I remember one time Tom Fife was teaching an institute lesson about making our homes holy places and he suggested having good things in them. He showed us some beautiful pictures and books from his home. Though it wasn't his intent, I felt a little bad that I couldn't afford beautiful books or pictures to put in my home. Before I could feel too bad about it though, I had the thought that I pray, read the scriptures, and serve people in my home and that those things make it a beautiful and a holy place. So, in sort of the same way, I am decorating my home with gratitude for Thanksgiving. I have wondered if this was a good idea, because it seems like something Oprah might suggest, but I somehow think President Hinckley might have liked the idea, so maybe it's okay after all.
The gratitude decorating my home these days has kind of floated in the air like a mist, except that it has been warm and bright which is actually nothing like a mist at all. Here are a few of the decorations that have filled my home and made it beautiful.
-Dad's cancer went into remission on it's own after he incorporated heart healthy lifestyle changes, and he is alive and well after his heart attack.
-My brain is almost better. I think the last change I have to go through is adjusting to new ways of dealing with stress. I have been working on this for 3 months and nothing else has turned up, so hopefully this is the end of it. I feel stress more acutely than I used to and there is a sort of buzzing in my head when I get stressed out. From this sort of buzzing feeling, I have learned what stresses me out most. It requires a combination of four things. 1) Having PMS, 2)Feeling rushed, 3)Either being really hungry, or needing to go to the bathroom really badly, and 4)Having to listen to or read boring scientific material about a subject that I don't know very well. Perhaps pulling my fingernails out one by one would be worse than the combination of those four things, but I am not certain of that. However, I am grateful that needing to go to the bathroom badly is among the most stressful things in my life. The buzzing sensation is almost gone too I think. I'll probably find out next time I have PMS.
-I think I finally understand my problems with men. I am terrified of being attacked by them. That's it. I can work with that. I am grateful for the many blessings I have had in which I have been promised that God will protect me, if necessary, by the encircling of angels. They give me the courage that I need to prevent my fear from stopping me.
-I am grateful for Ofelia's exercise classes. They give me something to look forward to nearly every day.
-My writing skills are improving. This enabled me to write a letter that brought back Ofelia's Friday classes after they were cancelled by the gym coordinator. While grudgingly reinstating the classes, the coordinator said "Miriam, I have got to complement you on your writing skills." She did not look happy at that moment. I think I was experiencing the power of language for the first time in my life. I was enormously happy at that moment.
-People keep offering me money to do things that I am already doing anyway. I just got an offer today to review 3 chapters from I text book I already use for my class. I read those chapters every semester already.
-My Mom listens to all of my little worries and concerns and helps me with them. She is planning Thanksgiving for a celiac, a heart patient, and a vegetarian. If Mike were at home, I am sure she would find a way of working with his poultry allergy as well.
-Knowing I am a celiac (which has improved every aspect of my health) and finding the things that make a gluten free life livable (Trader Joe's, Vitamix, millet flour, xanthan gum, vitamins and gluten free peanut butter.) Also, I can eat lettuce again! Salad is awesome.
-Family and friends who love me and give me advice and support and encouragement.
I have much to be grateful for.
Though I haven't pointed these things out to anyone, the people who have come to my home recently have told me how beautiful it is.