Thursday, November 27, 2014

A "Lack of" & Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving morning, I am grateful!  Not an uncommon feeling on Thanksgiving morning, but I mean really thankful, way deep inside.  Oprah would have me write those thoughts of gratitude in my journal, so here I am.  As I ponder my list of things I am grateful for, my “Lack of” experiences seemed to top the list.  This morning, I am tired, so in a strange sort of way, I am thankful for the lack of sleep.  My fatigue is the result of waiting up for the last teenager to return home from her evening adventures.  I am tired as I waited up to hear about her activities, her friends, her feelings, the movie they watched, and to watch her prepare for bed.  She is a senior in high school, and I know I only have a few more nights to wait up for her as a “child.”  Not that my heart will ever quit worrying about her safety, happiness and well-being, but as Families Change, so do our roles.  So, today, I am tired from a lack of sleep which means, I am grateful to be a mother. 

This morning, I am warm.  The furnace is billowing and the windows are edged in steam from morning showers and I am comforted physically and emotionally.   I am grateful for heat and hot water.  Just 3 winters ago, I sat in this same room, looked out the same window and pleaded with the heavens, through the thick, dark, cold clouds of winter and trial, begging for warmth and peace.  Our furnace had gone out and so had the hot water heater,  that winter.  As a single mother, each morsel of bread was budgeted and well calculated.  With wounded hearts and empty wallets, I boiled water and moved a space heater from room to room, for a time, pondering how I would care for my children alone.  In this very office, I knelt and pleaded with my higher power to  show me a way, to provide warmth.  Most of all, I pleaded for comfort and peace.  This morning I am warm, and I am grateful for the comforts of our time, like heat and hot water.  I am grateful because of those cold winter nights and the lack of such blessings, for a time, that have filled my heart with gratitude, this Thanksgiving morning.  Every time the furnace turns on, I remember that heating repairman and the bill I never received.   I was cold and today, I am grateful for it.  That miracle of running hot water will never cease to amaze me and the hum of the furnace is a constant reminder that I am never alone.  Today, I am warm.

This morning, the house is quiet, and only a couple of children remain, soon to leave, this holiday morn.   One will work today, and bring happiness and joy to those she cares for, and that fills my emptiness.  The last remaining will soon leave, to join the others, in spending this holiday with their other parent.  This is my new reality.   Quiet holidays, here and there and celebrations shared. This morning, I remember suffering and pains of infertility and longing for more children.  My lack of children forced me to visit doctors, specialists, palm readers, holistic healers ----- anyone who might be able to open up the windows of heaven and pour out the blessing of children.  My lack of children made way for the miracle of adoption and step-parenting.   My lack of children brought empathy for those who also suffer empty arms that accompany infertility and divorce, death and miscarriage.  Families Change, hearts are healed and empty arms are filled with faith in the only one who knows EXACTLY how we feel.  Those who seek Him shall never lack----- In the quiet loneliness I am grateful. 

This morning, I am thankful for the lack of finances and a tight budget.   Finances have forced me to focus on gifts that cannot be purchased like cleaning a bedroom while a child is at school, leaving a note of love and appreciation on a favorite candy bar, an encouraging note in a sack lunch, a word of encouragement on a mirror, or just a smile and a hug at just the right time.  My lack of happiness at times, has forced me to create it.   My lack of an umbrella in the storm, has motivated me to get one, borrow one or make one, or just smile and dance the night away………..and it does go away!  This Thanksgiving morning, I am grateful.  I am grateful for all of the experiences and things I have not had or do not have, for the “Lack of” has taught me and made me who I am today.  Gratitude turns what we have into just enough.  Being grateful is the best way to start out every day!  The “Lack of” and Thanksgiving!

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