Sunday i woke up ALL OVER sore after Saturday’s major ‘switch around’ house project. Stepping gingerly to the floor, soreness morphed into full-blown PAIN (zzzzz -NECK!); almost simultaneously a bad case of The Cranks pain-planked in (or Grump-Generator manufactured the Grumps) Take your pick: Miss Virginia was not ready to be Miss Sunshine. Morning Joy + Pain = Porcupine Sunshine
Before encountering other entities to inflict with the Cranks, i had a loud Mindflash: INSTEAD OF HAVING THE CRANKS, GIVE THANKS.
woah! Take a painful step back. Breathe deeply. Thanks?? be thankful??
Even if pain blurs things a little (sometimes A LOT!), there’s usually so much for which to give thanks. So, i started thanking God … 1st for the grace to complete the #@&#% project for which i was in pain (leaving out the #@*#%! If my Mama washed my mouth out with Soap, imagine what Super-Soap God would use to wash out my mind – kinda scary, that!)
Gradually the Cranks decreased as my thanks increased… the pain was still there (loud & clear) & i did warn the Savvy Saints (my parents) it was ‘better be nice to Ginny Day.’ Unfortunately, Papa did not get the memo, asking me to ‘squishy’ his eyeglasses THREE TIMES! Sometimes methinks he likes to test my faith, as fervent “oh Lord, help, help – GRACE NEEDED” prayers zoomed upwards (he actually had some sleep in his eye… go figure! : )
This month in America we set aside a whole day for giving Thanks, appropriately called ‘Thanksgiving.’ Besides eating lots of Turkey (or piles of yummy Veggie sides if you’re Vegetarian) most folks take time out to be thankful. So cool this year lots of folks on FB & in the Blog-o-Shere are making November an Advent of Thanksgiving (as seen launched on John Scalzi’s ‘Whatever’ blog) by giving thanks each day for something or other…
The thing is, I usually start each day with thanksgiving … well most days (!) Looking outside to see the absolutely glorious fall trees: fire orange, yellow, red & all hues in between (keeping those Heavenly Paintbrushes BUSY!) I start down my to-thank-God-for-list. Sometimes it’s kinda long & most times repetitive… especially when thanking God for the saints who have gone before us –(Elijah & his ‘buckets of water’ faith, Moses surfing through a dry Red Sea, Joshua & his courage, Isaiah & his prophecies, Peter’s denials & ‘Rockyness’ – that give me hope, Andrew’s fishies, Thomas touching the wounds of Christ… and then on from Benedict to Oswald Chambers to Mother Teresa…)
But ALWAYS, I thank God for the Gift of Life – especially for my Papa & Mama. We just celebrated Papa’s 81st birthday at the end of October – A TOTAL MIRACLE. When Papa turned 70, Dr. Shaw (his Pulmonologist & dear friend) said, “Dick, do you realize most quads don’t make 65?!”
Now EIGHTY ONE, Papa keeps on keeping on by the grace of God… busy writing books on his computer with voice-activated software (working to finish 3 new ones by Jan 1st), mentoring folks, meeting appointments, serving as Pastor Emeritus of a large church in Williamsburg & as mover/shaker of a global ministry … AND writing blogs with help from the Blog Posting Elf (check it out http://4spiritualsecrets.com/ !)
So busy…. & he never leaves the house (except in an ambulance…)
Then there’s my Mama, who has taken care of health-challenged Papa since 1980 when disease began crippling his legs & continued moving all over until he became a bedfast quadriplegic 10 yrs ago (who needs help wiping his nose!) Mama has severe rheumatoid arthritis & lost the use of her arm & hand a few years ago – she zips around the house in her wheelchair (when she gets into high speed, we have to run to catch up!) – but she still helps Papa with her all her heart (& all that she can do with one hand, still LOTS!)
Married 56 years, they keep the Mush Police busy issuing tickets (whispering sweet-everythings to each other that the intercom broadcasts throughout the house; not hearing so well their ‘whispers’ are kinda loud! lots of ‘ooh Angel Face’ & ‘ooh Angel Pie’ : ) Then Papa gets separation anxiety if Mama goes out of the living room … BUSY Mush Police!
Did I mention Papa is in pain 24/7? Back to Miss Porcupine Sunshine on Sunday (& yesterday & today… the RPN – Royal Pain in the Neck remains despite ice, heat & Being Flat) It’s hard to have pain-inflicted Cranks around Papa, as he gives thanks every day – all day – because, as he says, “my blessings outweigh my challenges.” (of course, he says other things like “I can’t, but He can’ and so much more – be sure to check out his blog!)
So, today instead of having The Cranks, I give THANKS to God for my Papa & Mama: the inspiring Gift of God in their lives, their faith-filledness, their ministry & their LOVE…
Grace, peace & Thankful RPNs
Virginia : )
p.s. Scenes from Part 2:
…instead of having The Cranks, giving thanks for 6 YEARS hanging out with the Savvy Saints in Williamsburg, Virginia (vs. the rest of the exciting globe…) Did i mention that Willsb is a small town? That i am over 40? That even over 40 you are always still a kid – in my case ‘the baby girl’ of 5 siblings? That even after dodging bullets, stones, landmines & disease in international postings, my Mama still tells me to wear my jacket out when it’s cold? That i had a leadership position in a large (very large) NGO in Tanzania? That domestic stuff is not my ‘shtick’ – (except as THE COOK : )
Stay tuned… & check in tomorrow (or Thursday re: RPNs) for the exciting Part 2 conclusion: how to overcome Homebound Cranks with Thanks…