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An Attitude of Gratitude – January 9, 2015

January 9, 2015

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve written.  There are many reasons for that but no excuses.  Well. maybe no excuses.  I had an accident in July and cut the tendon in my finger.  That resulted in surgery and 8 weeks of disability.  I went back to work for almost 3 weeks to a chaotic desk.  The temp they hired to cover my desk while I was out did not do things they way I do.  My desk was in total disarray.  Then, in October, I had surgery on my right foot.  More surgery, 8 more weeks of disability.  And now a totally messed up and chaotic desk.  *sigh*

Before I left on disability my company had transitioned to a new accounting system.  My database was pristine.  I was happy as a clam learning the new system and the new system’s capabilities.  When I returned to work after my LOA my database was a mess.  I was unhappy and let my boss know it.  I’m pretty sure that’s why she kept the same temp for when I had to go out for my second surgery, to keep me humble.  In my absence I racked up two traffic tickets and lots of bills.  I also missed months of church and Bible Study.  No bike riding, no painting, no cooking from scratch. I was not in a good place, certainly not fit to live with.  But in all of that, I have plenty to be thankful for.

My gratitude list for today:

  1. My health.  I am  recovering well from both my surgeries.  I may have added a little weight (okay, okay, at least 20 pounds) but that will come off once I resume riding my bike and generally being more active than I have been for the last few months.  My physical therapist says I experienced better healing in my finger than most adults my age do.  I can still work and paint.  I’m really happy with that.  And my walking, well, eventually I won’t walk like a distant cousin of Frankenstein, eventually.  Things could have been much worse, I am very cognizant of that.
  2. My Medical Financial Assistance Plan.  When I found out the copay for my finger surgery was going to be $1,250 I was shocked and dismayed.  I didn’t have that kind of money but needed the surgery.  My doctor had me apply for the MFA through my health plan and I was approved.  It has been a big help with both my surgeries and all the related expenses.
  3. My neighbors.  Glen and Jasmin were there for me to drive me to and from my surgeries, to drive me to the grocery store and even to church a few times.  They are a cute young couple and I am so grateful for all the help they were able to provide me when I needed it.
  4. Disability Insurance.  Four months off work bites hard into your paycheck.  I am glad I had not only disability insurance through the EDD but also the supplemental insurance I pay for through work.  It was slow in coming but it came and helped me keep a roof over my head and food on my table.  And even though it was late in coming it came in time to pay my rent without incurring any late fees.  My financial woes could be a LOT worse.
  5. I still have a job.  Four months off work is a long time.  My boss did work with me, I was able to bring a laptop home and dial-in from home for the last 4 weeks of my disability.  Still, I was out of the office for a great deal of time and not all my work got done.  I am grateful to be back and getting my desk caught up.

Dear Lord, thank You for these and all the other blessings You have bestowed upon me over the last few months.  I know I am not deserving of these blessings but by Your grace I have been gifted with them.  I truly appreciate them.  In Your Son’s precious name, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  AMEN

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An Attitude of Gratitude – June 10, 2014

June 10, 2014

Walt died 2 1/2 years ago.

Kody died 28 months ago.

Marty died 27 months ago.

Deb died 2 years ago.

Molly died 18 months ago.

Uncle Gordon died the day after Christmas.

Jeffrey died February 10th.

Aunt Elaine has been told it’s time to put Aunt Muriel into hospice care.

Larry has been told his father doesn’t have much time left.

Jenny has been told her grandfather is dying.

Death is the product of a fallen and broken world. It brings sorrow and pain. I am grateful for a Savior who came and died the for redemption of this world’s sins. I am grateful that I will see my friends again someday.

Dear Lord, thank You for this day and every day you see fit to bless me with. I pray I use all my days to bring glory to Your name. Thank You for my Lord and Savior, Jesus.

AMEN

An Attitude of Gratitude – May 23, 2014

May 23, 2014

It has happened again.  In talking with a man who I’d very much like to pursue a relationship with we discussed our views on sex.  When he discovered that I believe that sex should be reserved for marriage I got the old heave-ho. *sigh* Sometimes having standards is difficult.

What this man said was, “I’ve tried this and I’m not strong enough. If this is what you want I wouldn’t be able to leave you alone once we grew close. I’m sorry that I’m not strong enough but I need to tell you the truth.” 

What I find interesting is the discussion we had prior to this one.  The one where I asked him about his faith.  We talked of going to church but I guess what  I should have asked him was how his relationship with Jesus was.  You see, I believe that any man with a strong relationship with Christ knows that he is not strong enough on his own but that “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” –Philippians 4:13.  This was not a wasted experience.  I did learn something out of this.  That’s my gratitude list for today.

