#17 – Orderliness

I am so thankful for ORDER and cleanliness, which should accompany it.

I am not a germaphobe or perfectionist, nor anything like that; but I really appreciate coming into orderly places, no matter where I am.

Part of my enjoyment of a neat and orderly home or office/desk, is because I want to keep from getting soiled or coming in contact with vermin, sure. But the biggest reason is just that I get mind flooded (google that) when I encounter a lot of clutter. Even when I enter a cluttered store, I can’t stay in it for long, or I will have to linger in sections of order, so I can keep going through the store in bits. It just overwhelms me and that’s not a nice feeling, though there are worse ones to get from badly run stores.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t do well all by myself when I have to make order out of disorder at work or at home. I can work well alongside of someone else while we make order from disorder; but not on my own unless it’s a repetitive pattern, like cleaning up the kids toys when they are toddlers. At that point, it’s following an order of repetition – see?

The best part of having something orderly is that I can find things when I want to use them. An orderly office or home invites me to start working on something or begin some kind of activity there – unless the area is so bare it’s sterile. That’s just uncomfortable.

I have two things I didn’t like about being a “homemaker” cooking, and cleaning. Cooking makes a mess, though I enjoy eating and serving other people meals. Nothing makes me smile wider than to hear someone compliment something I make. I just really hate the mess of cooking: all of those pans, bowls and implements. So if I can use a pan to accomplish more than one action, I’m happier than you’d believe. Truth. I blame my birthmother’s bad habit of soiling the kitchen and leaving the debris for her children to clean up.

I dislike housekeeping because I really don’t enjoy the work of it – but I love the results. So, cleanliness and order are a joy for me, more than clutter or disorder, though I certainly had a home that was often cluttered or disorganized. Especially the closets (chuckle). Sometimes, when life is busy with onetime events, you have to let the stuff build up until you have a less active moment to get it under control. That’s just the nature of any life well lived.

So don’t you begin worrying that I ever come to visit you at home and I’ll be critical. I’m usually thinking, “How in the world do they manage to keep their home better than I could when I was in their life situation (wee children, working, going through a draining illness, etc)?” Trust me, folks. I usually admire someone’s home, and its distinctive contents, if I notice it at all. I usually come to visit YOU – not your home (Love and hearts).

But one of the best moments in life is after having a party. Why? Because once the debris is all removed – the house is cleaner than it has been for months, and that’s a blessing when I sit back with my feet up and a nice cuppa coffee in my hand. I really love the residue of memories after a really good gather, too.

#16 – Kindness

I want to thank God for KINDNESS.

Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Somehow that trait was diminished in my family of origin, and even overruled in some ways. It was diminished so well, that when I saw it being acted out in television shows I perceived it as phony and unreal. When I saw it practiced around me by others, I either thought of it as “someone trying to manipulate someone else” (because that’s how it was used in my young life), or something only weak people do.

Thankfully, God helped me find out that kindness wasn’t a myth, and that it was as real as the pain of stubbing a toe (that REALLY smarts and is utterly undeniable).

Learning to be kind to others was hard, until I learned that it really and truly had to begin with being kind to myself. I honestly didn’t really grasp that very quickly, having learned that the only way for people (myself included) would make enduring uncomfortable and foreign changes is when they are browbeaten (punished) into making them. So if I made a mistake or even just a bad choice, I’d beat myself up about it – harshly and without kindness. I thought that would make me better. I was wrong. Once I was able to be more kind to myself, it got easier and easier to be kind to everyone else I wanted to be kind with.

The real surprise was that I actually make more consistent changes within myself and my life walk when I am kind to myself. It has been a lovely gentle surprise in my life’s journey to find that to be a real thing.

