"I Thank You God" By, Nancy Alexander
Blessings of Life, Health, Love & Happiness…
I've been working pretty hard in the last few weeks. I realized that my "Secret Vendor List" had been out for exactly one year, and an update needed to be done. At first, I thought the things that needed to be checked, and/or changed were minor – that these things wouldn't take long at all. I could certainly get this done in just a couple of days. Well, that thought is ALWAYS my downfall! I am somewhat of a perfectionist, and if I'm going to do something, then, it is going to be right.
I know you're wondering how this is getting around to blessings, right? Well, I mentioned the update of my eBook in the first paragraph to let you know why Steve and I went to one of my supplier's warehouses last Friday. This particular vendor/supplier did not have a catalog, or a website, so I needed to take new pictures of some of their merchandise and we planned to film a video to use to promote my book as well. This is a three-generation wholesaler – good people – I have purchased materials and supplies from for many years. And, since I wanted the very best information for my customers – our trip was planned.
While we were in their "huge" warehouse finishing the filming of my video, I called my friend and employee Kim asking her questions about supplies we needed. Kim asked me how I was doing. I hesitated just a little as I wondered why she asked that particular question, finally answering: "Fine". Then before hanging up, I felt the urge to ask her why.
As we talked, Kim reminded me that only a few short years ago – maybe four – when I went to this warehouse to purchase materials and supplies, I had to be pushed around in a wheelchair because of the grip Fibromyalgia had on my body. Then, she also reminded me of the years before that, when I couldn't even make the trip in a car and she went for me many times. We hung up with a: "You Go Girl" which made me smile to myself. But then – such a sobering thought.
I suddenly remembered the many trips when I had to use my wheelchair. I remembered many other places we went where we had to pull out that "shiny, metal chair on wheels". I was embarrassed to use it, but I didn't have many options, if there were places I wanted to go. I could stay at home – which I did do on many occasions – or I could go and let Steve or someone else push me around. I was very self-conscious. I didn't want people who knew me to see me in a wheelchair. Every time I could, I would get up and walk beside it as if to show people…see…I don't really have to be riding in this thing ALL of the time! Today, my heart breaks for those who cannot get up out of those chairs to walk beside them.
These thoughts came flooding back as I stood in the middle of this huge warehouse talking to my friend, Kim. I was grateful that she reminded me that day of where I had been only a few short years ago. And, Oh God… as I am feeling SO grateful that I am not there today, I feel so unworthy that His healing grace made such a difference in me that I no longer have to use that chair.
Do you know that on that particular Friday, we arrived at 11:30 (after spending quite a while riding in the car) and began filming with one of the owners. I took a short break to eat after our filming session which lasted about 2 1/2 hours. I sat in our car for less than ten minutes as I ate a few bites of my salad. Then I quickly jumped out and began doing my shopping for the supplies I needed that day. When we checked out and left, I noticed it was 4:30! From 11:30 to 4:30, I had only sat down for ten minutes. THAT IS FIVE HOURS!! The rest of my time was spent walking and filming and walking and shopping as I went back and forth over this warehouse several times looking for what I needed! I Thank You God, that I can and have experienced YOUR Amazing Miracles for my life! And, Jesus, PLEASE forgive me when I am not ALWAYS VERY AWARE of what YOU have done in my life!
Now, as I am talking about blessings, I am going to back up just a little more. For this last week, as I have been thinking about our many blessings, other thoughts have been coming to my mind. I had sad thoughts about the pain of my chronic illness and how it had always affected any plans to host a party, or a family gathering. I suppose I am thinking about this because we will host quite a house full of people on Thanksgiving this year.
My Fibromyalgia used to make our holidays so different than they are today. I always wanted to host family gatherings; I wanted our home to be decorated; I wanted things to be perfect. I wanted wonderful smells coming from my kitchen with tables set up adorned with beautiful table cloths, our best china, and eye-catching centerpieces appropriate for each holiday.
But my body would never cooperate when it came time to clean and cook and do all of these fun (and, I thought, necessary) things like decorating and having the garden and yard looking 'perfect'. This left my dear, sweet husband, Steve stuck with lists of tasks he really didn't enjoy doing – but since he also looked forward to having family over just as I did, he tackled these mundane tasks getting them done without complaining.
When I think back, I let chronic, constant pain cloud my thoughts, my heart, and my eyes when it came to everything my dear Steve was doing to make these gatherings be all that I wanted them to be. I never really showed him the appreciation I felt within my heart for his support, and constant help as he went through those long lists of things needing to be accomplished. I LOVE YOU My Darling Steve…and am TRULY grateful that you were always here by my side taking care of me and doing whatever else needed to be done.
Things ARE different around our home now! We still host parties and family gatherings every chance we get! I am so grateful that Steve and I are working right along beside each other cooking, cleaning, and decorating as we prepare for the arrival of our guests. No, Steve doesn't necessarily HAVE to help me now…and no, I don't always necessarily HAVE to ask for his help. My body is different now. I can do most of the things I want to do as we enjoy our family. I don't have long lists of things for Steve to do. Our garden and our yard may…or may not…be 'perfect'!
You see, I have learned a very important lesson! All of the above things don't matter! They are not what's most important! We (Steve and I) are together! We love, and cherish each other. We enjoy doing things together! We enjoy hosting parties and meals together! But, it is life, it is people, it is friendships, it is family, it is love, and…it is God's grace. Those are the things that matter now! The long "to do" lists don't exist anymore! It doesn't matter if the grass is cut, if the leaves are covering the driveway, if the weeds are taller than the flowers and bushes in our flower beds. We are together, we are in love, we are happy, we are blessed with our children and precious grandchildren and we thank our God above for it all.
We don't know what awaits us tomorrow. But, for today, we are filled with grateful hearts that we can live, love, and experience JOY, PEACE, and HAPPINESS…one day at a time!