It’s been a long time since I shared my gratitude list. Please know that I am very grateful! I just haven’t shared lists with you. I’ve been thinking lately that I should get back in the habit of posting these monthly lists.
During the past eighteen months as I’ve gone through trials, I made lots mental gratitude lists; being grateful helps me set my mind on things above rather than dwelling on hard, ugly things. I try to thank God not only for the good things in my life but also for the hard things which He is using to conform me to the image of His Son. There has been a lot of conforming going on the last eighteen months! Fortunately, the ugly stuff is over.
I also learned a few new skills the last year. And for me the process of learning involves lots of humility, frustration, and surrender before I arrive at “aha!” or “now I get it!” moments.
Today I am grateful for…
1. State and national guardianship organizations. Without their websites, conventions, and online courses learning what is involved in guardianship would have been much more difficult. I had to learn about the many laws, guidelines, and standards, many of which vary state by state. Becoming a guardian and conservator of a person with dementia has been like drinking from a water hose! The National Guardianship Association and Texas Guardianship Association have both been very helpful.
2. Seeing my loved one settle comfortably in her new home just three minutes from my home. I can run by and see her often! Like yesterday when I picked her up and took her to Chick-fil-A for a quick lunch! It’s cold and rainy out, so we went to the drive through. Dine in, carry out, or sitting in my car we both love chicken sandwiches with waffle fries!
3. Reconciliation with her brother and his wife (now my co-guardian) who have a key to my home and stayed here all last week while we were out of town. They were available to handle a minor health issue when I was 1200 miles away. (E is fine now.) I’m grateful for the Jesus in them and the love we all share for E. I’m also grateful for the laughter we often share in the evenings when they stay here. They are so very kind…and a bit ornery. So we get along nicely.
4. Crochet hooks. And yarn. And YouTube videos. One of my favorite YouTube channels for learning to crochet is Jayda in Stitches . She’s fun and great teacher! I had never crocheted before last May. Now I carry my hooks and yarn with me everywhere!
5. Half off and 40% off coupons to Michaels and Hobby Lobby. And a husband who reminded me it’s okay to throw away $1 worth of sale yarn when I was almost in tears because I was just learning and couldn’t figure it out and completely and totally messed up the stupid-half-triple-quadruple-into-the-back-of-something stitches and his kindness helped me be not so upset and I did throw it away instead of pulling the whole ugly stringy thing out, rolling the yarn back up in a ball, and reusing it after I got it all tangled up and in a worse mess than this run-on sentence.
6. The thrill of completing a dozen granny squares all (close to) the same size. The squares were sent to my new friend Amanda who added them to squares made by others to create Legacy Blankets. Legacy Blankets are given to children at risk for trafficking, many are in foster care. Check out her site to learn more.
7. Finishing my first real blanket and praying over the child who would receive it. And later boxing up 100 squares and seven blankets to mail to Amanda to give away. Here is my first blanket.
8. Traveling with Ron on business trips. And learning to snorkel. We had to be in Puerto Rico for meetings in November. We took a few days on either end of the trip to visit Culebra and Vieques. Snorkeling was great fun! We swam with sea turtles and sting rays. At times I was anxious about currents, waves, and creatures that could eat me. But seeing underwater creation was awe inspiring!
9. Making blankets for my daughter and her kids for Christmas.
10. Scuba Lessons. It was the one Christmas gift my husband and I gave each other. I’m also grateful for his encouragement and patience when I was almost in tears the second night in the pool. (Fin broke, mask leaked, BCD didn’t fit, I was freezing after three hours in the pool, and our instructor was a sarcastic jerk. Not a good night.) But I didn’t quit! I finished the Scuba course despite the difficulties. As of last Saturday I am now a PADI certified Open Water Diver.
11. Business trips to Florida. Ron had to be in Orlando, Florida, for his company’s national sales meeting and the AHR Expo last week. As I do every year, I helped with the meeting by greeting attendees and doing whatever needs to be done (set up, clean up, etc) I enjoyed seeing my man in his element! Plus I got to walk the AHR show floor with Ron one day. I enjoy learning about new products and understanding more about the industry my husband has been involved in for thirty-five years.
12. Vacation days tacked on to business trips. Ron had to be in Miami Wednesday after the Expo. Since we were in south Florida anyway, he took a couple of vacation days and we spent Thursday through Sunday in the Keys. We had completed the classroom and pool part of the Scuba course in Dallas; we finished the Open Water part with an instructor at Quiescence Dive Shop in Key Largo. (I highly recommend this dive shop!) Adam was amazing! And he found me a sea horse on my very first dive in the ocean!
I have many things to be grateful for every day of the month. What are you grateful or today?
————— The Accident happened on August 12, 2013. Because of the late time and remote location, they were declared dead 8/13/13. The first ten months I found myself depressed in the days leading up to the 12th. Then, in the eleventh month July of 2014, I decided to choose gratitude. I wrote my first list of Twelve Things I’m Grateful for on the 12th.