My friend, Lisa, asked me to write about gratitude for her blog. (Here’s the link: Lisa’s Cheap Therapy Blog. ) Please check out her website–Cheap Therapy–she makes really cool cards and posters and then gives away a good chunk of any money she makes.
Here’s what I wrote for her blog:
The Gratitude List comes up a lot at 12-step meetings in November. Enough to make me groan sometimes.
Listing the good stuff is easy:
1. my granddaughter laughing and flying in her swing
2. being a cancer survivor
3. a perfect fall day—sunshine, slight breeze, 68 degrees with low humidity, colorful leaves
4. lunch out with a group of smart, laughing women friends
5. a quiet awareness of God’s presence surrounding and protecting me.
What about the hard stuff, though?
1. Illness–mine or a loved one’s
2. Pain–physical and/or emotional
3. Powerlessness–my inability to make it all okay for other people
4. Letting go–not enabling and letting others learn from the consequences of their choices
I rage at God sometimes about the hard stuff. My spirit aches as I watch my adult children struggle with life’s challenges. I ask WHY?
Then I surrender. Trying to change or control people and situations takes too much energy. Because it is impossible.
So I learn:
1. to lean on God
2. to trust that those I love also have a God who loves them
3. to resist my urge to isolate and instead share my hurts and griefs and struggles.
When I was learning to throw pots on a pottery wheel, my hands could only make lopsided bowls. They were goofy-looking. My teacher explained that the beauty of handmade pottery lies in the imperfections that make each piece unique.
So it is with us, I think. We are the clay and God is the potter. It is our imperfections and cracks that make us real. That’s where God’s light gets through to our hearts and where love and compassion flow out from us to others.
Joy and beauty are in the good stuff. Gifts are in the hard stuff.
And so I am grateful.