Tag Archives: thanks
When the boys were little, in addition to their nightly prayers we also asked them a question every night, “:What are you happy for?” The answer had to reflect something that directly related to that day. Some nights they didn’t want to play the game and we would get answers like “I’m happy I’m going to bed” or “I’m happy this day is over.” Sometimes they were happy for a new video game or a visit with a favorite friend.
Art and I were not exempt from the game. Often we really had to rack our brains to come up with one thing to be happy for. After awhile we started to realize that there are many small things in a day for which we can give thanks.
As Bud and Boo got older and age and activities made it so there was no one bedtime for everybody, we slowly moved away from our nightly tradition. Circumstances changed in our lives and we became so busy running our new business that we forgot to give thanks for all the blessings we had.
Today our lives are not great. Every day is a struggle both monetarily and emotionally. I’ve decided it’s time to reinstate “what are you happy for?” I’ll go first:
Today I am happy for my husband, my sons, my family and friends, our puppy and big dog, a house to live in, food in the pantry.
What are you happy for?
All who take refuge in Him (God) are happy. – Psalm 2: 12b
On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered his now famous “I Have a Dream” speech. This speech was not just intended as a message of hope and a call to action for African-Americans, but also as a wake-up call to those of us who may have taken our constitutional rights for granted.
I’m not here to discuss politics with you. But in celebration of what would have been Dr. King’s 83rd birthday, I would like to discuss some of the things many of us take for granted on a daily basis:
- Hot water. Seriously. Do we even understand what a miracle it is to have indoor plumbing? My father-in-law didn’t have it as a child growing up in rural Tennessee.
I must say that except for the occasional camp shower I have always had a hot shower. But then, at the end of last year our water heater sprung a leak. We couldn’t afford to replace it, so went for about six weeks without hot water until we had the money to buy a used replacement from Craigslist. Bud got resourceful and showered at a friend’s house every day. The rest of us took what Art likes to call “penguins”. I would boil a teapot of hot water for my hair, but everything else was ice, ice baby!!
For one week of that time we were also without an automatic dishwasher, so we not only had to hand wash the dishes (not that big a deal) but also had to boil water on the stove just to wash them.
- Food. On those days when we’re trying to decide what restaurant to go to and lamenting the lack of anything “new” to try, we might just be taking for granted the fact that we have so much food and so many choices. A few months ago our family had to start going to the Food Bank once a month and I can tell you that after trying to figure out what to make with canned pork because that’s the only meat in the cupboard, you will never take food for granted again.
- Friends and Family. What would we do without you? You have supported us in so many ways both financial and spiritual Every time we felt alone in this mess someone reached out a hand to us and I don’t know if we can ever express the depth of our gratitude and love for you guys.
So I’ve had the wake-up call and here’s what I intend to do about it:
- I will bookmark the Pur Daily drop site on Facebook and click daily to donate 10 gallons of clean water per day to the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program.
- I will donate any extra nonperishable food once a month to the food bank.
- I will never stop telling you guys how much you mean to me.
Have you heard the call to action? What are you going to do about it?
As with many of us, my in-laws are coming to visit for the holidays. Over the years, I had my fair share of clashes with my mother-in-law. Now that both of my sons have girlfriends, I am starting to appreciate the position of mother-in-law much more. To that end, I decided to write an open letter to mine. It’s part apology, part thanks, part knowledge sharing. I hope you can relate
Dear Bobbie -
First I would like to apologize:
- For all the times I acted like I knew everything about parenting or marriage – even though you had more than 20 years experience on me.
- For not appreciating your generosity – in fact, for resenting it. I saw your gifts to us as your attempt to control our family – and I see now that coercion is not part of your makeup.
- For not being sympathetic to your frustrations with life, your family, and me.
I would also like to thank you:
- For the previously mentioned generosity – generosity of time, of spirit, and of love, as well as money and material items.
- For accepting me as part of your family from day one.
- For always trying to understand – even when situations and people were outside of your comfort zone.
We didn’t choose each other – but we DO love each other.
And for the rest of you – some things I have learned from being a daughter-in-law for 20+years and a not quite mother-in-law for over a year (all of these suggestions work both ways):
- Bite your tongue. Seriously. Unless she is doing something dangerous, don’t say anything. She won’t be grateful for your advice. She’ll resent you. Let her come to you. The flip side of this one is: It’s okay to ask her for advice. She might be able to teach you something new or give you a fresh perspective on life.
- When you’re in her house, try to abide by her rules.
- When you talk to your son (or husband), don’t tell him the things you don’t like about her. It will only drive a wedge between you.
Following these rules won’t guarantee you a good relationship with your in-laws, but it might give you some peace of mind.
Enjoy your holiday!!