Thankfulness and the poop of life

For the first 15 minutes of prayer this morning my mind just zoomed like those little cars going around a toy racetrack. I remember my Dad  and brother snapping those tracks together on Christmas morning, and I can still hear the sound of those little cars that never went quite fast enough without jumping off the little grooves.

After two years of being out in the elements in our Arizona room….yes, it has walls, but they are not made to keep out the cold or heat….Elaine moved herself back into her bedroom on Saturday.

It was a big victory and it surprised me how much better it made me feel. I think I needed it to happen as much as she did. And now that she is back inside, she marvels how she did it out there so long. In the summer she literally slept on ice packs. It was more bearable in winter, but the noise of the freeway kept her awake many nights.

The heating and cooling bill will go down now, since we aren’t keeping that door wide open. I just have to get my cat used to the fact that he doesn’t have free access now, that he has to use the cat door and go around. He made it known he wasn’t happy with that plan this morning by pooping right in the middle of the floor. He may not be able to speak but he can communicate in other ways.

It’s an apt reminder to me that in the midst of daily life, there is always some form of poop to deal with right along with the good stuff. We just have to handle it right.

I realized this morning that I haven’t participated in Ann’s One Thousand Gifts count for a long time. I have kept counting in my heart but not here, so today I measure out my gratitude once again. It won’t ever be enough for a God who has given us everything, but it’s a start.

#957 Elaine having a place of peace, a refuge once more, being able to get a good night’s rest again.

#958 Having the house smell good again. Elaine’s Mom, as most Alzheimer’s patients didn’t like to bathe and it was a battle every time.

#959 No more chinese fire drill at mealtimes, let the reader understand how difficult mealtimes are with Alzheimer’s patients.

#960 Leaving without worrying what Joyce might do at the house to endanger herself.

#961 Being able to make a noise in the kitchen again without her coming out distressed, Alzheimer’s patients find sudden noise disturbing.

#962 Being able to leave mail out again in the open without it being opened or moved.

#963 Knowing she is safe and getting good food in her new place.

#964 That Elaine can work again without the stress of having another full-time job at home.

#965 Being able to go on a vacation or weekend away again, both of us at once.

I pause unbelievingly as I realize we are on the cusp of Lent once again. I head there bringing my tears and my heart on His altar, thankful He no longer requires a living animal, but also knowing that it’s even harder to place my whole heart there. And that’s saying a lot coming from someone who doesn’t even like stepping on ants.

I leave you with two truths today to ponder………

Sometimes a veil of tears allows us to see God clearer. He is near to the brokenhearted.

Sometimes God is the only one Big enough to hold us. He has promised never to leave or forsake us.