Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Reflections on February (Courtesy of Leap Day)

The quadrenniel bonus day was good, and it gives me a chance to reflect on February before March arrives.

The email I get each weekday from the Denison Forum included this insight today that fits where I am: Why did Moses want the people to enter Canaan without first exploring the land? Could it be that God's best tomorrow is one we could never understand today? Warren Buffett noted that in business, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield. It is the same with the life of faith--if you look back at all the ways God has provided for you, and you believe that his character does not change, you'll be encouraged to trust him for all you need today. I have a lot of room to grow but am experiencing this in my life.

I see more blessings looking back at February than I was aware of while living it. But I did know of some along the way. Among the highlights:

-- My great-niece Madison Jean's baptism/christening brought together a lot of generations of families and also a lot of shared heritage at the church where my parents brought up me and my siblings, and where now some of the nieces and nephews and their kids also are members. The church will celebrate its 125th anniversary this fall, and I just feel grateful and blessed to still have such strong ties to the church as well as to my family. Not all people have that as they move on in their lives.

-- My closest associate at work gave her two-weeks' notice Feb. 3, and among the staffing changes after her departure is that I am no longer in a rotation where I work days every third month. Now my shift is until midnight except Wednesdays. It seems like that should actually make it easier for me to get a steady routine going, but I've felt a tiredness this month that I didn't notice when I had the hope of the day shift in a couple of months. Or maybe the tiredness comes from adjusting to other changes. (Or maybe it's still some winter blues.) Change is always challenging for me. But by keeping a daily discipline that starts with prayer and meditation, I have thus far come through better than I could have imagined. And to top it off, after going almost the whole month without writing a catchy headline, I came up with one last Friday that won a prize among my peers: Pennies on roadway are not heaven-cent. (It was on a series of photos about the mess from an armored car losing thousands of pennies on a Tulsa highway.)

-- I see signs of progress in relationships. So far, I'm keeping in touch with my friend who left work. I also managed to connect with other old friends from work and the Oklahoma City Gridiron Club when I attended their annual political satire/spoof last weekend. I miss being in that show, but I had a great time being entertained, visiting and also helping the club out by being an usher. Building and maintaining friendships continues to be difficult for me. I'm grateful for any signs of progress.

-- And then there was the cat. I came home late after a Thursday (Feb. 17) at work and noticed Bridget had started to do her squat-and-pee-on-the-carpet routine, which I knew meant she probably had a urinary tract infection. And that means a trip to the vet, and then having to give the cat pills. None of that ever goes well, and I was filled with dread. I just wanted to cry, and I'm pretty sure I did. But I also prayed, and finally called the vet Friday morning. They said to bring her in, so I did. She stayed overnight and the UTI was confirmed. But there was also concern about elevated glucose in her urine and the possibility she might have diabetes. So they kept her over the weekend for more tests. There is some confirmed diabetes in her farm cat heritage, so of course I spent the weekend preparing myself for the worst even as I hoped and prayed for the best. I dreaded hearing the news. But it turned out good: No diabetes. Whew. We just had to give her the pill for her infection for eight more days after I brought her home. The first three days, Gene was able to do it, but then he went on a trip, and I was on my own. I have never been able to give my sweet kitty a pill, and sometimes Gene and I have failed as a team. But somehow, he succeeded on his three days, and I did on mine. A very good decision I made at the vet clinic, without realizing its significance at the time, was to have them trim Bridget's nails while she was there. I think that may have given us the edge in the pill pursuit. I know I also prayed a lot along the way. God knows my heart when it comes to my little girl. I love her. I see her as a gift from God. And I know she is a cat. I'm just grateful she seems healthy again, back to eating, pooping, peeing and wanting to play (but also still enjoying laptime, naptime and prayertime -- and she never stopped purring!).

-- I had several projects I wanted to get done while Gene was gone. He'll be back tomorrow -- and I didn't finish any of it. All of my Scriptures and devotionals this month have encouraged me to not worry about that stuff and just focus on how much God loves me. But as I said at my 12-step meeting today, the husband doesn't seem to be as understanding as the Higher Power on such matters. I guess I have a few more hours to see how this plays out. (I will continue to pray -- and work.) I also pray he returns refreshed, rested and healthy, but is that ever the case after traveling on business?

-- I learned that a popular teacher who taught me and all my siblings in high school had a heart attack Friday and died as he was being prepared for surgery. He was 69. That seems too young to be gone. But Davy Jones of the Monkees also died of a heart attack today, and he was 66. These are reminders to be live each day to the fullest.

-- Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday were in there, too. And there was some snowfall overnight Feb. 12. Suffice it to say, I survived!

I'm grateful for another month that, even though it often seemed tiring and difficult as I was living it, was clearly a gift from God. Each day is. I want to continue to live in the light of His presence and grow into His likeness.

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