Pages

Ten Things of Thankful - August 3rd

I'm participating in Ten Things of Thankful, a blog hop that asks us to "focus on the good things going on in your life by listing ten things you are thankful for today..."
 
This has been a tough week, a very dear friend who has been fighting a very aggressive form of cancer learned that the battle is over, and there is nothing more to be done.  It is hard to come to terms with that when you are only  53.  It is hard for his wife to come to terms with too.  They are each other's everything.  It is not about my sense of loss in seeing this wonderful man having his body give out piece by piece, it is about my grief for them and also the knowledge that losing someone you love can happen to any of us any time, even when least expected. It hits too close to home.  Not sleeping very well last night, I woke up tired and sad, and thought "How can I think of positive things, happy things to write for my thankfulness list today with such a heavy heart?" 
 
Then something happened... As I began to read through other folks blog posts and Facebook posts, and read the comments they've left on mine, I felt my spirits lifting... I felt the love began to flow. Then the answers to what I am thankful for came easy...
 
1) I'm thankful for the people who bless and brighten my life in so many ways! The power of words or photos or even captioned cartoons, to lift up my spirits, to reinforce my sense of kinship, and to encourage me on my journey is amazing!  Because of all the wonderful people that interact in my life, I need never feel alone.  That is truly the greatest blessing of all!
 
2) I am thankful that God has given me the ability to care deeply, and to love deeply.  Sometimes it is puzzling, wondering why it is that I become so emotionally involved in other people's struggles and suffering.  I know that it would be far easier to be like some folks I  know who just don't really care much about anyone but themselves and their own personal drama.  But then return to #1 above, and I am grateful that God can  use me, too, to reach out to others and hopefully be a positive moment in their lives as well.  I have always felt my sense of connection to all others very strongly.  It serves me well in my job and in my life.  I am grateful that I feel and that I care, even if at times it hurts.
 
3) I am grateful that I am not too formal, or too afraid, or too distant to say "I care about you" or "I am  praying for you" even when it comes to people that I don't know very well.  I encountered this several times this week in phone conversations with clients at work.  Many of them are near my age, I identify well with their situations, and my heart often breaks at the struggles they are facing just to survive.  I remind myself to take the time to treat them as people, not just clients or case #s.  I listen, I express my concern and my caring.  I am thankful that I believe in putting "The Golden Rule" into  practice.  It does not take more time or energy to be kind, it just takes the effort to turn it into a habit.
 
4) I am thankful for a new lesson that has been nudging at me lately, based on something I read on someone's blog (and I wish I remembered where).  It is about asking yourself, when  you are noticing something negative about another person, what it is you wish for them - do you hope they succeed or do you hope they will fail.  What is it that you really want?  And why?  Do we sometimes secretly enjoy seeing others fail because it makes us feel better about our own failures, or superior if we succeed?  I am starting to remember to ask myself before I criticize or condemn, what is it that I really want for this person, and what is it that God would have me want?  I am making adjustments!
 
5) I am so very grateful for a husband who trusts me infinitely and never once doubts my motives or behavior.  An incident occurred at work yesterday with a coworker and her spouse, that served as a flashback to a I life I led before, and how emotionally damaging it is to have a spouse that is incapable of trust.  In talking with her, I was able to help her see at least a little bit that his attitude is not because she is somehow flawed or at fault in being unable to convince him that she is trustworthy (she is that beyond a doubt, I would put my paycheck on that) but rather is based on his own inner beliefs and insecurities that have brought him to a place where he is suspicious of everything and not able to discern who is trustworthy from who is not.  Trust is essential in a good, loving relationship. 
 
6) I am so very thankful for a husband that says "I'm sorry", and who listens and believes me when I say "I'm sorry" on the rare occasions when we have crossed words and hurt feelings.  We never, ever let those things become a barrier between us or the love we feel for each other. We both feel true remorse if we hurt the other unintentionally or because we are tired and impatient.  Issues get resolved quickly, and are not ignored or left to fester.  Saying "I'm sorry" is a gift to be given freely.
 
7) I am thankful that my home is my refuge and my place of peace. I am thankful that I have a real home to come home to... a place where I belong and where I am loved.  I remember what it is like to dread coming home, to dread weekends spent together, and to wish that I could be anywhere else. I love my little box house in the weed patch in West Texas.  I love the beautiful blue color my husband chose for the walls... the color of blue skies... peaceful! I love that we were able to choose all the colors in our house together, that we agree on so many things we like, that we appreciate each other's tastes. 
 
