November 20, 2007

A week of gratefulness

Let us remember that, as much has been given us,
much will be expected from us,
and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips,
and shows itself in deeds.
~Theodore Roosevelt

It's been an interesting week for me. One that made me thankful for a lot of things I take for granted.

On Friday night we went miniature golfing with Ed and Cheryl at Castles and Coasters. It was really fun to be out with them and feeling that bond of friendship. It seems like we are so busy with life these days that we don't really LIVE it.....we are just treading water and staying afloat. It makes me feel the void of friendship.

I am thankful to you Cheryl for calling us...even at the last minute...and reaching out with friendship. I need that!

In the small town we lived in before Phoenix, I would see friends every day! I would see them at the grocery store, stop cars in the middle of the road to do a quick convo until the next car came up behind us (and sometimes waving for them to just pass on by because we were enjoying talking), I saw people at the schools and waved at the youth (I used to work with youth at that church), I made connections when I stopped by the church *often* to see Charles or to drop something off and I often had friends who dropped by our house to say hi or to ask a question and we'd sit on the porch and talk and connect. I didn't realize how much I missed that.

I'm thankful for that time in my was good to experience how it can be.

My friend Kelly was asking me on Saturday if I felt like I had any real friends here. I felt an immediate welling behind my eyes and it surprised me. We both felt like life is just too busy and we are both too tired to make the effort. blah

I need to work on that and I need make an effort because God's given me some wonderful women here to connect with....if we'll just make a call. I did make it a point to walk over to, and hug the necks of some friends at church who I haven't been connected with lately. It is no one's fault (so no feeling guilty Patrice! lol). We all feel that void and we all feel the tug of the urgent needs of day to day life stealing away our energy. (Yay for Women's retreats! Maybe we should make it a month long this year)

I'm thankful for potential friendship and the picking right up where we left off factor.

Charles and I and Kelly went to visit a woman named Reilly on Saturday. She has been consistently going downhill with MS since the mid '80's. She became a Christian then too and even though she has been worn down to a tiny smidge of a woman, can no longer lift herself out of her bed or get out of her apartment very often, she is a shining light. She has a ministry right there in that apartment to her caregivers and neighbors. She is always on the phone to a neighbor or praying with her caregivers....about THEIR struggles, not her own....and she said some pretty profound spiritual things while we were there. I felt that welling up feeling several times while we were there and that is not really like me. It's either perimenopausal mood swings or God speaking to me. Yeah, well I do have mood swings!

It made me so thankful for this body, as much as I complain about being tired and worn out, it is a healthy body and I can walk, dance, take care of my own needs and even take care of others with it. What a blessing.

On Sunday we got to know a young woman who has come several times in the past 2 weeks. She is in her early thirties and is a single mom, raising four girls. The oldest is 12 and the youngest is 3! She is full of energy and of a desire to raise her daughters right and to please God. She sat with us at the evening church Thanksgiving dinner. Another single parent joined us....hi Bill! (he reads this sometimes...please notice the rss feeds I finally put up!) He is raising 2 boys and a daughter. Then I noticed several other single parents went breezing by me during the night and I suddenly realized how many there are and hard their job must be! But they take it in stride, they love their kids and seem to be doing a great job of it.

It made me so very thankful for having a husband to help me raise our kids.....and to be my partner in life as well. I"m sorry I take that for granted so often!

Last week, a friend's two teenaged daughters (who are Emma and Bethany's ages) were in a horrible accident on a major freeway in California. They are fine except for whiplash, after their tire blew out and their car went in to a spin with semi trucks behind and beside them. The truck beside them crushed the hood of their car while missing the passenger area.

I'm thankful for God's protection every day, especially over our children. I used to worry a lot more than I do these days about their safety. I pray for them but I also remind myself *often* that God is watching out for them. He's got plans for them and I trust Him. This doesn't mean bad things will never happen. It means I trust He won't let a random event ruin His plans for them.

Finally, today we had a lock down event at the school. There was a police chase through our neighborhood and the criminal crashed into another car and jumped out of his car and ran....towards our school playground. That is as much as was reported by an eye witness before he ran in to tell the school office to lock down. When he went back out, the police were taking photos of a sawed off shotgun in the front seat of the car.

I'm thankful that we continue to be crime free since last summer (when we had a little crime spree happening here) and for our home alarm system. And thankful that no one was hurt today. What we thought was a drill turned out to be something kind of the world outside trying to creep in on a safe sanctuary.

I kind of feel like the person...whoever they were....who wrote the poem with the line, "I complained that I had no shoes until I saw a man with no feet." It is the things we take for granted each day that we need to be most grateful for.....

....because seeing the possible complications in life, makes you suddenly see with better vision.

"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord."
[Psalm 92:1]


joannmski said...

Amen! a great post. Makes me so thankful too.

Michele said...

thanks for the post.

kq said...

Christie, this is a beautiful post. It looks like your time in Phoenix is quite fruitful! (I had no doubts...) *hugs*
~ KQ