How can kindness live while really bad things going on around you? I can only say that as we engage with kindness toward ourselves, it gets easier to see where kindness makes us feel better in bad situations, and punishing others becomes less important and certainly less rewarding. See how I did that? I showed how learning kindness helped me learn what forgiveness was: my ability to give up my right to punish someone else for something they did wrong to me. I don’t need an apology to forgive someone, now. I only need to be kinder to myself, and the world, by giving up my right to require punishment for them. Does that mean I have to let them repeat the injury? O HECK no! Forgiveness does not require that I lay down and be anyone’s rug, chuckle. Boundaries are healthy things for good relationships that last, after all.

This lifelong journey for the lessons of kindness drew me to a poem that I had as a bookplate when I was only 20 years old, and newly married. It’s a poem written by Stephen Grellet (1773-1855), and it still resonates with me. I use it as my illustration today. I hope it inspires you as well.

Finally, I want to thank God for being patient and tenacious (a kind word for stubborn) in teaching me that kindness is the better way to go, in spite of what I wasn’t given in life. Didja know Kindness is a fruit of the spirit? Means the more I practice it, the more God’s spirit can flow into and through me. A very good thing.

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

My life’s goal

#14 – The Reading Skills

When I was four years old, I was made to stand in the corner for a time-out. While I was bored and waiting for my release, I noticed my mother making a bunch of squiggles on some paper in neat lines.

“Why are you doing that?” Because when I scribbled on paper, I would get scolded.

“Because when I “write” something Grandma knows what I’m saying,” Mom answered firmly.

I thought she meant that Grandma would get that information “real time” by some kind of telepathy aided by the squiggles. My first thoughts were: “Uh oh! She’s telling Grandma I’m being naughty.”

My very next thoughts were: “Magic! I want to learn how to do that!”

Since then, I have learned so many things thanks to being a voracious reader. Being that kind of reader taught me how to be discriminating on what the author is saying, and whether they took the time to learn before spouting, too.

Yes, dear Peeps, reading is AWESOME! Even if it isn’t REALLY magical – it still seems like it is, y’know?

You’re never alone if you can read or write!

#13 – Extraordinary Gifts

I really enjoy giving unexpected gifts that are perfect for THAT person. Don’t you?

WELL – my younger sister (next in the birth order with both parents) who is a really good quilter found some material that featured art that reminded her of me.

I have had the “handle” of Churchmouse since my teen years because I have never grown to five foot of height. I was also very poor during my teen years, and there is a saying “poor as a churchmouse” that reminded my friend of my situation. As time went by, I used it as an identifier on Citizen Band radio through the 1970’s as well as on my blogs through later years.

I found some cute “meeces” that looked cute and were drawn to mischief, so I used their pictures for my profile picture on Facebook most of the time. When Di saw this material, she knew she had to get it and make a quilt for me with it. It’s a throw quilt, so I use it for my couch during the summer, or just on the end of my bed sometimes. I LOVE this quilt for the way it was given to me on a hum drum Saturday, for no particular reason other than she really wanted to give it to me and see my reaction.

My grandson enjoys using it as well when he comes over for visits. This is a quilt that always LOOKS like a hug to me.

So, I am really and truly thankful for all the ways something/someone says, “I love you.” Without saying those words. I want to find fun ways to do it, too.

Have you ever had some kind of extraordinary gift? Let me know!

Aging With Some Grace

I’ve been reading a fantasy series called The Adventures of Maggie Parker (4 books) by Martha Carr and Michael Anderle and it’s been very entertaining. I’ll say no more than this: it’s a free read if you are a Kindle Unlimited member. If not, the books are reasonably priced in either paperback or Kindle versions.

I’ve read the first three: The Magic Compass, The Gnome’s Magic, The Elemental’s Magic, and am reading the author’s notes at the end of the third book. Martha Carr is in her early 60’s and as a person who is at the right age to be her older sibling (67 in four more days), I like what she’s been saying about her lessons in life’s journey in her author notes.

“I have a team who help me out these days. At some point, it’s a necessity. Plus, I wanted to change my old belief of ‘if I can do it, I should be doing it’ to something saner,” she wrote.

