I lost track of my Thursday Thankfulness. I began this series, if you want to call it that, about three years ago or so. In 2012, my family moved into our new home, almost six months after a fire destroyed the home we had. I was no longer teaching in a local public school (for a lot of different reasons), and I was feeling the loneliness set in. Then one day, as I was reading some blogs by some Christian women writers, I saw a call to apply to be an (in)courager. Not at all sure what that meant, I filled out the application, and I became a member of the (in)courage team. I co-led a group of empty-nest moms learning how to fly as our fledglings flew from our nests. One of my co-leaders and I devised a “schedule” for the week: tasty Tuesdays where we shared recipes for one or two people and Thankful Thursdays, where we shared our gratitude lists for the week. Even when I left the role of (in)courager, I kept up the practice of Thankful Thursdays.
And then I sort of dropped the whole blogging ball. I went back to work as an adjunct English professor for a local college. It’s part-time work, and my salary is almost a third of what it was as a public school teacher with nearly 30 years experience and National Board Certification, but it suits me at this season.
I have to admit that I do miss having my “boys” around. They are all grown up and have left the nest. One is a public school band director; the other is working his way up in management of a start-up construction business. They live in opposite (or nearly so) corners of the state, each setting up “housekeeping” for themselves. I have had to find new identities for myself, and I am still figuring it out.
I am thankful, though, that I have this season to pursue my passions. Music has been a big part of my life from the time I began taking piano lessons as a child. I thought I wanted to major in piano performance in college, but I went another path instead. Now, three years shy of sixty years old, I am taking lessons again.
I always wanted to be an artist, too. I wanted to be able to draw and paint and create beautiful things. I even taught myself some art techniques. But my real art comes from my camera and Photoshop. I am taking this time to learn to use my camera to create art and to capture the beauty in the world. I am thankful for those opportunities.
And in this season of grief, I am thankful that I have family to support me. This weekend, I will be going out of town with my mother. We are going to Bennetts Point, where she and Daddy bought a one-acre lot, put up a mobile home, and used this place to get away to go fishing, shrimping, or crabbing. We have some work to do to winterize the place. It will be a good time for Mama and I visit. She has always been one my best friends and inspirations. From her, I learned how to be independent, to make decisions, and to “take charge” albeit reluctantly at times. It was so for Mama as well. I’m sure there will be moments of longing for Daddy while we are gone, but I will be thankful for the memories I have of him playing and enjoying himself in this beautiful place.
I hope that you will join me in this month of gratitude to share your thanksgiving and gratefulness for all the many gifts you have received.