He sits on the bed beside me, with rainbow-colored candy. I thought I would take a nap, but here he is, coming to sit by me while he eats the candy I bought for him while I was out this morning, to let him know I love him.
We talk about Twizzlers.
How I like the black, he likes the red.
And how these rainbow-colored ones are softer than those.
We laugh together about my hormonal outburst this morning, the one where I rivaled Niagra...the one that led me to buy him candy to make up for it.
No one talks about life or death. Or bills, or money. Or real estate. Or what-are-we-gonna-do.
It doesn't matter.
We have now. We have: half-a-nap, some rainbow-colored Twizzlers, and us.
We have us.
Sometimes love fits so comfortably, so easily, that you hardly notice it's there.
My "Joie" is getting lost and tangled in my"de Vivre"...
Yesterday life began to catch up to me, and I was all set, counting my griefs, to have a bad day. I really was! Woke up feeling kind of down to begin, and then I remembered that I had lost my good camera. Stolen, along with my purse, on Monday. I really liked that camera. It helps me capture the little beauty-moments that I find everywhere, helps me not to overlook them. It was a gift from Husband.
So - no camera. No purse. All the little trinkets that I don't need but always have with me "just in case"... gone. (Except the cards. Thankfully, the cards were returned right away.)
And then I realized I would have to adjust my errand running this day, since we are down to one car. Dead Buick. Now there's an inconvenient truth.
Awe, man... no purse, camera gone, dead Buick...
And the lawn mower died, too. The grass is getting mighty long while we try to find something used and usable.
The dryer doesn't work either. yeah...
And then my sweet daughter lost her job that morning!!
So I was beginning to think I had plenty of reason to wallow in frustration and sadness. Then I heard someone else's story. Someone with real problems. And I was a little embarrassed.
I started remembering that is is much better to think on things that are "good, true, beautiful, worthy of praise..."
I remembered it really is better to see the beauty all around and be thankful, and how could I do that when I was so focused on the junk? So I decided to change. I decided to give myself a chance to list all the troubles one last time, grieve for a few minutes, acknowledge the sadness, and then start thinking thankfulness and other good things.
But I was in a slump. It was hard work to think positively. I was surprised what a job it could be to change my thinking. I knew I could use a boost: I went to the coffee house and got an iced chai AND a chocolate no-bake cookie. (This was a serious, 2-treat slump!) That helped me start feeling better and gave me some energy.
And then I thought, "I will begin my litany of thanks on the very things that I am having so much trouble with today, the things that are making me unhappy! There must be things right there that I can choose to be thankful for if I try." And I did. And I surprised myself! Watch this...
The Buick is dead: I am thankful that only one car is dead. I'm thankful that we have another car that works and is reliable, that husband works third shift right now, making our schedule fairly well-suited to using one car, at least for awhile. I am thankful that there are very low cost cars out there and that we can keep an eye out for one, but not feel a need to hurry into a purchase that might endanger our financial situation. (184 - 187)
The dryer doesn't work: I am so glad this happened in the summer. I love being out in the sunshine! I am glad that it didn't completely die but only (I think) needs maybe a heating element. I am thankful for that dryer in the first place, because it was a gift from a friend who no longer needed it!! I am thankful that there are other free or nearly free dryers out there once in awhile if we need to get another one. I am thankful for friends who share. (189 - 194)
The car was broken into: I am thankful no damage was done to the car. I am thankful (grudgingly, but still...) for the lesson to LOCK the car when you leave it, for crying out loud, and DON'T leave valuables in it unlocked and wide open when you do not know the neighborhood!! (195 - 196)
