- Monica Pickard spent twenty years of her adult life as a child care provider. During that time, with the help of her husband, she raised her son who has been diagnosed with Autism and Developmental Delay. She learned to navigate a world that was new to her – the world of Special Needs. She now shares these experiences and the wisdom they taught her, with love and heartfelt compassion for the human condition.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
If you follow my personal page on Facebook you’ve been reading my gratitude posts since October 1st. They will continue until I can no longer think of something to be grateful for on a particular day, or until December 31, 2015, whichever comes first. I have a feeling they will continue until then because there is just so much to be grateful for! Every little thing in life is something to be grateful for, even if it is simply the many breathes you take today. We can even be grateful for the bad things that happen in our lives eventually because we learn from the bad if we so choose. I wanted to share some of them here because Thanksgiving is days away and because they are all things that I learned from my son, my husband, my family, and my friends. Gratitude creates even more gratitude and that creates a joyous life. I did not elaborate on some of these things when I posted them on Facebook, but I will here. I hope you enjoy reading it and I hope it stirs up more moments of gratitude in your life!
I am grateful for everyone who has ever taught me anything, especially my son, my husband, my family, and my friends.
I am grateful for abundance. All abundance can inspire gratitude, from the food we eat to the beauty all around us. Having Josh has taught me that financial abundance may come in a form that is judged by some people: welfare. My family has not gotten rich on welfare, by any means, but it provides so much more than monetary value. It provides opportunities for mom’s like me to keep our adult children with disabilities at home with us. Josh’s benefits, along with my husband’s income, allow me to stay at home with him – at least until I no longer can care for him – and we still get to eat food and live in a nice home and get from place A to place B in a decent vehicle. Let’s face it, this is a two income world we are living in, so without it I would not be able to be here with him and he would not be able to pay for his day program that gets him out of the house with something fun to do three times each week. If my son lived in a group home, our state would be paying somewhere between $150,000 to $200,000 each year for his care. Those are the estimates I have heard. I am grateful they don’t have to do that. I am grateful for this abundance and the abundance of social workers who look after these programs on behalf of people with disabilities. I am grateful for this abundance on behalf of those in positions worse than ours who rely on this money for their most basic survival needs.
I am grateful for my ability to drive.
I am grateful for my ability to think through an issue; to see how different sides of that issue line up with my Faith and my values; to ask myself difficult questions about my fears concerning the issue; to come to the most sensible conclusion that leans me toward Love and the message of Jesus Christ as I understand it.
I am grateful that I discovered the key to peace in myself. I know that it is the peace that is within all of us and it will bring peace to the world. Eventually, one day it will spread from each of us to those with closed hearts and minds. I pray that day is soon. I pray that we use these times of terror to remember this and become more outwardly peaceful to our fellow human beings and to remain peaceful within our own minds.
I am grateful for my all of my physical abilities. Each and every day my son reminds me to be grateful for this.
I am grateful for my good health and well-being.
I am grateful for coffee. You know.
I am grateful for empathy and compassion. Without empathy and compassion, we would never have come as far as we have with disability awareness and acceptance.
I am grateful for brave people pursuing their dreams. They show me that it is okay for me to do the same. They inspire me so much. They make me brave in the face of my fears of judgment.
I am grateful for flowers.
I am grateful for fluffy white clouds against a vibrant blue sky.
I am grateful for my life.
I am grateful for the laughter of my family.
I am grateful for the Creative Force of Love. That is my new name for God. What’s funny is that God is always compared to light. CFL – Creative Force of Love and compact fluorescent light. Joseph Campbell said, “Identify with the light, not the bulb.” This kills me with delight!
I am grateful to be able to explore life's great mysteries.
I am grateful for my appliances. Especially my washer and dryer. Mother’s of any children, especially one’s with disabilities, know.
I am grateful for my ability to communicate. Every. Single. Day.
I am grateful for my ability to comprehend. Every. Single. Day.
I am grateful for my ability to make my own choices, to create the life I want, to be independent. There are people that have to rely on others for absolutely everything: their choices of clothing, food, where they live, how they spend their time, even simple things we take for granted like whether or not they get a bath each day. I thank God every day that I am not in that position. I pray that I am respectful of my son and his wishes and that I do well by him. I pray that others will do well by him when I am no longer able.
I am grateful for the Nag Hammadi Scriptures, which I am now reading. They are a collection of nearly fifty texts found in the last century near Nag Hammadi and elsewhere in Egypt. Thirteen of them are bound books that were found in 1945, buried near the city of Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt. They were brought together, most likely in the second half of the fourth century CE, and buried in a jar for safe keeping. The orthodox patriarch of Alexandria had called upon all the monasteries of Egypt to eliminate all apocryphal writings from their libraries. He listed books that were acceptable which included all of the books in the New Testament. The books found buried in Egypt are thought to be books that were not acceptable, and so they were buried because they were beloved and sacred among those who shared them. Others found elsewhere at various times include the Secret Book of John, the Wisdom of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of Mary, the Act of Peter, the Gospel of Judas, and the Book of Allogenes. Did you ever imagine a Gospel of Mary and a Gospel of Judas? They were his disciples, but we just don’t ever consider what they had to say for some reason. I cannot help but wonder how these scriptures would have changed our understanding of God and the teachings of Jesus if they had not been hidden away for so long. But they are here now. I am immensely grateful for the beloved people that hid them away all those centuries ago, for the people that found them, for the people from around the world that translated them, and for the people that published them. I am immeasurably grateful that I get to read them.
I am grateful for you, my readers. Your support means more to me than I can ever say. May God bless you.
Happy Thanksgiving, My Beautiful Friends! Peace, joy and blessings to you and your family!
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