Joyful thanksgiving

As I look back over the past 9 weeks since my whole life was rearranged by Hurricane Termination, I am really thankful for many things, and these were not things I would have paid much attention to before Termination. The storm brought them to the fore. When tornadoes ripped through the midwest recently, I remember a reporter pulling a life preserver out of the front sea of a car and pointed to a boat about a half mile away explaining how the tornado had picked up the life preserver and put it down in the car next to where he was standing. In the same way…

#558   I am thankful that my storm has done the same thing in my life. It has taken pieces of it and shifted them all around. It made some pieces, long hidden under piles of work rubbish, surface when the work rubbish was cleared away. Phone calls that never would have been made before the storm came into my house. Supportive friends that I didn’t know were supportive while I worked beside them rose to the occasion. Others who I knew well enough to have their names and numbers in my cell phone were conspicuously absent.

#559 I am thankful for true friends and knowing who they are. Some risked their own welfare to take me to lunch, respond to me on public media like Facebook, and make “play dates” just to walk, ride bikes or sip tea. Patients came to my house to visit me. That was a shocker! Some bearing gifts. All making me believe I made a difference in their lives and asking if they could do anything to help me. They already had.

#560 I am thankful for all the faceless people with kind phone voices from the unemployment office, the Department of Labor and Industry and Human Rights Commission who used their expertise to facilitate navigation of a path unknown to me after having worked for the past 50 years (I had a paper route at age 10).

#561 I am thankful for God’s loving sense of humor. At one scary juncture in the journey dog-lover Dawn was met at the door of the facility by an Australian Sheep dog who sniffed me and gave his ok that I pass. To me it was a sign from God that everything was going to be ok and that I was in the right place.

#562 I am so thankful for my sister. She had just been vindicated from being fired from her job of 35 years when I lost mine. It took 2 years for the truth to come out that freed her, and because she had walked the path before me, she knew my mental state, the difficulty of having to navigate the complex system before me and how to make up for the losses I incurred: medical insurance, investment opportunities, unemployment rules and regulations, etc.

#563 I am thankful for a friend with business saavy who helped with important timing logistics. Without Pam and my sister, I would have missed important deadlines and opportunities.

#564 I am so very thankful for my community of cyber-friends who helped me think through what I was feeling on a daily basis. Suggestions, prayers, words in season and gifts of words in the form of counsel, poetry and music helped make some sense of a very dark time.

#565 I am thankful for a new worldview. This experience has taught me that my two standards for knowing whether or not you are going in the right direction:1) making sense and 2) contributing to the welfare of others are not consistently good standards. Many things do not make sense to us, but they are what the all-knowing God wants (building the ark is a good example). I also had to face the fact that God does not always place us on the contributing side. Sometimes we are to receive. My children all got this right away when my job ended. They started paying for everything when we were together and they didn’t expect the renewals on their children’s dance lessons, zoo and aquarium memberships or summer camp tuitions paid. They all said they just wanted to spend time with me, “Sometimes, Mom, you aren’t the giver.”

With the Multitudes this Monday, I give joyful thanks,



10 comments on “Joyful thanksgiving

  1. This is such a blessed, heart-warming post! I’m all teary-eyed! I especially like what you said in #565. The most wonderful lessons I’ve learned about God fall fit in the makes-no-sense-but-do-it-anyway category. That’s when we really *see* God show up! God bless your journey from here. I’m hoping your “eye of the hurricane” turns out to be a dissipated storm instead, but whichever, God will be in it, and so will my prayers!

  2. When I was a kid, my pastor used to say: “This just warms the cockles of my heart!” I don’t know what “cockles” are, but mine have been warmed here today!!!! I think the hardest lesson I ever had to learn in life was “that I’m not always to be the giver, but sometimes, I have to be the receiver.” I agree with Sylvia above me when she said that the most wonderful lessons learned are the make-no-sense-but-do-it-anyways” ones. To put my hand out, all cupped to receive is so much harder than saying, “No, thank you!” Why is that?????? I wonder how many times I’ve said, “No thank you” to the millions of blessings God would want to drop into my hands? Dawn, it has been the greatest privilege and heart-changing thing for me to be able to peek into your daily walk as you went through all these changes. You don’t know it, but you HAVE been giving all along, through your blog, through your big smile, and your shining eyes! And I thank YOU for all of that!

