I wonder if it is a first world "issue" to wonder what would happen if I didn't have something ... if I didn't have a job ... a house ... a car ... enough money to pay for heat or clothes or food ... would I still be happy? thankful? would I still believe that God is good? Would I have a better understanding of what it means to trust God (literally) for my daily bread? Would I even recognize myself if I lived in a different time period or a different country?
So far in my adult life, my solution to those wanderings have been to try to be a good and wise steward of the many many things I have and, more recently, to be thankful for them. With Thanksgiving just this week, I do wonder at the ethicalness of simply being thankful while sitting in a warm house, with all my family, eating a huge dinner. Should thankfulness produce change? Should gratitude cause me to live differently? Has it?
Now being thankful has changed my attitude toward my job, my possessions, and even my relationships. I know that I have begun to approach God differently. I enjoy life more and I am less anxious. And I believe that is a good place to start: I want any change in my actions to reflect my thoughts/attitudes/beliefs. Now, more often than not, I find myself saying:
"I am incredibly blessed. What does an incredibly blessed life look like?"
How do I translate a spirit of thankfulness into my giving, my actions, my time? I don't have many answers right now. But I do know where I should start.
And also, to use the simple act of writing something in a public place as motivation and accountability, two other things: become more involved (through prayer and letters) in the lives of our sponsored children and begin the application process to volunteer ministry in Milwaukee.
And so, to continue my list for this week:
1078. I have a job that I enjoy (even though I claim to be bored sometimes) and get paid a nice chunk of money.
1079. rain when I realize it has been awhile since I watered my tulip bulbs
1080. a walk in the rain with Loki that was much warmer than I thought it would be. The long underwear helped with the wet, not the chill
1081. A wonderful visit with a good friend and her husband
1082. where I held her new baby, basically the entire time we were there
1083. my husband driving the whole way home while I slept - I had a hard time adjusting to being up during the day during my weekend off
1084. hair that smells like fall
1085. learning that laundry is much easier - and less overwhelming - when I have a system for doing it (two loads once a week on a night that I am staying up late before a night shift). It was a complete myth that two people don't make that much laundry - but I know it is much less than a family =)
1086. Psalm 139 read beautifully at church
1087. my head on Chris' chest, listening to his heart beating, his arms around me
1088. starting my Christmas shopping ... 'cuz I usually do ALL my shopping in one day. But it turns out that doing a ton of something you don't really enjoy (shopping) in one really long day isn't really fun. So, I'm brainstorming some creative fun gifts that I can make and that makes me so excited that I just want to skip out of work and create things. But I wont ... and, instead, will love the anticipation of the next few weeks until I can.
1089. Speaking of which - I finished this blanket, my project for the last month
1090. Plans for vacation that materialized so quickly. Seriously, in one day, I realized that I have enough PTO (vacation time), was granted my vacation request and found a co-worker to work a shift for me. Oh, and did I mention my sign-on bonus that will come at a very convenient time?
1091. cold, clean water in the fridge
1092. Excitement over going home and seeing people that we love.
1093. Days off, all strung in a row for this weekend
1094. flannel sheets1095. an encouraging e-mail from my sister-in-law
1096. waking up to my husbands gentle touch when I sleep past my alarm