Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge, Day Five

    Life is full of shadow moments and darkness beyond the mere change in time. The clouds that pass across the sun bring a chill to the air and sometimes to the soul. We must be vigilant against shrouding ourselves in drear and foreboding. Let us keep seeking the light while managing the inevitable ebbs and flows of all that life brings. The light is always there, if only in the twinkling of stars. When you see it, you'll feel it; when you feel it, remember to offer even just a brief second of thanksgiving.

    Day Five may be the "end" of this Five-Day Gratitude Challenge, but it is only the beginning of me remembering to find any slight reason every day to be grateful, even in those times when all seems lost.

              First, I'm thoroughly grateful for friends from long ago (can't say "old" friends anymore, in some cases, and speaking for myself as well, we've known each other so long it's redundant!). There are a few precious people, women and men, who have traveled this life with me for a very long time and have been always nearby even if we've lived across the country or across the ocean from one another. You know who you are! 
              Secondly, I'm very grateful for new friends in my life and those who are both new and from the past who I have found or who have found me again (thank you, Facebook!). 
              Thirdly, finally, but neither least nor last, I'm grateful for all in my life who have taught me to love and be loved and also for those who have made me crazy angry or merely upset for I have learned from you and everyone, in some ways better than others. 
               I may spare you my list from this point on, but I will continue to look for and make a list in my heart of what it means to believe in and share gratitude. Thank you, my Friend, for nominating me for this challenge, it has been a gift and it will keep on giving as I consciously engage in this exercise every day. I encourage everyone to take up this challenge and share in the light.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge, Day Four

    Day Four already of the 5 Day Gratitude Challenge; 
    seems like only yesterday was Day Three. 

           First, to say that I am grateful for the presence of CGL in my life is to make an immeasurably colossal understatement. Despite our short lifetime together, he opened my heart in ways no one ever had or ever could and that gift will never leave me. I have not the skills to articulate how profoundly blessed I am because he crossed the ocean nor how very much I miss him. Far from resting in peace, he has become part of the enormous driving energy of this and every universe. 
           Second, I'm continually grateful for Helen and Sam, Favorite Oldest and Favorite Youngest Stepdaughters, who, in not actually needing a stepmother, have always treated me lovingly and well as have their wonderful partners. 
          And Third, I'm eternally grateful for Clive and Kaye, and Auntie Bettie, and for the legacy of friends in and around St. T's who let me know in their various and sundry ways that there's still a light on for me. Mai Celi Bendithia a Cadw 'ch

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge, Day Three

            Before I even get to Day Three of the Five Day gratitude challenge, I am SO GRATEFUL for hopeful news that came today. I'll say no more other than to ask for continuing prayers for a good outcome for someone near and dear to me. 
            As to the regular everyday gratitude stuff - First I am grateful for Susan, my much younger Favorite Only Sibling (so much younger people still think she's my daughter for which she is grateful and I'm not always so!) - her love, resilience, and energy as the mother of 9 1/2 yr old triplet boys are a source of wonder, admiration, and appreciation as is her never-failing support of me. 
          Secondly, I'm grateful for 3 amazing spouses of my daughters and sister who love their wives and their children beyond what anyone could choose or hope for those they love. And they even cope with me, too, though probably with something other than gratitude at times; perhaps fortitude is a polite word choice there. 
         Thirdly, I am grateful for my extended family - cousins and their spouses at various blood extensions of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific - who have remained in close if not frequent relationship with me in the way of knowing that if I need them, they'll show up as I would for them. 

     Life, when difficult, is made a little sweeter by consciously looking 
    for those moments where the sun still shines through the clouds.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge, Day Two

For the Facebook Challenge I wrote: 
    Day Two of the 5 Day Gratitude Challenge. Today I am grateful for two glamorous divas and a tiny charmer in my life. 

           First for Erin, Favorite Oldest Granddaughter. Her almost 10 year old eyes sparkle with enthusiasm, curiosity, and fashionista declarations of what's in and not. She fills her text messages to me with a thousand hearts and x's and o's as a challenge for me to do more! 
           Second is Rebecca, Favorite Youngest Granddaughter who, at nearly 4, masquerades most days as Elsa, or Merida, or just Princess Rebecca wearing her best sparkly gowns, and who always wants to talk to Grammy when she's in trouble! Even though Grammy doesn't try and save her she knows I will always listen. 
          And Third, I'm grateful for Patrick, Favorite Only Grandson. Sweet faced and learning all about everything at nearly 6 months - full of beautiful smiles and is always wide-eyed and filled with giggles and squeaks when he hears my voice on Skype! Children bring the best of life alive!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge - Day 1

It's been much longer than I had expected it to be since writing in this space.  


                   I have another blog and that has kept me quite busy. That began when I was asked by the rector of my Episcopal parish to try writing the formal intercessory prayers used in the Sunday service for the first two Sundays of the season of Advent in 2013. Some of those and other prayers are posted on this blog in that December's and January writings. But when two weeks turned into 4 and it became clear that I was not stopping anytime soon, a friend opened a new blog shell for me to post them as I was reticent to do so on my own. I'm not particularly comfortable with self-promotion. But after serious goading and an open blog shell with something to put in it, I discovered, to my great surprise, that I not only enjoyed doing it, the prayers were being well received and even used by other churches in and out of the country. I also began to post the blog on my Facebook page and then beginning in Lent, I was writing additional meditations every day and have developed a small following. I have taken a bit of a break from the daily writing but continue to write the weekly prayers and a bit of commentary on the readings from that week's liturgy that inspire the prayers and post on the blog.  
                 SO what has that to do with anything related to gratitude? Well, that blog has kept me from doing anything in this space, which really has never had a particular focus. This spot has also been the brainchild of a good friend who has given me much encouragement to get more serious about writing. But given the self-promotion thing and the non-focus thing, I've not done appreciably much here. Perhaps I will figure out a direction for this blog one day but, in the meantime, I'd like to breathe a little air into it and keep it alive, if slightly comatose. To that end I have decided to post what I have written on my Facebook page for the 5 Day Gratitude Challenge.  Essentially, people nominate other people to write 3 things for which they are grateful each day for 5 days  I was nominated by a Facebook Friend and, voluntarily, accepted.  Here is my Day One, I hope you'll check in for the next 4 Days, too:
    Having been nominated by my friend, Linda, I will take up the 5 Day Gratitude Challenge to name 3 reasons each day for 5 days for which I am grateful. For Day One, First, I am grateful for Michael, beloved First-Born, who in his short life, taught me so much about how hearts can be so filled with love and still have room for more. Second, I am grateful for Kerry, who has grown into an accomplished, intelligent woman, whose beauty is reflected in her roles of great mom..., loving wife, well-respected colleague, and Favorite Oldest Daughter. Third, I am grateful for Shannon, Favorite Youngest Daughter, whose love of country determined her very successful career, whose maternal instincts and love for her children surprised her more than the rest of us, and her strength of character and ability to care for family and friends is a model for us all.