here. And then I came across this prompt! At first, I could not think of anything. Just being transparent.
But here are just a few: we enjoy all four seasons. Living close to the Nation’s capital, we have access to just about anything you could want – any kind of restaurant, top-notch dining, museums, theaters and/or any other types of art and performance venues, shopping (large and small) and just about everything else in between. We are also close and convenient to all types of medical services. There are a wealth of job opportunities and we are less than an hour from the mountains and Skyline Drive, huge Lake Anna or the Civil War battlefields (for when we just need to escape all the convenience!) I have lived here all my life. I have a lifetime of friends here. I have a great church and church family. My son is buried here. I have roots here. Enough said.
SOMETHING YOU LEARNED JUST THIS WEEK. Other than my attitude about my neck of the woods is pretty lousy?? Just yesterday, I heard (“learned”) that my son passed his entrance exam needed in order to move forward with applying to be an Alaskan state trooper. He is really enjoying his time in Alaska and believes he would like to stay…and is hoping to become a state trooper. The application process has quite a few steps but the first one was passing the written exam. Check. I am excited for him…because he is excited. Excited about a new career, a new (and more permanent) place, and about future possibilities.
I also learned this week that I can be more flexible than I think. My husband and I often joke (to ourselves): we make a plan, stick to a plan and get angry when things don’t go according to plan. Would be funnier if it wasn’t so true. What can I say? We are planners. Life is good when the plan goes well. However, working with kiddos, a little flexibility can go a long well. Our small Thanksgiving program did not go exactly to plan but I handled it rather well. If I do say so myself. Actually, it was delightful. Sometimes an alternate plan can be even better than the original one.
A FEW MOMENTS IN THE LAST YEAR YOU ARE MOST THANKFUL FOR. The day my husband retired – after 55 years of working. It has been a major change and one that I honestly was not sure about. (We like our routines as much as we do our plans.) But it has been not only a tremendous blessing but a lot of fun. We’ve created a new normal and it suits us both just fine. It was also a year ago that he fell and injured his knee. We were told, repeatedly, that recovery would take nine to twelve months. He was released from the doctor as well as therapy – and good as new in our opinion – in four months. He has zero pain or lingering problems with this knee. Yes, we are grateful!
I’m sure there are more but this post has gotten much longer than I anticipated. Thanks for reading. Thanks for visiting and thank you for your comments as well as your emails. I wish each of you a blessed week….full of things for which to give thanks.