Finding Gratitude

There is little that is deep or spiritual in my life right now. I am living month to month hoping to stay afloat. Soon I will start a full time job and that will ease this anxiety but for now it is a tight and tenuous situation. There is little that is deep or thoughtful in needing to heat the house, needing to keep food on the table, needing to keep a roof over our heads. The best I can do right now is to be OK with things as they are; to not want more or feel the pangs of envy but to accept that this is where God wants me and how God wants me.

It would be easy to slip into envy and ingratitude. One of my part time jobs over the last four years has involved house/dog sitting for friends who are traveling.  It would be easy to compare myself and my situation unfavorably to the people I sit for. They are in stable, loving relationships. They have homes, pets, gardens, deep tubs to bathe in, TV’s to watch, meaningful work. I have none of these things. Sometimes it feels as if I will never have these things. Perhaps I won’t. So my practice these days is gratitude. It is to trust that there is a purpose in my being stripped down of all unnecessary things, that God is preparing me for something, will use me somehow. I hope that there is something to be gained from this period of waiting and emptiness. I remind myself that I have freedom and am unencumbered. I hope it is a preparing.

We all have our hero’s journey to make. Sometimes it is necessary on that journey to be stripped bare and exposed, to have the accumulations of years removed so that one can be remade. I hope that is what is happening. I don’t know that everyone has to go through an un-making, a stripping on their way to wholeness but it appears to be my path. Certainly as extraneous stuff is removed I find myself increasingly aware of the beauty, the grace, the gifts that do surround me.

sunrise

I am so deeply grateful today to have a house with a fine woodstove, to have a half cord of wood in the backyard, to live in Bend, this incredible winter wonderland, to be healthy and strong, to have family and be able to be with them, to have friends who care about me and support me, who see the good in me when I can’t. And I am grateful for those friends and acquaintances who invite me into their homes to sit for a while, to keep their things safe and play with their dogs. Someday perhaps I too will live like that, not today, but perhaps someday. In the meantime I am grateful for their trust and support and for the chance to slip into another world for a little while.  In the meantime I want to enjoy this process and not let anything slip by unappreciated. I have too often in the past taken things for granted and only appreciated gifts received in hindsight. I don’t have anything great or glorious happening in my life right now. I am not studying deep thinkers or participating in great projects. I’m just trying to make ends meet and on the way stay aware and stay grateful.

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