8) I am thankful for lessons I learned growing up that I didn't even realize I had been taught, until much later, sometimes only realizing that now, when I take a moment to think about it!  Lessons like conducting yourself with integrity, making your word count, being accountable for your actions, being responsible, being strong, and becoming involved when it needs to be done, even if it would be easier not to do so.  I am thankful that I lived in a home where good values were taught by example, even if it wasn't a perfect home, or a perfect family, or a perfect life.  I am blessed in what was good.
 
9) I am thankful that I am learning that all situations and encounters in life has some good in them.  That doesn't mean that the cup is always half-full or the sun is always shining, or even that good will always triumph.  It means that if we look hard at those times, we can see something good that came out of it, some lesson learned,  some encounter that was important, or someone that cared about us.  I am so very grateful that God is helping me learn to count my blessings!  I am grateful for opportunities such as this, that give me reason to reflect on what is positive in my life, and to share it with others, hopefully encouraging them to do the same.
 
10) I am thankful for chocolate! Yes, this is a light finish to a "deep thoughts" list, but it is so true! What would life be like without that bit of pleasure, that thought of comfort, that reason  to smile? If you think about it, life has many little bright spots like that, simple pleasures, that are oh so very nice... right within my range as I sit here in my rocking chair (yes, really, a rocking chair... the old fashioned wooden kind, that my back loves) I see pieces of chocolate candy with liquid centers, an ice-cold glass of tea, slumbering furkids of assorted sizes, shapes, and colors... all purring, my cellphone lighting up with sweet little text notes from my husband who is at work, sunlight streaming through my windows, a wind chime tinkling softly from the cool breeze of the ceiling fan above, and other than that there is blessed quiet... ahhhhh! 
 
Life is good my friends, and I hope you take time to see the good things in your life today! Wishing all of you an awesome weekend and a week ahead with blessings too many to count!
~Share your blessings with us at Ten Things of Thankful~
 
And if you enjoy writing... join us at Two Shoes Tuesday this coming week!

35 comments:

  1. I love all your thankful things! Would be really nice to meet you someday! sandie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Chatty Crone! It's amazing how this little writing exercise every weekend helps me refocus on the positives in my life, and there truly are too many to count! Headed back to your blog to learn a little more about you too, thank you for following mine, I hope you find things you enjoy here!

      Delete
  2. Having wonderful spouses that trust and love is a great thing to be thankful for. I love my spouse too and I am so glad that through the years we grow stronger in trust and love. Thank you for sharing your thoughts today. Chocolate should be on the list every week. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust is a sacred thing Mary, it should always be part of any good relationship, and what a blessing it is when that happens! I agree, any good list of thankful things should include chocolate, one of life's nicest simple pleasures! :-)

      Delete
  3. Reading this is like stepping into a warm bath of wonderfulness, sensibleness, AWESOME spirituality and ... just lovely things. I'm so, so glad you wrote this to join in this weekend.

    I've discovered that there's an odd little piece of my heart which is hardwired for people at the end of the internet. When thought about too deeply, it becomes odd, but the sense of community and friendship and support which can be had across the WWW is nothing short of miraculous.

    I love that you're so freely able to say that you care for people. This I'm envious of (and massively need to practice) because it's one of the things I'm absolutely worst at. I can manage with family, but anyone else, even people I do care very deeply for, I find myself muted with fear, the words stuck and drying in my throat. It's something I'm trying to work on.

    Your life lessons are awesome. Some of them I feel I'm learning, others I need to get more firmly under my belt.

    Your house sounds gorgeous, and your relationship with your husband seems *amazing* - I bet it's taken much work, but what wonderful fruit it's bearing.

    And yes - it's fine to end a list this deep on chocolate :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for such kind words, Lizzi! Believe me, it's taken almost 60 years to get this far along the bumpy road to a smoother journey. I am stubborn and had to learn everything the hard way. But, by the grace of God, I have learned, and am learning more each day. I grew up in a home where emotions were far more under cover and it's taken a lot of work to learn the value of setting love free. My husband, Papa Bear, is truly AMAZING, God saved the most wonderful gift of all for last, when I would truly appreciate him!

      Delete
    2. That's beautiful. I'm so glad you have such rightness of attitude on this. You're quite an inspiration.

