Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vitriol Derailed

I was all set to post a scathing diatribe about my City and their so-called "Water Services" Department after the past two weeks of dealing with a leak in my front yard, but after reading The Wednesday Whine where several members have recently either lost a loved one, or have an ill loved one (one who is pretty much terminal at only 9 years old), I've lost the will to spout off at the mouth about things that are petty in relation. A young man in my community also just died, and while I didn't know him, I see those around me who DID know him locked inside their own grief, and it struck me how fortunate I really am.

What I want to do today is celebrate all that I have. I have the very bad habit of praying only when I want something, or when I wish I'd made a better decision. I've spent the last few years trying to cultivate prayer for prayer's sake alone, and I often don't display that enough.

Dear God --

Thank you. Thank you for giving me life, and bringing me into this world. Even though I have faced hard times, you have blessed me in countless ways. I have my family, who are the joy (and sometimes bane) of my existence. My wonderful husband loves me, and much to my astonishment, still finds me attractive after almost 20 years together. He is supportive, hard-working, and my best friend. My daughter makes me laugh every day, even when she's infuriating me. She has brought joy and light to my life, and to that of all of our family members.

I have my health. When I broke my ankle, I became sorely aware at how much I depend upon my mobility, and how lost I was without it. I have eyes and ears that let me enjoy art and music, and hands that allow me to create and touch my loved ones. And, those loved ones are healthy -- surprisingly so, for such a large extended family. Death has touched us, but we have lived through grief, and it has brought us together. We are stronger as a unit than as disparate individuals.

I have a home. Not all people in our nation can claim that, sadly. There was even a time when *I* couldn't claim that. The hopelessness that comes with not even having a place to call your own is beyond imagining. That we are the most industrialized and wealthy nation on the planet, and not all of our own citizens can lay claim to a home is a travesty of the highest proportions. No, my home isn't perfect, but it's mine. I have the freedom to come and go, and a certain amount of security from the cares of the world once I enter its shelter. It keeps me warm and dry, and safe, and I am grateful for it.

I have a job, which again, many of my fellow countrymen do not. I make a decent living, one that allows me to not only pay the debts that I have incurred, but also allows me things that are not necessary in this life, but help fulfill pieces of me. I don't need an entire room of crafting material, but it's something that I enjoy, and I like to use what I know to make others happy. Likewise, my husband doesn't need all the electronics we have, but it makes him happy. My husband works very hard, and his salary keeps our family afloat. His toil feeds us. I am grateful that he has this job, which allows us to subsist and thrive.

I have friends and hobbies that occupy space in my heart. My friends are generous and give to me in their knowledge and their presence. They feed my soul. My hobbies also feed my soul. Girl Scouting is as much for my benefit as it is for the girls that I shepherd through the program. I learn from them all the time. They teach me humility, and they keep me grounded in a way that very few hobbies do. My crafts feed the artist in my soul. They allow little pieces of me to be experienced by others, and when they travel away from me, I feel as if a piece of me has gone with them, but in a good way. In a sharing sort of way. Some people say that I have talent. If so, then God has given me that talent, and by sharing bits of it with others, I can impact them. And, when I impact them, I give praise to God for bestowing that gift upon me.

I have a mind, which allows me to grown and learn. My mind can take me to wondrous places, and with it, I have the capacity to be anything that I want. My mind is not afflicted with disease, like countless others, who suffer daily. I am whole, and healthy, strong and capable. Within me lies enormous potential -- all I have to do is make myself open to knowledge, and accept that challenge.

Thank you, God -- for all that you have given me, and all that you continue to gift me with daily. Thank you for allowing me to grow and experience, even though some of those lessons were difficult and hard-won. Thank you for loving me as your child, and watching over me. Thank you. I will strive to live my life as a fulfillment of the promise that you put forth for me. I only hope I am worthy of the task.