On Thankfulness, One Page at a Time

One Page at a Time: Physical Well-Being

Let’s just get this goal out of the way.

It’s the one most people resolve to achieve in a new way at the start of every new year. Which is probably why I’ve decided to try something new. I’m going to take care of it now. Before New Year’s Day. On Thanksgiving Eve.

I’m certain I will achieve it, too. Which is the whole point of goal-setting.

I am determined–when it comes to my physical well-being–not to over-achieve or under-achieve. I’m simply going to achieve.

One step forward and only one step back.

I will keep time like a pendulum. Because as Jack Nicholson once asked in the movie by the same title, “What if this is as good as it gets?”

I think maybe it is.

After all, I am in my forty-fifth year of life. Which is the halfway point more or less. I doubt my physical stamina will get much better at this point. I have a few genetic strikes against me. But, at the moment, I have one key advantage.

After a recent biopsy, I was informed I do not have cancer or even pre-cancer. But, I do have an anomaly that could turn into pre-cancer if I didn’t add a preventative medication and maybe surgery if that doesn’t work.

In my own words, I may have an anomaly, but I am pre-pre-cancerous.

By my non-medical estimation, that is as good as it gets.

Because right at this moment, I can still remember the names and faces of the people I love. I can–and mostly want to–get out of bed without assistance every morning. I can drive myself to wherever I want to go. I may have myopic vision, but I don’t need readers yet. I can play half-court basketball with my sons and shoot with both hands. I can walk both my dogs at the same time. I can do a 30-minute Tony Horton workout, which means a 10-minute Tony Horton workout should be a piece of cake. I can still eat the best chocolate torta and my favorite French silk pie. I can have my dark-chocolate mocha.

But, I can order a small instead of a medium.

I can do that 10-minute Tony Horton workout and know that is better than doing a zero-minute Tony Horton workout.

I can eat an apple with my own teeth.

I can walk one dog at a time around my block and get a sustained thirty minutes rather than a grueling fifteen. That way I can enjoy him for who he is and her for who she is. I can appreciate their individual anomalies.

I might hear the same non-migration bird twice.

I might see a tree shake off all its leaves in anticipation of a pure white snow-covering and a deep sleep until Spring’s renewal.

I might walk home on my own two feet and write down what my five senses are still able to show me.

I might stop the pendulum for a few seconds and preserve a moment of time.

One step forward and only one step back.

Not over-achieving or under-achieving. Simply achieving.

Being grateful for the as-good-as-it-gets.

Being thankful for the eve.

Advent, On Thankfulness

A Gift to Last the Whole Year Through?

Children often cast aside the rectangular–a.k.a. square–gifts without rattles or hums. They strew the contents on the floor, still hoping. Shoulders slump when they realize they were correct in their original assessment.


Their givers receive perfunctory gratitude for these obligatory necessities. Then, the kids tear into the next gifts, wishing for AA-battery requirements.

As an adult, I am more and more appreciative of clothing. I view pre-purchased garments as more than just gifts because they improve my every-day convenience. After all, I didn’t have to peruse the racks or the websites myself. My thanks is more personal and sincere. I might not even return the items for a different color. I will certainly avoid a size upgrade.

Certain brands just fit. I put them on, and they feel like second skin without being skin tight. Wearing that salt-and-pepper cardigan or those striped socks no one else sees, I leave my private world confident and enter the public arena dressed for any occasion.

Yet, standing in the closet of my life, I wonder how my Christian life can fit like a second skin without feeling skin tight. I check my makeup in the mirror, but I forget my attitude makes up part of the image I reflect. While wearing my many hats, I would like to be well-rounded and not a boring square.

Is it possible to achieve that AA-battery life and not feel rattled? Am I giving God perfunctory appreciation for obligatory necessities? Or am I truly grateful?

 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:12-17 NIV

How might a routine application of Colossians 3:12-17 prepare me for each daily encounter this coming year? Could it be a gift to last the whole year through …and beyond?

On Thankfulness

I am thankful for…

…needing more than a few days before Thanksgiving to share all the reasons I am thankful. My daily cornucopia overflows with love from my husband, our three sons, our family, and our friends. I desire to have an attitude of gratitude in both the expected and unexpected. I thank God for the blessings–seen and unseen–He brings every day.

On Thankfulness

I am thankful for…

…sick days. I am not thankful for the illness and symptoms, so much as the beneficial side effects. When one of us is sick, we slow down. We cancel events. We set aside what cannot be done from a reclined position. Today, I could let my middle son do what he would like to do most days–stay in bed. I could do for him what I would like to do most days–help him work ahead. We completed a week’s worth of reading.  Each son received my undivided attention for at least an hour. My husband and I escaped for lunch while one slept and the other two worked quietly. Our obligations were only to one another, which meant more got done than usual. I am thankful my son is getting better, and I hope the rest of us stay healthy. Yet, this sick day was the cure we needed to restore well-being!