      I too, come from a home where emotions were a very difficult thing. I'm still learning and very...closed...at times. But I'm trying hard, and blogging is helping some, as it's allowing me to step outside my comfort zone with stunning regularity.

      Delete
    3. Blogging has done wonders for me in terms of learning to share my real self and my inner feelings, Lizzi, it is a far safer and more welcoming place, with other folks who are putting together the puzzle pieces of their lives too! My blog buddies know me far better than most of the people in my everyday life!

      Delete
    4. You could be right there - we're all trying to find our way. I think the openness helps. You have good perspective on this, Josie - thank you :)

      I know what you mean about the blog buddies knowing ya better...I can't decide whether I'm pleased about that, or whether I should be more open in real life! Ach - they can always read all about it :)

      Delete
  4. Thank you for visiting our blog, and for your wonderful comment about our friend Sheba.

    Your "Ten Things of Thankful" post is just beautiful. I'm so very sorry about your friend, and wish there was something I could say or do to make things better. I will pray for peace and more things that lift your spirit.

    Your fur kids are beautiful, by the way! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thank you for dropping by! I so much appreciate your caring words about my friend, watching people we care for suffer is so very hard. We hold him up in prayers, that is what we can do.

      I'm glad you liked my furkids, they are truly beautiful to me, and so very sweet and loving!

      Delete
  5. Thanks Josie, This is a wonderful list. I have had a sort of low day today and this has helped. I'm sorry for your friend's situation...its not an easy road.

    Chocolate helps a multitude of things so it is a fitting end to this or any list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Zoe, sometimes life isn't easy and it can be difficult to see the sunlight through the clouds. That's how I started the morning too. What I've learned is that once I start thinking about what blessings I do have, the mood lifts and I am better able to deal with the challenges. Chocolate does indeed help a multitude of things, it is one of my favorite comfort treats! I hope tomorrow is a better day for you too.

      Delete
  6. I'm so sorry about your friend...that is tough stuff, to put it very mildly.

    Thank you for sharing your tender heart (I don't know you but can just tell by your writing that you have one) and for speaking what is on it now.

    And way to wrap it up a little on the lighter side...I am always thankful for chocolate too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by! Death is a reality, a natural part of life, but it hard when it happens in such a difficult manner and leaves someone behind alone. My husband has gone thru this twice with his two previous wives. We have talked much of the pain, and the process of recovery, which takes a long time. I so appreciate your kind comments, one of the things I love most about blogging is the freedom it gives me to express things that we don't all talk about in everyday life. I am introspective by nature so this is the perfect outlet for me. I can only write of what I think and feel.

      As for chocolate, it appears it's a favorite of many folks here, and it does indeed lift our spirits to indulge in a little now and then!

      Delete
  7. Lovely post. What a great idea, a link up all about focusing on what we are thankful for. I’m so sorry about your friend. Unexpected is hard, but I would say that even when you know time is short, it has to be just as difficult. Thanks for sharing these. It really makes me think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lynn! I did 30 Days of Thankful on Facebook last November, then did something similar to this for each day of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. What I learned from those experiences is that making a concerted effort to note your blsesings changes your outlook and improves your ability to deal with what comes your way; in short, it promotes a peaceful center. I have never been afraid of dying, but I think like anyone, I fear the pain that can come with the process. I wish things didn't have to end that way, and I wish that some didn't have to remain behind to mourn.

      Delete
  8. Fantastic things to be thankful for...I am thankful for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a sweet thing to say, Gail, thank you! XOXO

      Delete
  9. Oh, Josie, I am so glad you write these posts. So much good in them. And such wisdom.
    I had quite a bit of jealousy/insecurity/lack of trust with my husband in our early years. It most certainly had to do with what was in me than anything he had done. Just about every male in my family had an affair, and I guess I kind of believed that most men would. Fortunately, after many years, I finally realized that I was completely nuts. I trust him utterly and completely now, and our relationship is so much better for it.

    I am so sorry for your friend. My biggest fear is that something will happen to my husband. I've watched my mom go through the death of her husband, and it is so hard to watch. I pray she and her husband find a peace in all of this, and that all their friends and family find the right words and actions to help them both through it all.