I have been learning that same lesson in the past few years. I get help to do big projects in home cleaning or organization. Sometimes, I get help decorating for the holidays, too. Lately, I’ve even gotten groceries delivered (Thank you Walmart+), instead of going there for a pickup order and bringing it all into my home by myself. Now that the pandemic is almost over, and masks are being left home by most shoppers in my area, I have been feeling a bit guilty about continuing to use the Pickup grocery service. That inner guilt trip that she spoke of, “if I can do it, I should be doing it.”

My quality of life is better when I don’t do it just because I can, though. I have more time for making a well-balanced meal, or to get a much delayed haircut. Am I lazy? I don’t think so. I still take care of the household chores, the laundry (that I can do myself with the machines in my new apartment, thank God!), and work a full time job with the administrative chores for an engineering team – from my home, thanks to the pandemic showing us that I can work from home in a reliable and responsible fashion. So I am not going to be compelled to return to the office, not even as a hybrid employee. Since work is more than an hour away, I’m grateful. I moved closer to family as a happy result. But – I digress.

I have long felt pressured to do what I can, and if I don’t, then I will lose some kind of badge of honor. Sometimes I have pushed so hard, I made myself sick or fell down on the work, and had to get help to recover. That’s not very wise, for sure. So, now I just schedule some help before I’m in trouble, and ignore the hissing of that voice in the back of my head. The only thing I want to win is a high quality life. Getting appropriate help, and offering a reward to that help is the right way to go. Sometimes I’ll barter a service, sometimes I’ll offer something else like a gift card or money that can help someone who has very little.

I always try to ask God for the right help to be available, or help me to know about a service that is available. While I might pay for services in my situation, I know that my birthmother was able to get someone to help her 20 hours a week, and it was paid for via Department of Aging, which is a Federal program. So if you find you need help but can’t afford to pay for it (and you live in the US), find out about the Department of Aging services in your area. See what they can do to help you. It helped my family not to have to be my birth mother’s servants when we went to her place for a visit. Instead, we could just visit!

When the caseworker is asking you questions about ‘what you can do when…’, my advice to you is what I told my mother after she lost her help for several weeks thanks to her answers to their questions. She told them about her best days when they asked what she could do. I told her that she needed to tell them about her worst days, in order to get the help she needed to live those better days, though. No lies necessary. Just tell the truth about your worst days, and you’ll get the help you should get.

Tell yourself the truth about your worst days, and be honest about needing help, too. Then, you can live out some of your best days more often.

I Have Some Explaining to Do

Last year, I decided to post 100 things I am grateful for, and I even had the list from a previous effort on Facebook. I’ve been seeing the “Memories” when I get to Facebook these days, and I feel badly about only posting six things so far in 2020.

Found on internet

I’m sure there’s gracious understanding for the many changes in life that the pandemic has wrought, and I appreciate that understanding very much. I also was working with my doctor (mostly before the pandemic) to fix my out of control asthma and depression. I have suffered from cyclic depression since – forever. I was first introduced to the reality when I tried to kill myself at 24.

Not having any thoughts of ditching life, or even missing social responses of joy for interactions made me miss what I was missing this time. I finally figured it out from a question list of symptoms and have been happily surprised by the restoration of feelings. Like my hearing, I didn’t really know how much I was missing until I got it fixed. When my hearing aids were turned on, and I heard sound all around me, it had me weeping like so many of the videos we see of others who have had their hearing enhanced. It’s not normal sound, but it’s so much more than it was!

The same happened when I began my antidepressants. One day I finished a day of chores, and instead of feeling worn out and tired (and dreading the reality of recovering for a day or so from the work demands), I felt tired but happy about the difference my efforts had made. More than that – I loved looking at my sparkling home! I felt happiness and joy – and they were foreign for far too long in my life.

