Saturday, November 21, 2020

Assembly of PIGS: Giving Thanks

photo Shutterstock licensed

Thursday is Thanksgiving and although with COVID-19 we are keeping to just having our intentional Community together for the meal, it is a day to give thanks. I love Thanksgiving. I love that we stop for half a day to be together, cook, eat, and drink. We sit and listen to Alice’s Restaurant, and though this year we will have no volunteers to whom to explain the song, we will listen, sing, and laugh. That song and time has become holy to us in the Community.

Every Monday, we, the Community, gather to worship. Our worship is loose and flowing; but two things we do faithfully are to start by bringing good things that happened the week before into our circle, and end with bringing people who need our thoughts and prayers into our circle. Lately, it is hard for us to think about good things. I asked Mama the other week, “Do YOU have anything good to bring into the circle?”

“What? Besides the old stuff?” she said shaking her head.

“Bring in the old stuff, Mama.”

“Well, we have food and a house and we are living.”

Sometimes these days, that is all I THINK we have, but we have so much more:

1. We have each other in our Community, and though at times we feel isolated, we still have each other (I can’t wait to be able to hug again!).

2. We do have our basic needs met and have been able to meet the basic needs of the CDCA…though how... a miracle?  Well, I believe, God is helping this work through so many.

3. We have people who pray for us and this work which – I believe - helps with number 2.

4. We have volunteers stateside like Steve selling coffee and being the CDCA’s lawyer, Sue depositing donations, Tracy and Racheal being our legal address, board members helping in various ways, Jessica writing checks, Joseph and Alex dealing with sending paper mail for us, Coury and Cassie dealing with mail for us and the list goes on and on.

5. We have volunteers in Nicaragua like Lila working on legal stuff for us, health promoter volunteers working with the clinic, Dominga working extra hours to provide more therapy sessions, volunteers in the clinic learning and providing care, Steve helping us navigate the future, Neil working with Daniel on social media, and again the list goes on and on.

6. We have a great staff who are there when they are needed both personally and professionally.

7. Though shaky and achy some days, we all have our health.

8. We who have living parents and siblings are fortunate that they all love and care for us.

9. We who have children are fortunate to have children that love and support us.

10. We who have grandchildren are fortunate to have the most adorable and smartest ones in the world 😉

11. We have the greatest friends who make us laugh and who hug us (or will) when we cry.

12. In other words, we have a whole host of people who have our backs.

So why is it so hard to think of good things?

Sometimes we feel so swamped by the bad things…like recently, two hurricanes in two weeks and looking at crop failures…we forget the good.

Two people in my life are great at saying “thank you” and praising people consistently: Sarah and my dear friend, Donna. I’m horrid. I think it, but the words do not come out of my mouth enough.

I used to pick up our boys from school and tell them “good job” about grades they got or something that happened, but the traffic would be heavy and with watching that motorcycle driver trying to kill himself with our car… that would be it. The boys would get home and tell Sarah who would hoot and holler at their successes.

I frequently start to write a letter to someone and will think, “now how would Donna express this?” and my letters would be much better and kinder.

It is not only good to give thanks to The Divine or the universe or whatever you consider that is greater than yourself, but to also give thanks to others for all they do. Lift up the people you encounter. Lift up your family members. Lift up those with whom you work. 

Samantha, our granddaughter is two, and has a will of her own. We have been trying to teach her to say “please” and “thank you” in either language and unless she really wants something, she ignores us…but when I consistently say, “thank you for the frog, thank you for the doll, thank you for the bear, etc.” as she piles high her toys in my arms; then, when I hand them back to her she will say “thank you.”

Thankfulness expressed is contagious…as contagious as COVID-19. I’m going to try and make it a habit… the goodness…not the virus.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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