Elder grateful month — day 4 — God’s Plan

Day 4 of Elder Grateful Month and I still have so much for which to be grateful.  Today, however, I’m all about God’s Plan for me.

I was raised in a Christian house and have always known that God loves me.  The significance of that message really sunk in during my 30s, when I was battling an episode of clinical depression.  At a time when I felt like no one in the world could possibly like me, much less love me, the message of God’s agape love penetrated my mind and heart.

Old Graveyard — Ireland — Matt Elder

I believe that God has a plan for me and I try not to worry about the future.  It is so much easier said than done.  I’m not a fatalist or someone who believes in predestination above free will.  I believe that I can (and do) make bad choices.  But I do believe that if I submit myself to His plan, then He will lead me to make the choices that He wants.

I’m not a Bible scholar nor a theologist, so my belief system may seem simple to some.  Yet, I know that when I have felt most at peace in my life is when I am talking and listening the most to God.  That’s when I feel like I am following His plan.  When I have felt the most frazzled, disconnected, overwhelmed and out-of-sorts is when I have tried to do things on my own.  When I’ve tried to convince God that I knew what I was doing and He should just stand back and watch me handle it.  It never worked out well when I was trying to control everything.

My Life and God’s Plan — A Visual

Letting go, trying not to control everything, is one of the hardest things to do.  I think we humans are wired to try to control the environment around us.  It must be a survival skill.  It’s the moments when I have said, “I can’t do this, Lord.  I’m in over my head.  You gotta take this.” — those are the moments that have made me the strongest.  Seems backwards, huh?  All a part of His plan.

Elder grateful month – day 3 – Furniture

Day 3 of Elder Grateful Month and the last 36 hours have inspired me to be grateful for Furniture.

Furniture?  Yes, furniture.  Objects to sit upon, lay upon, sprawl upon, prop my feet upon…you get the picture.  Early man just sat on the ground, either rock or dirt, maybe covered with some sort of vegetation.  How sad–and disagreeable.

This just doesn’t look comfortable after a long day of hunting and gathering

Source:  http://thescientistgardener.blogspot.com/2009_12_01_archive.html

I’ve spent the last 24+ hours in pain with a headache and I can’t imagine what early man did when they were in pain.  You just can’t find a comfortable position on a rock.  You need chairs and sofas and beds to rest your weary and aching muscles and bones.

Doesn’t this look better than a rock?

For me, a piece of furniture can also represent safety.  Kitchen tables are where you talk over the day’s event.  Matt and I have a lot of our serious “relationship” conversations at the kitchen table or on the sofa.  The introvert in me escapes to the bed to read when I need quiet time.  And I’ve written in the past about a couch that witnessed many, many important events in my life.

I am grateful that I (1) can afford furniture, (2) live in a time where furniture has been invented (because I wouldn’t be inventing it myself) and (3) live in a country where it is readily available.  My head is thankful it had several nice places to lay itself yesterday.

Elder grateful month — day 2 — My husband

It’s day 2 of Elder Grateful Month.  Whoop Whoop!

Today, I’m giving a shout out to my husband, Matt.  I am so grateful that I have him in my life and that he is my husband.

Ireland 2012

Matt and I will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary next month.  (What is that?  Copper? Aluminum?  If you ask me, 5 years should be something precious and valuable because the first five years are hard.)  We do not have a perfect marriage, because no one does, but I think that we have a solid marriage.  I really, really, really like my husband even when I wonder why I love him.  And I really, really, really  love my husband even when I wonder why I am not killing him.

Matt, in return, puts up with a lot by being married to me.  I’m not an easy person to live with, to be married to or to be in love with.  He has to have great patience, lots of understanding and a big heart.  He has all three in abundance.

Luckily, we both have oversized senses of humor, which helps us through most situations.

So, to Matt, here is a quote from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.  It is the Prophet’s thoughts on Love.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;

For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”

And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;

To return home at eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Second annual “official” Elder grateful month

Today starts the 2nd Annual Elder Grateful Month. Every day, I will list one thing for which I am grateful. Brought to you with $0 funding.

I did this last year on my Tumblr blog (which was the first “official” Elder Grateful month), but I’ve tried to do it before via Facebook. I also use the Gratitude app on my iPhone everyday (not just Elder Grateful month) in an effort to be more diligent in recognizing all that I have instead of focusing on what I don’t have.

Winners in past years have included: Imitrex migraine medicine, library cards, Aretha Franklin, my husband and grocery stores. The list is varied.

To start the 2012 Elder Grateful Month, I am thankful for digital cameras and social media. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to have seen (almost instantly) my nieces and nephew in their Halloween costumes even though they live on the West Coast and I live on the East Coast.

Boo — like their blurry face costumes?

I hid their faces — I don’t think that I have the right to share their precious, beautiful images on the world wide web. Trust me–they are the prettiest children in the world.

Check in tomorrow for more.