Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Posts tagged ‘gratitude’

A New Arrival!

Our second grandchild, Lucy Marie, has arrived!

Born to Jacob and Teresa
May 10, 2022, 8:04 a.m., 7 pounds 11 ounces, 20 inches, 
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

We are overwhelmed with gratitude, especially for the following reasons:

The obstetrician had decided a month or two ago to do a C-section, because the baby had turned and was presenting breech.  So 5/10 was five days before the projected natural due date.

It turns out that the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around Lucy’s neck.  Given that problem and the breech presentation, it’s probable that the C-section saved both the baby’s and perhaps even the mother’s life.  In another time or place, it could have been an incredibly sad day.

My two brothers were breech birth, and thank God they survived, and our mom survived the births!  I don’t think she had C-sections.

So we give thanks and praise to God for His overwhelming mercy.  We also say that when things turn out more tragically — we thank God because He helps us get through those times.

Thank You, Everyone!

Ohio Report: January 26, 2022

Here in southwest Ohio, it was 7 degrees Fahrenheit this morning at 7:20 a.m.  No wind to speak of, clear skies, and no ice on the roads, so it could be a lot worse.  No snow today, except little piles left over from January 17th.

I’m sure people from Siberia, Alaska, Canada, the northernmost states of the U.S., and other places will be laughing at me for thinking 7 degrees is unusual, but it is for this coastal California girl!  Maybe a few times at Lake Tahoe, I’ve experienced 7 degrees.

If you have cold weather, never take for granted (if you have them) a home, a furnace, electricity, warm clothes, and food to sustain you.  I once watched a documentary in which they did an experiment with three couples or families, perhaps around the 1990s or later.  The challenge was to see if they could survive a winter without all the modern conveniences.  I think they had a cabin already; not sure.  At any rate, they had to grow and preserve enough food, and collect enough firewood to survive winter.  All three families failed.  They didn’t preserve enough food nor collect enough firewood.  They had to go back to their regular life before finishing the challenge.

The goats at my son’s in-laws are doing well in their indoor winter pen. They have a milk house heater for when it’s freezing or below.  These are African pygmy goats, so they aren’t as hardy as, say, Scottish goats.  They eat grain, leaves, and hay, and seem to really enjoy having people visit and pet them, not to mention the food provided.

We are fine here because of hundreds, if not thousands, of people:  those who made our warm clothes; those who grow, deliver, and sell food; those who make and sell and maintain furnaces and refrigerators; those who build facilities for and maintain and deliver gas and electricity; those who collect our garbage once a week; those who deliver mail and packages to us; those who sustain us spiritually and/or in friendship and love, those who helped us have health and the ability to work to pay for bills – the list could go on and on.  Thank you, everyone!

Changing Lightbulbs

I’m changing lightbulbs

Instead of cursing the darkness

Instead of cursing the lightbulb company

Instead of cursing someone who might have broken them

I’m changing lightbulbs

And thanking God that I could afford new ones

And thanking God that there will be more light

And thanking God for my husband who helped me

I’m changing lightbulbs

And hoping I can give some to those who don’t have any

And hoping there will be more light than darkness

And hoping that we can work together

I’m changing lightbulbs

Instead of sitting around

Instead of having a frown

Instead of getting down

Let there be light!

What is Freedom?

Freedom is the grace to make good decisions, the power to do good. Freedom is being able to express your beliefs, while respecting others beliefs. Freedom is to receive forgiveness, to be released by the grace of God from the guilt of my wrongdoing, and to offer forgiveness to others. Freedom is receiving the grace to forgive my enemies, instead of living a life of resentment and blame. Freedom is letting go of the past, and having hope for the future. Freedom is appreciating those who have helped you have freedom. Gratitude increases freedom. Freedom is a great gift, and a great responsibility. Thank you, God, for the great gift of freedom.

Written July 3, 2021

The Confiteor

Some of you may be familiar with the prayer called “The Confiteor” (“I confess”). The form of this prayer that I’m most familiar with is:

“I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, (And, striking their breast, they say) through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.”

Some time ago, I realized something new about the Confiteor. When we say the words, “Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault,” it’s not about me beating myself up and blaming myself for everything, it’s more about the fact that, compared to God, I am an extremely faulty creature, and in His great mercy, He has made a way for me to be saved.

When I compare myself to others (or focus on myself), it creates misery, but when I compare myself to God, who is all Perfection, it creates humility and gratitude.

August Silence

Thank you, God,
For the quiet of early August.
The quiet streets,
The quiet mornings;
School’s not yet started.

The quiet neighborhoods —
People gone to their cabins at Tahoe,
Or on road trips, or plane trips:
Gone to weddings (or funerals) —
Gone to see relatives.

Thank you for the cool morning air,
All the better with the silence.
But birds do sing and twitter;
I hear airplanes in the sky,
And a mother’s lullaby.

Sometimes the earth has peace,
You can drink up the silence,
You can remember childhood days
Of endless summer,
And let today be your gratitude.

Refocusing

Tempted to wallow in bitterness,
Tempted to sink in self-pity.
Conflicts threaten to do me in;
Inner thoughts sometimes are not pretty.

Trying to live in reality;
Having to face what is painful.
Need to refocus, see God’s in control;
Refocus and keep being grateful.

Maybe I choose to be miserable —
Keep looking for all that is bad.
Neglecting to know that God’s in control:
Forgetting that God wants me glad.

Trust is the way to go forward;
Accept what I cannot control.
Let others be what they’re destined to be,
And live in my God-given role.

Too Much Me

There’s too much Me,
It’s plain to see —
On this we can agree.

Too much of Self,
Let’s put it on the shelf —
My soul needs help.

It’s by God’s grace
I can embrace
The truths I need to face.

So thanking Him
Comes peace within;
Begin again.

Agony

Agony is all I feel
Until I get to You and see,
Until I let You get to me
And set me free.

Struggling, striving,
Ever hiding,
Not abiding,
Until surrender.

When I let myself let go,
When you live in me and grow,
When I let You set me free,
Is when I see.

I catch the glimpses from above,
I’m sometimes drowned within Your love,
But other times I lose the vision,
Have no focus; feel division.

I thank You for the battle won,
I thank You for Your Holy Son,
For Him who died upon a tree
And will complete good work in me.

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