I was thrilled and grateful to get the approval to work from home. This meant I no longer had to drive 58 miles to work, put in a full 8 hour day, and then drive home 58 miles to arrive tired and beyond hungry (since I ate at noon and it was now 5-6 hours later). I happily bought a better laptop with the first stimulus payout, and set up a new desk in my tiny 1 bedroom apartment of 580 sq ft. It’s cute, and a great place to work with the nice chair and two monitors.

I now had time to make good meals, rest and relax after work, and even visit with some of the neighbors with social distancing being observed. I also had time (and the funds that I didn’t spend on gas, now) to organize my home and make it a better place to be.

My son needed a caregiver for his son on Sundays due to his workplace situation, so I was happy to offer to have the young man come over the night before, and spend the night. Then Dad could come over from work to enjoy a Sunday meal and a visit if desired when he picked up his son. I got to see the young boy lose his first tooth, and then the other three that followed by Christmas. I watched him go from preschooler to Kindergartener, and watch him go from Minecraft to Among Us in his YouTube joys. We’ve enjoyed books and so many other life changes – it helps me when I would otherwise be isolated.

There were no travels to places as planned. No municipal events to participate in, as each was cancelled due to the dangers of SARS-CoV aka Covid-19. I live in a resort town, and a favorite weekend visit for many people in our area. These cancellations have caused a lot of havoc in my area, and there’s a mourning process going on.

For myself, my doctor calls me “one of her fragile patients”. She assured me that if I caught the virus I might do fine in recovering. But the likelihood is that I would survive with some change that might damage my quality of life, too. So I wear my mask everywhere, observe social distancing, and get my weekly groceries via grocery pickup after ordering online. If I go to the store, I try to make it during times most people aren’t in the store, but that shelves should be stocked. This sounds simple and easy, and it honestly is as far as effort is concerned. But I am a social being and I miss going to restaurants, breakfasts with coffee and chatter, evenings in the park watching fireworks and going to carnivals and outdoor concerts this summer.

I keep reminding myself that this is not going to last forever, and thank God for a vaccine to bring us some hope for better. I still have all kinds of sanitizer in my coat pockets, purse, and on my shopping bags. I’m careful, so I’ll see that day arrive when we can all be less endangered by this virus.

It’s been hitting me hard, and I get worn out from the mental stress. I don’t have much creativity left after all of that.

However, I’ve decided to challenge myself in 2021, to live life more fully, and take the time to be grateful again. Seeing all of the posts I did in 2017 has shown me what an encouragement it was to me and some others, and that it’s worth the work.

So, I will resume my list, and begin with #7 later on.

#4 – Working From Home

Sorry I fell out of step with these 100 things I’m thankful for. I’ve been a bit troubled about the shutdown that began back in March, here in the US.

With the pandemic concerns for SARS-CoV-2 (aka COVID-19), I saw my office leadership cleaning the office twice a day. It wasn’t ever in their job description but they did it cheerfully, making jokes about it, and casually, without complaint. When supplies were running low thanks to shopper runs on cleaning supplies at stores, they let us know to keep our eyes open and that they had enough for one more week. Happily, I found some at my store, during Senior Hours. I bought enough to take care of cleaning for 5 weeks, I was told with nearly tears in my supervisor’s eyes. I refused repayment and let her know that it was their own attitudes keeping us going and encouraging us to stay the course.

In that time, we lost 10% of our pay for the rest of the year. The client that most of us worked for further reduced our hours (from 40 to 34/week), and then threw 15 furlough days (unpaid days of no work) to be sprinkled through the rest of 2020. I’m so very thankful I will be ok with these reductions, but my heart goes out to the coworkers with families or other dependents. Some were also furloughed and it made me go into a small tailspin.

When I received my $1200 stimulus check, I bought a new computer since my former one was over 8 years old. That was providential, because instead of issuing me a laptop to work from home, I was told to use my own computer to access the one I use in the office via internet and other connections.

I also bought a new desk, and that makes it easier for me to work well in comfort through the day.

