I stayed up late last night preparing what I could for today. Currently the ham is in the oven, the outside colony of cats have been fed, the dogs are out in the front yard barking at everything that dares move. I’ve had cuddles with the kittens we managed to save and which we are getting way too attached. I’m half way through my first cup of many cups of coffee to come. I have a moment to reflect.

It is the morning of Thanksgiving here in the U.S. A time meant for giving thanks, of gathering with loved ones, of taking the time, to recognize what we have. Because it could be so different. There is the saying, “there but for the grace of God go I”.

Sitting here, I can remember clearly my past. I remember where I was, and even as I am no longer there, remembering then, keeps me humble now. Then, I was hungry. Then I was close to homeless. Then I was in an abusive relationship no one should endure. Then, I was a lost individual, struggling. It took leaving that life and finding my way home. Not just to here on this narrow, dead end dirt road, but to my Lord and Savior. Returning to Him, brought me far from then. He brought me to now. Do I have all my wants? No, of course not, but I have my needs.

When I take the time to pay attention, I see the blessings. I see the times I have been kept safe. I see the times when needs were filled. I see the times when the waves of the storm could have swamped me, but when I clung to the hem of His garment, I was kept safe. He did not calm all storms, but He brought me through, making me a better person.

Two years ago today I retired. I had not planned on retiring so early, but my parents needed me. Taking care of them, has taught me so very much. It has strengthened the patience, the compassion and respect that I already felt. Not merely for them, but others as well. It has made it easier for me to wait and smile an honest, gentle smile when  apologies are offered for slowness or being in the way. It has given me a more observant mindset to see those struggling. It has given me a heart to help.

If I were still working, then yes, I probably could afford to do a lot of things I dream of doing. But I would not have the time to learn the lessons I need nor be given the gifts this time offers. My focus and attention would be elsewhere.

I have members of my family who are close physically and those who are close in heart. We do what we can to help each other and to encourage each other. We have a bond that keeps us strong, even and especially in tough times.

I have friends who remind me to have fun and who help me when a need arises in which they can step up.

I have the variety of animals living in and around my home. The dogs who offered canine friendship and companionship. Bella has been my emotional support since my husband died. Molly is the comedic relief. The official cat, prefers my son’s company. The outside colony of cats has been an amazing distraction from moments of frustration of loneliness. From them came the two kittens saved that offer wonderful snuggles and purrs of love. Being visually impaired, doesn’t stop nor prevent the trust, love and desire to be held. I read once that a cat’s purr is healing, I believe that.

I have a home. I have a car. I have electricity. I have food. I have the clothing I need for the various weather temperatures.

I have a Lord and Savior who loves me, and who brought me from a dark, dangerous time to now. When I look back, it is not because part of me is still there, it is to see how far I have come from there. I have come from fear and pain to peace. I have come from hunger in all its forms, to being fed. I have come from a struggle to contentment.

Life is not easy, it isn’t meant to be actually, but it has grown worse. So much going on around us making it difficult to live a peaceful, quiet, fulfilling life. All one has to do is see a headline, hear the news, listen to conversations around us. There is a lot of bad going on and for that we need to seek answers and solutions. While we do that though, we need to remember what we do have and be grateful. That attitude of gratitude does really go far.


About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
This entry was posted in adventure, animals, Cats and Kittens, dogs, encouragement, faith, family, inspiration, life's journey, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Gratitude

  1. John says:

    We know from the Bible that things are gonna get much worse before they get better. Regardless, have a peaceful blessed Thanksgiving, Rebecca. ❤️

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