Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thanks - for people

In my last blog post I challenged myself to think of ten things, whether people, places, or things, for which I am grateful and to state those things so that I can see or hear them - and others can too.  

I am most grateful for God in my life, and He is so much a part of it that it's hardly fair to list Him along with other things/ people.  So, here are some flesh-and-blood people in my life for whom I am grateful - and some of the reasons why.  

Hubby.  I love how he can make me laugh - or tries to - even when I am crying.  I love how he quirks his eyebrows up into an inverted "V" when something strikes him really funny.  I love how he used to get on the floor and play with the kids when they were growing up.  I love how he looks at me, the way he says my name, like it's something precious in his mouth.  I love how kind his eyes are (and how kind he is!), how he is so patient, more patient than I could ever dream of being. I love those ears - those glorious ears that first drew me to him - because he took the hint from Mother Nature that one should listen twice as much as one speaks.  I love his passion and desire for an intimate, personal relationship with God.  I am so grateful for his sobriety - now over 2.5 years - that was probably the greatest gift God has given to me in the last 28 years.  I love the way he plays "air bass" and hums tunelessly when he has his earphones in his ears and listens to music. I love how he quietly goes about helping people and truly thinks that nobody notices.  I love his faithfulness - to me, to the kids, to his ministry.  I love how he watches me when he thinks I'm not looking.  I love how the kids can talk to him about anything - he's so accepting.  I love to listen to him breathe when I wake up in the morning.  Every day with him is a gift.  I don't tell him enough how much I love him.  

My kids. (This counts for 2 because I have 2 kids.)  
I love how my youngest brightens up a room just by being in it.  How she has such a great sense of humour and can see the funny side of just about anything, like her uncle (my brother).  I love it when she tries to make people feel better if they're feeling down.  I love how tenderhearted she is - how loyal and how caring she is.  I love it that she is so honest about how she feels.  I appreciate so much the little things she does around the house - tidying up this room and washing the dishes in that room, putting the dog out and putting her to bed when I'm too tired at the end of a day.  She helps keep me honest about how I feel too.  I appreciate that about her - she can see through the hypocrisy and knows when someone is lying to her.  I wonder sometimes if she is aware of just how beautiful she is and how fiercely I love her. 

My oldest - so serious, so focused, so talented.  I love that she and I can share so much in the area of the arts - writing, singing, art, music-making.  I love how dedicated she is - how easy to talk to she is (she gets it from her dad, I think).  I love how she can mediate conflicts by seeing both sides, how she empathizes with people and can usually find a way to make peace.  I love how shy she is, how she is so unassuming, yet can worm her way into the cockles of even the coldest heart by looking for the good in everyone.  I love her humility: it makes her star qualities shine through even more.  I am sure that she has very little idea how greatly I admire and love her.

Mary.  Oh what a friend she's been to me for many years!  Hers was the first friendly face I saw at the first paying job I ever had.  I was nearly 18, she about 15 and a half.  We went through some pretty incredible things together!  The miles have not diminished my love for her or hers for me.  I love it that she knows just what to say to turn my frown upside down and get me giggling.  I love her zaniness, her special turns of phrase, her honest and direct approach to life.  As she would say, she's as "nutty as squirrel poo" - and we can be nutty together.  I love her faithfulness to me when things looked their bleakest.  I love how she has been my advocate, my confidante, and my greatest fan - how much she has believed in me, stood up for me, and stood up TO me.  It's been over 31 years since we first met, and I hope we're still there for each other in another 31 years. 

My brother.  This guy taught me to play the guitar, to sing harmony, and to defend myself. He and I laughed, cried, sang, and fought together.  We survived our childhoods together.  We saw each other's foibles and finest moments.  I've hated him with every fibre of my being.  And I've loved him just as much.  After all the pain and the suffering we've both been through, after every ounce of bitterness is wrung out and the fragrance of the rose remains - I love him.  I love how he can take the mundane and make it ridiculous. I love how he can make me laugh at my fears and how they lose their power when I've learned to laugh at them.  I love how he can make up a tune out of thin air, build it into an amazing song, and communicate it to others.  I love the beautiful lyrics that have come from his heart.  I love how he does everything he does and feels everything he feels: with all of the passion and fierceness in his soul. I love how he abhors hypocrisy.  I love how he knows what is right and gets so very angry when there is injustice in any form.  I wonder if he knows how much he has inspired me to stand up for the truth even when nobody else stands with me. 

Phil.  What a sweet soul!  If anyone epitomizes the love of God coming through a person to others, it's him.  I love it that no matter what he's doing, he'll take the first opportunity to say hello to and hug people.  I love how he really, truly cares about what the honest answer to his, "How are you?" is. And that he'll take the time to listen if the answer is less than "great!" I love it that he is so passionate about what he believes, and that he can communicate that passion without being overbearing or judgmental. I hope he knows how precious his friendship is to me. 

Margo.  What an enigma she is! Hilariously funny, amazingly deep, incredibly smart, fantastically talented, and all that in an irreverent exterior but deeply caring spirit.  I love it that she challenges me to look beyond the tip of my own nose.  I love how she and I can giggle about jokes that would appeal to a 12-year-old, and yet in the next breath be discussing the mysteries of the universe.  I love it that we share so many common bonds and yet we're so completely different from each other.  Yet, we're strangely the same, in a lot of the areas that count.  I hope she knows how much I admire her, how deeply I value our strange-but-true friendship.  

Dorothy.  A straight shooter, delicate but strong, faithful and as loyal as they come.  What would I have done if God hadn't brought her into my life?  I love how common sense is so common with her.  I love it that she gets right to the heart of a matter in a very short time.  I love how deeply, completely, and enduringly (if that's a word) she loves.  I love her hugs; she communicates a LOT through them.  I love how she just loves my kids to pieces - and they love her right back. I love it that she considers PEI "home" even though most of her family isn't here. I'm so grateful for Dorothy.  I hope she knows that.  

Judy.  Wow - so deep and so straightforward, a young and yet timeless spirit.  I love that she is who she is and doesn't pretend to be who she's not.  I love it that we can share deeply on a spiritual level, that she "gets" me without me having to go into a big long explanation, and yet she'll let me explain it anyway.  I love it that we can laugh and cry together.  I love it that we can pray together, appreciate each other's talents and special-ness, that we can learn from each other's strengths.  I love it that we can be honest with each other about our failings too.  I love it that we can be children together.  That we can be old women together (if that's what we choose to be - wink!)  What a treasure I found when she and I crossed paths. I am so very grateful. 

Lisa.  How do I count the ways!  Talented, honest, spirited, beautiful, tough, and vulnerable, all rolled into one. New to faith, I love that enthusiasm mixed with doubt that she carries around with her. I love it that she can cut straight to the chase and put her finger on exactly what is at the heart of a matter.  I love how artistic she is - her writing, painting, sculpture, needlework, decorating skills (food and otherwise), drawing, and on and on the list goes - these all flow out of her.  I love it that in her quiet, unassuming way, she questions and reads, wrestles and prays until she comes to her own conclusions on things that a lot of us just take at face value.  I love how beautifully she is growing and transforming from the inside out.  I love it that I get to see that, up close and personal.  What a joy it is to almost be able to hear and see the growth that is happening in her in leaps and bounds.  

Wow - is that really just ten?  I feel like I just got started.

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