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[My desk, in the living room of my home]

I thought that everything would be wonderful and better when they told me I could work from home on April 22nd, once we found that the connectivity was working. I mean, my commute to the office took about an hour to get there, and then another hour to get home. The gas budget was $80/week before the gas prices began dropping during late winter. So an 8 hour working day was actually 10 hours away from home. I was usually wiped once I got there. Too wiped to even make a healthy meal, most of the time.

So, now I only had to go to the living room and enjoy the benefits of working from home. I couldn’t figure out why I was still anxious and dodgy. I am doing better since I began antidepressants. I have no problem saying that, and I hope others will be fine admitting it as well.

I should also mention that in March, about a week after my state did their shut down, I began CPAP therapy at home. I use a nasal pillow, and I worried my 5 year old grandson (who I have for an overnight visit every 2 weeks, as his father has to work on Sundays) would be afraid of it. He liked my jokes about being like an elephant, and uses a face mask for his asthma attacks, so it went well.

So here I am now, and I’m astonished at what the CPAP therapy has done in my life since I began it. First, I went through the spring season without an asthma attack – I usually have had to do nebulizer treatments nearly nightly, and have frequently ended up missing time from work and seeing my doctor. None of that happened this past spring.

Cleaning my home was hard, and usually had to be spread over several days. I am again amazed to report that just last week I:

  • Washed three loads of laundry (taking it to the laundry room in my building and bringing it back when done, folding and hanging the clothing and putting it all away).
  • Used the new vacuum cleaner (wireless and light! But so effective it will capture pet hair and fine crumbs!) to vacuum two of the three rooms in my home.
  • Swept the kitchen and bathroom floors, and then steam cleaned them with the steam mop, as well as the entry spot of quarry tile by the front door.
  • Then I baked muffins for my grandson.

All in just one day!

You might think that would make me post something about being thankful for CPAP, and I probably should have; but for me it’s all working so well just because I am safe at home. I’m not afraid of the virus, though I am one of those folks with vulnerabilities. I just mentally didn’t do well with the diminished cars on the roadways, and the unfamiliar face masks and all of the rules for shopping. Happily, I usually use the Pickup service at Walmart, and it’s still without extra costs. It’s a huge blessing for me. I think being an introvert at heart helps as well.

I have wanted to work at home for a very long time. I am at full retirement age, now (66), and that commute can feel mighty long after a demanding day, lemmetellya. There are other reasons that working from home is good for me, though.

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at age 33, so I’ve been dealing with it just that long (33 years). One of the problems with fibro is that it curtails your energy. When I run out of energy, I feel like my mind is stuck in white noise. This is usually called brain fog, and it’s an apt description. I have no creative ability left, so I make sure I’m not doing anything that requires it in the evening when the energy might run out. I make no decisions after 5 pm that are critical. I know that in the morning I’ll have my best mental acuity and most things will wait that long for me to work them out. If I am in a full flare, the decisions may wait a bit longer. Sometimes much longer. That’s just how it is.

So working a full time job is often a wonder for people who have fibro at my age. Believe me, if it wasn’t so rewarding and not so physically demanding (I work on a computer all day long), I wouldn’t be able to do it. Add that my client (I work as a contractor for a staffing company) is an inspiration and someone who frequently thinks of things I didn’t see, and you can see that my job can be fun some days. My wages aren’t that bad either.

The new work hours and payment hit I’ve taken has reduced my options in some ways, but I have been dealing with a financial recovery process since 2013. I was living below my means for a very long time, and just recently I’ve paid off most of the debts that were putting me on an austerity budget.

So I am thanking God that I am working from home right now, and they aren’t going to require me to return any time soon with the new resurgence of the pandemic within the US right now. If I wish to return, they’ve set up my desk so that there are only empty cubicles on either side, and I’ll be socially distant from any coworkers. They have the lunchroom set up similarly, and plenty of sanitizer stands through the office now that supplies are more available.

