Gratitude Attitude

The upcoming holiday season has all the makings of being different, just like last year was. Changes are part of life. The part of life I don’t like. It runs along the line of kids not coming home for Thanksgiving. Or the death of a loved one leaving an empty chair at the table will always bring a heart wrenching ache.

Many Thanksgivings ago, a group of our friends joined in making a basket for a less fortunate family. One of the women had the idea of using a laundry basket; a homemaker never has too many of those. We had a good time meeting up at the local grocer to select foods to place in it.  There was ample room for the turkey and all the trimmings.

Imagine our surprise when delivering this; to learn the family had no oven! We had the good fortune that one of our kids worked at an appliance store, making it possible for us to throw in a few dollars and provide that as well. I think the Indians had a saying something along the line of you can’t know what someone is going through until you walk a mile in their moccasins.

As you comb your mind, desperately seeking ways to make things festive, remember two this. Things could always be worse, and don’t forget to be grateful. Retail stores barely acknowledge Thanksgiving. Your thoughts will bring all sorts of memories to mind that could easily be overlooked. The near miss of an accident, the ability to pay your bills, or maybe being thankful you have an oven. An attitude of gratitude doesn’t focus on the have nots, just the haves.

This year decreased availability of items as prices go up in everything imaginable is a recipe for a stressful season. I urge you to take stock of what you do have. Have you seen the pictures of Christmas trees made of books? Lots of us have excess books, put them to work!

Let your creative juices flow. If you’re lacking in that, check out Pinterest, it seems to be teeming with projects. Tap into the people you know that love to work with their hands. Or, try shopping in the local mom and pop markets; they may cater services that Walmart doesn’t. For some time now I have heard we should check them out, too many have succumbed to the pandemic crisis. They struggle to make ends meet too and will thank you for the support.

Praise to the good Lord above that we still have options.

Getting To Know Myself

20190414_150111-1 ©jb katke

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vlx6gQWfjp0

When I entered the seventh grade I walked into a new school and a different life.

There were lockers and every subject having its own classroom. All of them in different halls. Anything new and different can be scary.

One of my teachers, Mrs. West, knew that. As we entered her classroom her record player was on playing a song from the musical play The King and I, Getting To Know You. First impressions of our teacher were accurate, she cared for us and desired for us to see our own potential.

New and different. These are the times we are living in. Fortunately there is a light at the end of the tunnel. At least a recess until the fall comes when Coronavirus may make a return engagement.

In the meantime I have gotten to know myself better.

I liked staying home with no place to go.

In addition, I  realized it wasn’t just having family in the house that kept me from cleaning. While I love a clean house, I didn’t want to be the one doing it.

Because our days are melting together, it’s easy to say why do today what can be done tomorrow?

Former neighbors, Deirdre and Thom, introduced a notion that I embraced. On a visit to their home, we observed Thom was vacuuming the floor. He explained that the handle of the vacuum didn’t fit Deirdres’ hand well, so he did the vacuuming. I like that idea.

Some have put this time to good use and dug into dark corners and purged their home. Six weeks into this I decided maybe I should too.

Last week I started in my favorite room, the quilt room.  Fabric was shuffled from here to there. I confronted scraps saved from previous projects. Still good, mind you, just little bits of pieces. My problem is I can see their potential.  I just know they would be good for something,

“No!” I must admit I’ll never use them and they’re in my way. The time to be ruthless is now.

Something else I’ve learned about myself. Don’t be thinking about my next project until the current one is done. I get enthused, start a new one while the other is in my way.

Now you know how to create a quilt mess.

It, and I, are a work in progress. I’m still in the quilt room, but I’ve learned something else. Releasing and letting go is liberating. I’m feeling free!

In the midst of a mess there is always something to be grateful for. I’m glad Jesus isn’t ruthless and hasn’t pitched me because I got in his way. Instead He kept me all these years knowing my potential. He has a unique plan just for me.

That’s why I’m still lurking about. My guess is that’s why you’re still here too. Pitch the unnecessary and make room for Jesus’ unique plan just for you. It’s way more fun than shuffling baggage around.