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Growing Grateful

I love a good checklist! I like creating them just for the satisfaction of crossing items off it. I like to see the list get shorter and shorter until, at the end of the day, I can sit down knowing well that I have completed my list. The same goes for calendars. I love being able to check items off my calendar and know that I am working towards a goal. Recently, I ran my first half marathon. It was something I never thought I would do because 13.1 miles is REALLY FAR! But, I put my mind to it, created a spreadsheet of workouts for every day from August until the race day (October 14). Each day, I knew what I had to complete a workout if I was going to make it through 13.1 miles of running. And guess what? IT WORKED! I finished those 13.1 miles 2:20:18 and at the end burst into tears in celebration of what my mind and body were able to accomplish.

I have been looking for a new checklist to complete and I came across this one. My nature is honestly, a bit cynical. Though I can see the best in other people and their efforts, at times I have trouble finding that in my own world. I came across this calendar which was created by a Young Clergy Woman and she has given permission to circulate it. (Thanks Traci Smith for creating this!) This is my next checklist and my next achievement: over the next 30 days I will write what I am grateful for and what I have gratitude for in my life. It might not be a lot every day, but at the end of November, there will be 30 posts about what I am grateful for in my life. My challenge to you is to comment on the posts about what you are grateful for each day as well. Let me know how I can pray for you and celebrate with you over November. Comment here or message me. I'd love to hear what you have to say :)

Day 1: A Memory I'm Thankful For:

Today is All Saints Day and a day where we celebrated and recognize the people who have passed into Christ's more immediate presence. In the Moravian world, each and every person is a Saint. Living or dead, we are all Saints. So today, I am sitting and reflecting on the lessons taught to me by some of the Saints I have encountered in my life and here have found some of my favorite memories. My grandfather (Elwood Yeakel, died January 2010) gave me MANY amazing memories when I was growing up. This many was probably the truly most patient man I have ever met in my life. What other grandfather would dress up in full Pretty Pretty Princess jewelry with his granddaughters and not complain about it? Or play Tales of the Crystals (a role playing game in which people dressed up in costumes, looked through crystals to see if the goblins and trolls were attacking, or fairy dust [sugar] around to lure in unicorns) and he never once told us we were foolish or silly or that he didn't have time to play with us. My grandfather had many jobs around the church in which I grew up (Nazareth Moravian Church in Nazareth PA) and one of those jobs I loved to come with him to do. It was to go wind the clock in the bell tower of the church. God bless my grandfather, because he would take my sister and me to the basement of the church and then walk up ALL the steps to the very top of the bell tower where we could wind the clock. Again, he never said that we didn't have time to do it that way or that we just needed to get it over with. He let us climb each and every one of those steps each and every time. In the summer, he would hang the swing on the tree and push us on the swing, or twist the chains up tight a let us spin and spin! He showed me just what it means to love your family and your church with your whole heart. So today, I'm grateful for my memories with my grandfather.

These pictures were taken shortly after my grandfather's passing in Christ's more immediate presence. Top Left: the sign that hung on the doors of the clock mechanism with my grandfather's handwriting. Top Right: My sister and my handwriting on the casings of the weights in the clock tower. Bottom Left: my sister, Amanda, and me standing where we stood with my grandfather by the bell wheel. Bottom Right: Nazareth Moravian Church's sanctuary from the balcony--one of my favorite views of all time.

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