I just like coming to work in my home. I dress like I’m going to work, and turn on all the lights in the living room. It cheers me up to have them on, and helps me feel focused. I have the smell of fresh brewed coffee nearby, and I can play music at home, but not at work.

When it’s break time, I flop over the wide and comfy chair by the window and just enjoy the comfort and peace of my home. I might have music playing, too.

If I want a snack, the kitchen is very close, as is the bathroom. My whole apartment is only 580 square feet, but it’s well maintained, vermin free, in a residential neighborhood, and my neighbors in the building are sweet people. The management takes good care of the building and property, too. I love my life now that my hard times have receded.

So I am immensely thankful and grateful to work from home. This is my sanctuary, my comfort zone, and everything is convenient for my needs here. I even honestly like having the reduced hours. It gives me time to cope with my stress levels in healthier ways.

How are YOU doing in all of this?? I honestly want to know, so please tell me.

#3 Thankful for – Kindness

I want to thank God for KINDNESS.

Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.  Somehow that trait was diminished in my family of origin, and even overruled in some ways.  It was diminished so well, that when I saw it being acted out in television shows I perceived it as phony and unreal.  When I saw it practiced around me by others, I either thought of it as “someone trying to manipulate someone else” (because that’s how it was used in my young life), or something only weak people do.

Thankfully, God helped me find out that kindness wasn’t a myth, and that it was as real as the pain of stubbing a toe (that REALLY smarts and is utterly undeniable).

Learning to be kind to others was hard, until I learned that it really and truly had to begin with being kind to myself.  I honestly didn’t really grasp that very quickly, having learned that the only way for people (myself included) would make enduring uncomfortable and foreign changes is when they are browbeaten (punished) into making them.  So if I made a mistake or even just a bad choice, I’d beat myself up about it – harshly and without kindness.  I thought that would make me better.  I was wrong.  Once I was able to be more kind to myself, it got easier and easier to be kind to everyone else I wanted to be kind with.

The real surprise was that I actually make more consistent changes within myself and my life walk when I am kind to myself. It has been a lovely gentle surprise in my life’s journey to find that to be a real thing.

How can kindness live while really bad things going on around you?  I can only say that as we engage with kindness toward ourselves, it gets easier to see where kindness makes us feel better in bad situations. Then punishing others becomes less important and certainly less rewarding.  See how I did that?  I showed how learning kindness helped me learn what forgiveness was: my ability to give up my right to punish someone else for something they did wrong to me.  I don’t need an apology to forgive someone, now.  I only need to be kinder to myself and the world, by giving up my right to require punishment for them.  Does that mean I have to let them repeat the injury?  O HECK no!  Forgiveness does not require that I lay down and be anyone’s rug, chuckle.

This lifelong journey for the lessons of kindness drew me to a poem that I had as a bookplate when I was only 20 years old, and newly married.  It’s a poem written by Stephen Grellet (1773-1855), and it still resonates with me. I use it as my illustration today.  I hope it inspires you as well.

Finally, I want to thank God for being patient and tenacious (a kind word for stubborn) in teaching me that kindness is the better way to go, in spite of what I wasn’t given in life.  Didja know Kindness is a fruit of the spirit?  Means the more I practice it, the more God’s spirit can flow into and through me.  A very good thing.

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? -Micah 6:8

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#2 Thankful for – HOME ECONOMICS

Quick summary: Once upon a time I tried to post 100 days of Thankfulness. I fell off the task several times, so I am only going to say 100 posts of Thankfulness this time. I hope you enjoy them as much as I might. I talked about it more, here

I am thankful for HOME ECONOMICS class in High School. I took the class in 1968-69, and it’s been rare to find it in schools for many years. There’s a cry to bring it back, and some schools are doing it, though it’s an expensive program to present with all the sewing machines and kitchenettes to provide for students’ use. In my case, it was utterly a blessing, though!

