Wednesday, February 6, 2013
In all things: thanks and praise
As I expected, tonight after choir practice -- like Sunday after church -- I have really missed my kitty. My husband wasn't home when I got here either time, and the house just seemed so abnormally empty. Can a pet really make that much difference? Of course, the answer is yes, especially when the pet was as attentive to me, and also as persuasive in her desire for attention, as Bridget was. I really think she delighted in me as much as I delighted in her. One of my new challenges is to figure out how to channel that into a positive direction. For the record, for reasons my husband and I both accept, we probably won't get another kitty until we retire to the farm. I do plan to volunteer to spend time with the cats at one of the local animal sanctuaries. I also am very aware of another area where some of my unconditional love, acceptance and enthusiasm also needs to go. Sunday I made the mistake of trying to ignore my feelings of sadness and loneliness or just deal with them through prayer. It wasn't until the end of that day and the next day that I realized what I had done and the consequences. So, as I contemplated what I would do after choir practice, I finally realized two things were key. I needed to write, and at least part of what I wrote would need to be a gratitude list. I learned before my Daddy's illness and death that writing is therapeutic for me, and that lesson was confirmed in many ways during his illness and after he died. The therapeuatic value of writing seems to increase for me when I post it to the blog. I think the reason is because these are things I wouldn't mind talking to someone about, but I don't want to bore anyone, and I really don't know who cares to listen. So, by writing and posting, I can express without imposing. Loved ones who choose to read can do so whenever they want, and it's up to them whether to respond. Part of my mistake Sunday was thinking that people are probably tired of hearing or reading about me missing my kitty. That kept me from posting anything on Facebook or the blog. (And I did talk about it to people, but maybe not as much as I needed to.) Tonight, I am back to being OK with who I am: a person who needs to take all the time and words it takes to express and work through emotions. IT IS OK!!!!!! I know this, but I do forget. Now, as for the gratitude list, I don't even know where to start. There are so many things. I will only mention a few. But really this whole thing is about gratitude. -- God is always at the top of the list. I've seen many examples these past two weeks (and, really, these past two years) of how He works everything for good. I know it would be true even if I didn't see the evidence. But seeing the evidence helps me keep the faith during the times when it's not as clear that things will work for good. -- I am grateful that God has helped my eyes open to see His goodness. I think I spent many years missing it. Now, instead of dwelling on a past I cannot change, I strive moment by moment to make better choices in how I relate to people and spend my resources including time, energy and money. I trust in His goodness even as the change in me seems to happen much too slowly. I pray to know and do God's will -- and how to reflect His goodness. -- I am grateful for my family and my friends, especially beloved ones at church, work, the 12-step program and some from past associations. I still sometimes am amazed that they accept me as I am, despite how odd, inept, inadequate, inconsistent, disorganized or any of those other negatives I might think I am. -- I am grateful for multiple chances to get things right. Second chances are seldom enough for me. I'm grateful for God and, again, those family members and friends who don't give up on me when my best efforts require do-overs -- however many it takes.