    I finished a bag of Hershey Kisses right before I read this. Yeah, I'm thankful for chocolate, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well thank you Chistine! I am glad I write them too, and I'm so glad for you ladies that got TTOT going! It's good medicine! I understand your trust issues. Papa Bear could tell you that it took a full year in our relationship before I really began to trust him, though he is the epitomy of good character and trustworthiness. That kind of man wasn't in my point of reference either, I'd never known one who was trustworthy, certainly not husbands of the past. But this just goes to show that when the situation changes, and we make better choices, we can change and grow too!

      I also live in fear that something will take my Papa Bear from me, we are not young and we are not unrealistic. It happens, I guess that for those of us that may have to face being the one left behind, we will cope as best we can, clinging to faith and each other for support, and always, depending on our caring friends here!

      Delete
  10. Such a beautiful list, Ms. Josie.

    And you are a blessing to others . . . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Abelle! I truly was surprised at how easily and quickly the ideas followed one another after I was able to start with the mind frame of what a gift in itself this blog hop is! When we all share our good news, we lift up our hearts together in praising the Source of all good, and that is making beautiful music, my friend!

      I do try to be a blessing, that is what my heart seeks, it is what I want most to be, a spot of brightness, a little dose of kindness.

      Delete
  11. My home is our refuge too. It's a place of peace and love. People who visit often comment about how peaceful our home it. We love it.

    I'm sorry about your coworker with the husband who doesn't trust her. Sad indeed.

    I've very, very sorry about your friends husband. How sad indeed. Prayers for all that is concerned.

    Have a blessed Sunday honey. Big hugs. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know that for you too, Sandee, a peaceful place to call home means everything! Love builds that, and it is love, too, that sees us through the dark times like my friend is now facing. Love transcends the boundaries of time and space, life and the hereafter. Thank you for the caring thoughts, wishing you a good week ahead!

      Delete
  12. I'm thankful there are still people in the world like you who remind us to be thankful...even about the "little things" like chocolate.
    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you VV! It is more the little things like CHOCOLATE, the everyday things like AIR CONDITIONING, and the subtle things like QUIET that bless our lives most. The big things are wonderful from time to time, but it is the small things that sustain us if we remember that we are surrounded by blessings.

      Delete
  13. I'm so sorry to hear about your good friend and that there's nothing more that can be done. That's such a hard place (we lost my MIL to cancer last summer and our next door neighbor is currently battling pancreatic cancer - not good odds on that one). Sigh. Also, I'm glad your friend in an untrustworthy relationship has you to talk to - I had a relationship like that once and talk about hard. So hard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right Kristi, it is so very hard to see friends and folks we love in situations where we can do very little other than be there to listen and care, but even that is a gift of love. Even the dying, and the ones left behind need someone they can talk to. Listening is our gift.

      To be in a relationship where you are not trusted, regardless of how upright your conduct is, is pretty much a no-win situation, you will never convince them, and you will never have the freedom to be yourself without fear of them going off on your for no reason at all. In the end, the clear choice is to set yourself free of it.

      Delete
  14. Having attended the second funeral of the summer, and having just learned of another friend's passing, I could relate to your post. I'm so sorry for you and your friend. Loss is painful, even with faith in the promise of future reunions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saying goodbye to friends and loved ones is just never easy, Kristi, and of course the more years we live, the more goodbyes there will be. It's just sad that so often it's the really nice folks that God calls home. Why can't we send some of those meanies that make life miserable for others instead?! :-) Still, just as you say, it is not goodbye for ever, only until we meet again. I believe that, and I look forward to that day of reunions and rejoicing!

      Delete
  15. I'm so sorry about your friend. It really stopped me in my tracks, since I will be 53 next month and have a cancer diagnosis (although mine is not anywhere near as serious as your friend's).

    Your list is so thought-provoking. What a wonderful world it would be if everyone followed the Golden Rule and was grateful for what we have and stopped being so judgmental!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My friend has a rare and particularly aggressive form of cancer, Dyanne, sadly, earlier treatment didn't end it's rampage. I think as we pass the 50 mark we all become more aware of our own mortality and that life doesn't last forever, as we once thought it did when we were kids. It sounds like you have caught yours in good time though and will be able to knock that nasty C-monster right out of the picture! I know many, many cancer survivors, and they will all tell you that it gave them a new appreciation for life!

      I agree that it would be a wonderful world if we all grew up learning and practicing the Golden Rule, it's all about kindness, caring, and respect, and helping each other on the journey. Being grateful for what you do have goes a long way at taking your focus off what all you don't have and wish you did. We really don't need all that stuff!!

      Delete

Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)