I grew up a tomboy, and never paid much attention to what happens in the kitchen. That was my older sister’s domain, and I was happy to leave it to her. By the time I was 14, I jokingly referred to myself as a “can-pan” cook until I had my own kitchen to work and experiment in.  Now that we have so many frozen meals and options, I might never have learned to cook – if it wasn’t for “Home Ec”.

I took the course to please a parent, but I have to admit that I found learning how to sew and cook turned into one of the more interesting classes I took in High School.  First, since the class is foreign to many younger people, I’ll explain that one semester (or for half the school year for my foreign friends) was spent learning to sew, and the other semester was spent learning how to cook.  One group of students might begin with cooking while my group was working with the sewing.  So that part of the school always smelled interesting on the days the students really began working in the kitchenettes.

I already knew how to hem a skirt, mend an open seam, and mend simple tears (though not very neatly) and even how to embroider simple stitches. But now I was introduced to learning how to buy material and use a sewing machine to create something wearable from a pattern.

As I mentioned, I had food survival skills, but now I learned how to read and follow a recipe, shop for produce, plan a meal so each thing was ready at the right time to serve, and how to maintain a good standard of cleanliness as you went.  We even had some visiting guests to explain how their products could make things easier to do.

I really didn’t think much of the skills I gained from that class because I had to change schools when the semesters changed, and that made life a bit harder to focus.  However, once I was “on my own” I drew on those skills often – by reading the instructions that I now knew how to understand.  Taking the class made me brave enough to make my own dresses (when I could afford the materials), learn how to crochet and make clothing from patterns.  I also found the courage and finally the comfort of functioning well in the kitchen.  I’m not sure how I would have managed to do as many things as I learned how to do in that class, but I’m so thankful I didn’t have to find out, chuckle.

3 - Home Ec - Copy

Thankful for – Facebook

Quick summary: Once upon a time I tried to post 100 days of Thankfulness. I fell off the task several times, so I am only going to say 100 posts of Thankfulness this time. I hope you enjoy them as much as I might. I talked about it more, here

For my first day, I want to thank God for FACEBOOK. I know it’s been a challenging place to visit with all of the furor and hate talk going on, but that’s just because we aren’t used to that kind of thing being able to invade our homes. We’ve dealt with it on the street quite easily, and comforted ourselves by saying it wasn’t happening in our familiar circles; but perhaps that wasn’t the right response. So it’s occurred to me that perhaps it’s a good thing not to be too comfortable being segregated from things we need to be part of changing. I’m thinking that’s what God wants me to do – be the change I want to see. Discomfort makes it possible and more urgent as I get more uncomfortable. However, I DO think that home and hearth (aka intimate family) are meant to be our safe havens, and we are wise to restrict the rancor and anguish of the topics from inciting the same at home.

I thank God for Facebook because this is where I see what people far from me are doing, and I can see their pictures and even seen videos of them in an instant! I’m old enough to remember what it was like to only have letters with snapshots (if we could afford to get them developed and have copies made), and hideously expensive long distance phone calls. That’s all I had when my sister moved to another state with her husband in the early 70’s, and it was really hard to know and understand what was going on in each other’s lives.

Now, we have Facebook along with cell phones that allow for free long distance talks, and even video options for video chats! Facebook allows me to post something right now, and it will politely wait until my receiver is ready to sit down and receive it. How nice! I can choose to have private or public messages when it comes to shouting out the happy things, too.

I even have friends there that I haven’t ever met (yet); and yet I smile with their happy news, and my eyes get misty with their sad news. These folks all matter, and I really DO care. I try to let them know that on a one to one basis, too. Cause we all need to really hear it for ourselves, when someone says we matter and they care.

Don’t get me wrong – I love the encouraging and positive memes, but those are just mild influences in my journey. Nothing means more to me than a really personal message, y’know?

So, for the first of my list of 100 things I’m grateful for – I thank God for Facebook, with all of the bad that I need to address, and all of the good I might have missed out on. I love sitting down to see what everyone’s posted in my news feed each day.

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