  1. I learned that a man who does not put Christ first in his life cannot trust or respect himself.
  2. I learned that if a man cannot trust or respect himself, then neither can I.
  3. I learned that I must trust and respect any man I am involved with.
  4. I learned that open and honest communication is vital in each and every relationship that is worth keeping.
  5. I learned that no matter how much it may hurt there are some relationships that you need to just let go.

Dear Lord,  My heart is hurting today.  I had hopes and dreams and expectations centered around this human being.  I am disappointed, not as much in him as I am in myself.  I know that You are the only one I can count on to fill me and make me whole.  I know that he is an imperfect human being, just like I am, and therefore he cannot complete me.  Lord, I know Your love for me is limitless and unconditional.  I know that a man’s love will not validate me.  But Lord, I am so lonely sometimes.  Help me to remember to turn to You to fill those empty spaces.  Help me to remember the depth of Your love for me.  Help me to be patient and wait for the husband You have chosen for me.  I ask all of this in Jesus’ precious and holy name.  AMEN

An Attitude of Gratitude – May 21, 2014

May 21, 2014

I’ve been a terrible blogger lately.  There are many reasons for this and I could list them here but they’d only sound like a bunch of whining and I don’t want to be a whiner.  Disregard the fact that I have been a whiner in the past, I no longer want to whine about things I cannot control, just stand up and change them.

I rode in this year’s Gold Country Tour de Cure a  few weeks ago.  I raised over $800.00 for Diabetes education and research, most of which will actually stay in my community.  This year I rode to honor my dad.  I had a huge sticker on my back that said I was riding for him.  It was a bittersweet  day.

Today’s gratitude list:

  1. God’s love and mercy as I walk through my life.  I’ve seen things happen that I didn’t believe possible and things that I was concerned about never happened.  I am  totally unworthy but He loves me anyway.
  2. My friends and family who supported me for my ride.  I would not have been able to raise that kind of money without their love and support, whether it was love for me or love for Jeffrey, we made an impact.
  3. The love and support of friends and family and new friends in the area of my painting.  I have had a friend request I do a custom picture and a few friends and family members help me with setting prices so that I may start selling the ones I have on hand.  I am investigating a FaceBook page or a website to start marketing.  It’s scary but it is a step out in faith.
  4. My job.  It’s frustrating at times, a great deal of headaches and challenges at others, but I am so happy to have it.  We are in the midst of a huge software upgrade and all the challenges that come with that.  When the dust clears I believe it will be a good thing. 
  5. My new determination to put myself on a budget and stick to it.  I feel it is God honoring to get the mess my finances are straightened out and then used for His glory.  It’s been a challenging couple of weeks and I foresee more, but in the long run it will be worth it.

Dear Lord,  Please help me to remember that every step I take is a living sacrifice to You.  Let people see You reflected in all my actions, all my words and all my choices.  I only want to bring glory to You, my God and my King.  Guide me down the path You have chosen for me.  Keep me from straying off that path.  I ask all this in the name of my Lord and Savior, Your Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.  AMEN

An Attitude of Gratitude – April 4, 2014

April 4, 2014

Some days I feel my attempts at gratitude are pretty mundane and pathetic.  Some days I don’t feel like writing anything at all.  Most times on those days I don’t write.  But today I am forcing myself to write. 

This year I am once again riding in the American Diabetes Association’s Gold Country Tour de Cure.  This year I am riding not only as a committee member but also in memory of my dad.  Diabetes complicated his illness and, I am sure, played a role in his death earlier this year.  If you would like to contribute to the ADA to help educate and support those fighting this disease please click here

My gratitude list for today.

  1. My health.  I’m not in the best of health, I have an area or two of concern, but generally speaking I am healthy enough to support myself and not spend most of my time and money on pain and/or medications.
  2. My art.  I am working on a large piece, a collage, also in honor of Jeffrey.  Working on this piece is helping me process his death and bringing me a small measure of peace.
  3. My dog.  As neglectful as I have been to her, especially with all the craziness going on in my life lately, she is pure, unconditional love at it’s finest.  I need that right now.
  4. My faith.  Leaning on my faith and my belief in and love for God has helped me through these past few weeks.  I know God has a plan for my life.  A plan for my mother’s life, too.  Trusting God in this has helped me immensely.
  5. The rain.  Folsom Lake was getting pretty low.  The drought is far from over but I think we’re getting a good handle on things once again.

