Thursday, November 22, 2007

Since 2003 I have spent some time early Thanksgiving morning reflecting and journaling what I am thankful for regarding the past year. Here are a few things I recorded in my journal this year.

1. Relationships. As I have gotten older and have been single now for six years running I have become increasingly sensitive to the need of meaningful interpersonal relationships. I am grateful for all my friends and one particular relationship this past year which has brought me a lot of joy. Relationships and intimacy are gifts from God and I never want to take them for thank God for my friends,my family, my two sons in particular and one special lady friend.

2. My home. Last year I moved into a house by myself for the first time in my life. My living situation prior to last years move was very stressful and I am very thankful that I have my own space where I have can express myself and live in peace.

3. Church. After six years in self exile regarding church I am grateful I have found a church, where I at least feel comfortable. I haven't decided to join the church and have yet to get too heavily involved but I have made a number of friends and it feels good to be a part of a regular community again.

4. Deeper understanding about relationships. I have spent a significant amount of time and energy over the past few years thinking and pondering about the nature of interpersonal relationships and while I am not presently married I do feel I am at a much better place regarding my own understanding about the "nature" of relationships...and...have been told more than once by people close to me than I really know how to do relationships....which....has been very encouraging to me. I intend to write more about this in the weeks and months to come. It has been a long hard road at times but I do feel I am making progress.

5. Growth in the "practice" of spiritual disciplines. For years I read about spiritual disciplines but it never really got much further than between my two ears. This past year I found myself praying, journaling, and meditating more than ever. I didn't set out to do any of this intentionally but have found myself gravitating, naturally towards practicing and creating my own style of what some might call spiritual disciplines and I feel good about it.

6. Gifts from a "special" friend. About six months ago a lady friend of mine celebrated my birthday by showering me with some really cool stuff. She took me to a Moody Blues concert and bought me some clothes for the special occasion. It was the best birthday present I have ever received and I was totally blown away...especially considering it wasn't even my birthday!....She decided to give me a surprise birthday party after learning how I spent my birthday alone last year trying to find a place to live because of my difficult living situation. I was so moved by her sensitivity and graciousness.... I cried...It was one of the highlights of my life...


julieunplugged said...

This is such an incredible list of things for which to be grateful. I'm especially touched by your vulnerability, Bill, and the way you open your process to ms, to readers.

It's also incredible to think about how we can be a source of blessing to others if we just pay attention.

I'll look forward to reading more about your church experiences and your spiritual disciplines too. I feel like I'm somewhere on the road behind you. :)

Bilbo said...

Hi Julie,

Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. I have such mixed emotions about trying to be vulnerable, at times. On the one hand, I don't want to come across as being narcissistic about my personal life, which I can do. On the other hand, I do believe it can be potentially beneficial to share our burdens, struggles, and doubts with others because it is good to know we are not alone. I know you understand this because you practice this all the time on your own blog...and...I appreciate and enjoy reading your blog...Thanks...fellow traveler....