Stolen purse: I am thankful that all the credit cards, etc. were returned so quickly, never having been used. One person stole the things. Two people returned my cards, which were in two separate cases. I love knowing that there are a lot of good, decent people out there. In this case, by a ration of two to one over the not so decent! I am thankful that not much cash was taken. I am thankful that I was already considering replacing that purse when it was taken, as it was old and about ready to go. I am thankful for friends who helped me contact the police, search the bushes, and stay calm. I m thankful for the friend who prayed with me and taught me how to pray for those we might call our"enemies." It was beautiful, how she prayed for that person's needs to be met. We can be angry at wrong, yet still care about the one doing the wrong! (I am thankful that now I have a really good excuse for buying a new purse!!) (197 - 204)
Camera: I am sad about this. I am thankful that there were no really rare, precious pictures on that memory card when I lost it. I am thankful that I was about to replace that old memory card but hadn't bought a new one yet before it was stolen. (205 - 206)
Sweet daughter's job: I am sorry she lost her job, but thankful for this evidence that God is working uniquely in her life. I am so sad that she wants to move to a far away state where her friends are. She would be too far away for us to even visit, I'm afraid. I could never go out for coffee or shopping with her, or to the beach. I want the best for her, of course, but I would miss her terribly. Watching her ask questions and respond thoughtfully to our questions is encouraging. I am thankful for this. And seeing this unexpected drastic event in her life suggests to me that God has His own way of working in her life. I am sure he will do better than I could. (207 - 208)
It was hard at first to think of things to be thankful for in the middle of these crummy situations. But I'm glad I did because 1) it is the right thing to do. And 2) It did help me feel better and gain a better perspective.
It's raining. And cold. And frankly I would like to complain... I'd rather have more warmth, more summer, and some sunshine, thankyouverymuch... but whining won't help.
It is a good time to give thanks. When we least feel like it, giving thanks can help adjust our mind's perspective. Lifting my mind lifts my spirit; helps me get my mind onto a better, more productive path. Otherwise, if I follow the avenue of Whine and Complain, I find myself on a slippery road and I am bound to trip up, slip-sliding into an ugly mess. I can just see me there on the side of the path covered in mud and scratches, wallowing in even more self-pity. I've been there.
Today I choose thanksgiving.
162. Falling asleep to the sound of the rain singing a lullaby outside my bedroom window, as it dances it's own old soft-shoe on the porch roof.
163. Diversity in friendships! How huge a blessing to know people of different faiths, practices, personalities, and views... I learn from them. I love these friends. They enrich me immensely.
164. Maps! Seriously!
165. Panera Coffee, first thing in the morning. Smooth, hot, a little sweet.
166. "Hallelujah anyhow" days. You know, like this one... when you just say Hallelujah anyhow.
167. Opportunities to keep on growing.
168. Not knowing what is coming next. I do not find this one bit comfortable. But I am thanking God for it anyway because He knows what is going on, He cares what happens to me, and I trust Him.
169. Knowing for sure.
170. Seeing a child choose to do the right thing
171. Colors. All of them, everywhere!
172. God's Word - Dependable Truth that fits life.
173. Dresses on hot days. Especially sundresses.
174. Friends getting to start a new adventure! Wow, moving to Alaska to start a new job! That is not your ordinary retirement!
175. Watching the clouds break up outside.
176. Seeing the clouds break up inside myself.
177. The rainbow shine on the back of the cd.
178. Rainbows in parking lots because oil and water don't mix, but when they try, it looks kind of cool.
179. Curly heads
180. Sneaking out for breakfast, or coffee, all alone before the rest of the house is up.
180. Sneaking out for breakfast with husband. :-)
181. Giant, red and white table umbrellas caught by the wind, running off with people running after them!
182. Girl feeling better.
183. Birthday email clubs... lots of freebies coming my way this month!! Fun!
See there... I am feeling better already. Please share your thanksgivings
too, won't you... I'd love to hear them!
PS - And thanks to Anne Voskamp, who reminded me. May your day be full of joy, Anne!
Willow has this quote where I see it often, right down there on the right side of her blog...
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~~ Melody Beattie
What can I say? It really does do all that. Thanks, Willow.