Father God, I know you are watching out for Your children.  You love us and encourage us when we need it.  Please forgive me when I go astray, when my puny attempts at living life miss the mark and I let You down.  Thank You for not only the blessings I have listed above but every blessing You have poured into my life.  I appreciate them all.  Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness and mercy.  I love You, I worship You and I adore You.  I pray these things in Jesus’ holy name.  AMEN

An Attitude of Gratitude – March 27, 2014

March 27, 2014

It’s been a rough few months.  Three weddings and two funerals.  Doctor visits, lab tests and cortisone shots.  Physical therapy.  Train rides and car trips.  I’ve been exhausted and unrested.  I’ve been sad.  The emotional pain is so deep I can feel it physically.  I am disappointed and discouraged because my prayers weren’t answered the way I wanted them answered.  But deep down, underneath it all there is a little kernel of joy.  I know my Redeemer LIVES!!!  I know I will see my loved ones again, in the not too distant future. 

I have much to be grateful for:

  1. Jeffrey is out of pain.  He was in my life for more than 30 years, more importantly, he was in my mother’s life for more than 30 years.  His love will linger with us for the rest of our days.
  2. Each day my mom is getting more and more stronger and less and less sad.  She will always miss Jeffrey but is learning to live until such time as they are reunited.
  3. I will be riding in this year’s ADA Tour de Cure again this year, I’m planning on the 30 mile route.  In 2 days I have managed to collect $136.00 in sponsorships.  I hope to continue that trend.  I am dedicating this year’s ride to Jeffrey’s memory.
  4. I have several art projects underway, a watercolor, a collage and an abstract marker creation, among others.  The ideas are buzzing around in my head.  It was too quiet up there for a while.
  5. I trust in God.  If I didn’t trust Him I would be in much more pain than I am right now.  I would be missing Jeffrey and not anticipating reuniting after our time here on earth has ended.

Dear Lord,  I may never understand why You had to take Jeffrey from us so early but I do trust that You had a purpose and a plan.  Thank you so much for the peace that has been permeating my life when I think of him lately.  Thank you for my mother, the new closeness we are enjoying as I walk with her through these difficult days.  Guide me as I try to help her through the next milestones in her life.  Lord, I surrender my life to You as You lead me and guide me.  I ask all this in the name of Your precious Son, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I have new appreciation for the pain of surrendering His life for my redemption.  Words can never adequately express my gratitude for this, Lord.  AMEN

 

An Attitude of Gratitude – March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

Time marches on, whether we want it to or not.  It’s been a tough few months.  I haven’t painted as much as I wanted because I spent a lot of my free time sewing my oldest daughter’s wedding dress.  I also spent a lot of time visiting my step dad in the hospital as he was in and out several times over the last few months.  I haven’t ridden my bike much because it needed repairs, but I managed to get it repaired and am now waiting for the time and good weather.  And still time marched on.  I didn’t blog because there was just too much to write about, and I became overwhelmed with it all.  So now I need to get back into the swing of things.

  1. I am grateful for my friends.  In hard times and in joyous times my friends are loving and supportive.  They are there to celebrate with me and there to mourn with me.  I am blessed to have the friends I do.
  2. I am grateful for my family.  As quirky and argumentative as my family may be I still love them all.  They are all part of the life experiences that made me the woman I am today and I like the woman I am today.  I am blessed to have the family I have.
  3. I am grateful for my small group Bible study.  We’ve been studying Andy Stanley’s series on “Christian, it’s not what you think.”  It’s been eye-opening and thought-provoking.  It has changed some of my beliefs, I believe in a positive way.  I am blessed that Jesus loves me so deeply.
  4. I am grateful for an understanding boss.  I had reason to take 2 weeks off work recently without any advance notice.  My boss was understanding and supportive.  I am blessed with my job.
  5. I am grateful that I got to have my step dad, Jeffrey Teupel, in my life for the last 30+ years.  He taught me vast amounts about love and patience.  I am so blessed to have the privilege of calling him my dad.

Dear Lord, I stand before you today hurting and in pain over the loss of one of the finest men I have ever known.  You didn’t answer my fervent prayers in the manner I asked for but I know, I trust You, that You answered them in the manner best for Jeffrey, my mother and me.  I know You had our entire family in mind when You took Jeffrey home to be with You.  Please be with my sisters and brothers, my children, my nieces and nephews and most of all, my mother, as we face continuing down our life paths without Jeffrey.  Please comfort my mother, bring her peace and rest.  I humbly ask all this in the name of Your precious Son, the one who lived and died for the reconciliation of our sins, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  AMEN