Thursday, November 28, 2013
2013 Edition of Thanksgivings
I have so much to be thankful for this year. I'm going to share just a few of the things I'm thankful for.
At the top of my list of thanks has to be the life changing surgery that I went through nearly a year ago. Not only did this procedure relieve a lot of my physical discomfort, it also gave my not-so-great self-esteem a huge boost. I am so very thankful for my surgeon and his nurse who always showed compassion and respect toward me and never made me feel like a freak. They were truly interested in helping me. Because of this top-notch surgeon, not only do I feel better physically but I feel much more comfortable with my body now. Except that I need to get back on the bandwagon with my fitness routine. My clothes have been letting me know that lately.
I am thankful for my children. I am especially thankful for Jackie and her faith. She enjoys going to church and being in the children's choir. She auditioned for and was given a solo part in her church's Christmas program. Jackie is my inspiration for wanting to restore and grow my own faith. She often asks me questions that cause me to pause and ponder my own actions. She is also not ashamed of her faith and I hope she continues not to be ashamed. (Except, she says we embarrass her when we discretely say a blessing for our meal when we're at a restaurant). This past week, she had an assignment at school that just blew me away when it was sent home in her folder. She wrote with a wisdom that I've never seen in a 9 -year old. Jackie definitely has a very unique way of thinking about things. Here is that assignment:
I'm also thankful for my sweet little boy who is also developing his own faith. Just recently, he woke up very late one night and joined me on the sofa. Usually, I would get annoyed that one of my children is "interrupting" my quiet time, unless they were sick or had a bad dream. This was not the case for Ben that night but for whatever reason, he woke up and was wide awake for about an hour. It ended up being a very precious time with me as he shared with me all the things that he was learning at church. He was especially focused on how Jesus died on a cross and how he was in a "cave" but he rose after 3 days.
This past year has brought changes in some of my friendships. Some of it was not good but most of the changes were positive. Very positive. In recent months, I have become fairly close friends with a couple of ladies who I never dreamed I would even have a friendship with. These ladies have rallied around me and have gone to bat for me. My appreciation for them is more than I can even describe here. Another friendship that I thought had gone out the window earlier this year has recently turned a corner in a positive way. When I received a text from this friend about a month ago after us not communicating for several months, I was ecstatic. We've been texting occasionally since then and each time, it brings a smile to my face. And today, on Thanksgiving day of all days, I got a call from her (albeit accidentally). It turned out to be a wonderful conversation. I think it's the longest conversation that we've held in months even before we quit talking for awhile. I'm so thankful that we able to talk today and catch up a little. She really is a wonderful person and I was so sad about it when we weren't talking. That phone call this morning was the highlight of my day. Forgiveness is a powerful thing and I'm so thankful for the ability to forgive (that's to say that I don't have boundaries with certain people in my life, though) and the ability to accept forgiveness from others. This has helped me to get through a recent situation involving another so-called friend. That one is a very different situation and if she extended an apology to me (which I'm not counting on), I would gladly accept that. Actually, I forgave her long ago but unfortunately, she had her own ideas. That's okay, though, because through all that, I've gained much more than the loss of her friendship.
I'm thankful for another friend who has been spending a short amount of time with me each week to go through a Bible study. I've often had people offer to do an individual bible study with me but nothing ever came to fruition. I'm not one to pursue people because I don't want to be a burden. So, thank you to TZ for committing to and staying committed to help me through that bible study. I appreciate it more than you'll ever know.
This year, I have the honor of being a part of chorale/ensemble called MasterWorks. It's an awesome group of singers and orchestra that performs several concerts a year. This year, our repertoire includes the first part of Handel's Messiah (which I am so excited about) and some of the old Christmas songs. I love singing classical pieces and this is just up my alley. I auditioned for the group several months ago and since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it. Since moving here 9 months ago, I have really missed being involved musically. I really missed being a part of my choir in Florida and nothing here quite fit what I was wanting to be a part of... until I discovered MasterWorks. I discovered the group a few years ago and had wanted to audition for it but taking care of my children and just life in general got in the way of doing so until recently. So, if any of my local friends read this, please come out and hear us on December 8 at 7:30 at St. Clare in O'Fallon.
I've had the pleasure of tutoring a young man at my family's church. This young man has autism and he is working hard to obtain his GED. I've spent many hours, so far, to help him accomplish his goal. I've always been a compassionate person but this young man has taught me much more than compassion. I'm thankful that I have a desire to help those who have special needs.
Today, my family and I volunteered at my family's church where they were serving a Thanksgiving meal to the community. I am not very good at just going up to people and introducing myself and talking to them. (I still deal with fear of rejection, I guess). But, today, I was forced to get out of my comfort zone by being assigned to talk to people as I walked them to a table after which I was also responsible for serving their meal then sitting down to talk and get to know these people. I have no problem serving people but I have a difficult time starting conversation with complete strangers. That is way out of my comfort zone. But thank you to Tony (and Brenda, too) for forcing me to get out of my comfort zone and encouraging me when I started to get inch toward the ledge during the rush. It ended up being a good experience. And it made me realize why I never became a waitress.