    • Dear Cora,

      Now I have tears in my eyes! You have a way of turning all introspective guiltiness into glory. Your heart that pours out beautiful poetry without needing a single edit is the same heart that pours its love and power into this weak vessel time after time right here in the comment column. You blessed my old dragon socks off (remember him?) with this encouraging comment.

      I have to tell you that I wanted to put the inspired poem you wrote just for me in the middle of this thanksgiving post. I am saving it for later in the week. Please come back.

      I love you, Dear Cora,

  3. Dear Sylvia,

    I am so happy you passed by here. You have been with me through the whole of this, even giving counsel in the days before the Termination so you know well of what I write. You are one of my cyber-friends for whom I am thankful. I think you are one of the blue ones in the heading “thankful” for you are first on the cyber-scene in the AM. I love to wake up and know Sylvr Pen will already be posted.

    I LOVE the dissipated storm idea you give above. I hope it’s a prophetic word,

  4. Dear Dawn, I am thankful with you for #560 . . . the majority of them are truly kind and generous hearted folks, but when you get one of the cranky types it makes a traumatic situation harder to bear. I believe your “new world view” is a gift from God. “Do not be conformed to this world (and it’s wisdom) but be transformed by the renewing of your mind . . .” (Rom 12:2)
    I think I have shared this with you before but can’t be sure so will give it again . . . it’s about giving and receiving. ” We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving OR receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing” Matthew 10:40-42 in The Message Bible.
    Encouraged by your list, dear friend.

  5. The pure word of God: there is nothing better. I was somewhere in cyberspace visiting today, Andrea Dawn, and I recommended the woman check out The Art of Life. Her name was Gabbie so that shouldn’t be too diffiicult to separate out. I hope she happens by because you two have very similar thoughts.

    Thanks for your Holy Ghost wisdom here,

  6. Dawn, as I make my way through your gratitude list I notice that I am nodding my head… I stop to ponder that. And I think of a time in my own life when things were uncertain and rocky. We were not only combining hospitals, which was frought with unspoken agony, but I also had a 1.5 cm malignant lump removed from my breast.

    When I am nodding, as I read your list…I am remembering how the Holy Spirit enlightened me to bear the changes with positivity….to hold my face to the wind, breathe, and praise the Lord! There was so much to be thankful for. I remember so many people coming out of the woodwork to prop me up in so many ways. I used to say things like, “Hey! I could have been hit by a truck and killed this morning on my way to work. I wasn’t! Praise the Lord!”

    Your response to your journey warms my soul and reminds me of the great gift I too, was given. People shared their innermost guts. I felt like God had allowed me to peek through knotholes into souls. I felt the Holy Spirit carrying me.

    How our lives change!. Had you asked me then if I could bear to live where none of my children are, I would have thought the pain would kill me. Now I have one moving to the U.K., and I am still breathing. We don’t know what He has in mind…but we can trust Him. Wow! Thanks for sharing your journey and helping us stay grounded in Him as we continuously grow and learn. You are, as always, a master teacher!

    • Dear Carrie,

      I did not know half of this. I was gone during all the transitioning and merging of the birth centers and I never heard about your breast cancer and I never knew you went to Florida kicking and screaming. Wow! This was a lot of catching up for me. No wonder you know about dark times. You have been through a lot. The key word being “through” which reminds me of Psalm 23

      Ye though I walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death, Thou art with me.

      We know of His “being with” us, don’t we? Thanks for being Him “with skin on” for me, Carrie,

      Much love and thankfulness for your decades of friendship,

  7. I feel as if I have just come to tea with all you beautiful ladies! So much has been said and I feel blessed to put in my amen and pass some hugs around. God is Mighty as it is plain to see here! Blessings to you all! I know God like the Austrailian Shepherd gives His sniff test and we pass…enter in to His rest, His peace, His joy!
    Dawn you are not alone!

    • God has given us the sniff test of an Austrailian Shepherd. What a fitting end to this wonderful day and this delightful, Spirited tea party. I accept His rest, His peace, His joy AND His fellowship of believers.

      Love you so much, Susan,

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