Monday, October 15, 2007

Say Thank You

Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can we, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom act as one with our very souls.

Many days I hear, "This, Too, Shall Pass"--words that my late mother often said to remind me that whatever it is, it won't last. And I often find myself mentally asking, Where's the Thank You Power?--a reminder to look for the blessings in every situation because they are there.
But my personal tagline is "Here to Make a Difference." I have never for a moment believed that life was just a series of days, and then you die. I believe we were meant to experience as much as we have the opportunity to, and to have meaningful connections with the people around us. I think that when we leave this earth, something about it should be better for our having been here.
There are so many ways to make that difference, which is really what Thank You Power is all about. Doing something for someone else makes both of you feel good. The broaden-and-build aspect of feeling good makes you more adventurous and more inclined to try the new things that make life invigorating. The new experiences give you memories that, when recalled, lift you up even more.1 It's an upward spiral that all starts with Thank You Pow
er.---from the book by Deborah Norville, Thank you Power

I started reading this book last week and just had to share some of it. I have always found myself gravitating to my tried and true beliefs during stressful times. Years ago, I read in a Jan Karon "Mitford Series" novel, that we need to give thanks for all things. In the book, Father Tim stops stressing for his being afflicted with diabetes, and gives thanks for this to God. He finally sees that the blessings in his friends and parishioners that help him with his disease, in the foods that he is allowed to savor occasionally and in his need to slow down and take life as it comes, instead of rushing through it like a freight train.

I know in times of stress that it's hard to find the grace, to look for the good, and most of all to try and do something good for someone else. It seems to be the last thing we have time to do, but in reality, this is the thing that sets us free to experience God's love in ourselves, to feel his healing power.

Last Sunday I came home not to a new set of kitchen cabinets, but to an empty kitchen because the new layout was not right for the current space. I had no cabinets, no counter, no dishwasher, and worst of all no sink. I loaded the dishes in my 5 gallon pail and threw them into the utility tub. I couldn't imagine what we were going to do now and was screaming inside, trying hard not to show how distressed I was. I took out my frustration on a bag of pretzels and hot cheese. Yum!
The next day I tried to come up with a plan and called our kitchen designer and got some options on what we might need to change in the cupboard layout if we did indeed measure wrong. I tried to think positively and picture the final, beautiful kitchen I would have, thinking Easter was a good time frame to plan for. Easter 2009. After all, I really like washing dishes in a bucket!

Then I came home, I found out the real problem was the new window we just put in. The bigger window which was moved 5 inches to the right to make room for the bigger sink. Except, it should have gone 5 inches to the left, since the corner most cabinet was smaller. Oops. My husband did not want to do this, since it meant a probable extra week without the kitchen. ()Think 3 extra weeks). He didn't want me to have to go that long without a kitchen. He was desperately trying to make it right. When I realized this, I stopped him and thanked him for working so hard on the kitchen, even when his hands were going numb and he couldn't lift another tool. I said it was okay, and the suggested he just get an opinion from his Dad. Just talk to him about it. And I silently gave thanks that my father-in-law was a home builder for many years.

When Dad saw the problem, he just said, "Move the window." Simple as that. Just a mistake. Fix it and go on. Fix it and forget about it. No big deal really, stuff happens.And he came the next night, and helped move it. I returned home that night at 9, to a 8 foot by 6 foot gaping hole in my kitchen wall. At 9 o'clock at night, when it was going to be 45 overnight, a hole large enough to drive a car through. Augh! Well, I locked myself in the bedroom and proceeded to kill a bag of potato chips. Bad chips! Bad! Take that! I was tired and went to sleep to the whir of the saws. I gave thanks for the help and figured they would stop soon and just board up the space. We would be cold, but we would be on the way to having it fixed. Tomorrow is another day.

I woke up to a nice, shiny new window in the right space. All lined up for the new sink. They worked until midnight. My mother-in-law was calling every hour trying to get her husband to stop and rest from his diabetes. But he hung on, and got it in for us.

Thanks Dad. Thanks husband. Thanks friends who are helping me through this remodel. Thanks for all the kind support and love as I write this blog. Thanks for getting me writing again. And thank you God for my wonderful life.

1 comment:

Shari Schmidt said...

We're trying to teach our girls to be thankful for what they have. It's hard in our materialistic society. I'm sure it will be an ongoing lesson.