22 November 2011

Gratefulness

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?"
~William A. Ward


 

These are the pendants that I created for the small but mighty 'Simple Truths' Sampler Club. I promise them that they will get a new sampler every month that includes a pendant that will not be available anyplace else. This month, to show my gratitude for these lovely ladies who believe in me and lift me up and give me courage to keep going on, I decided that they would get a custom made 'simple truth' pendant.
I asked them to tell me their favorite color and metal what they were most thankful for. It was a great reminder to myself of the things that even I overlook. Some were thankful for their kids and family, their faith and music, nature or this beautiful earth. Even someone is thankful for creativity and the ability to express it. That made me think that there could be those who don't know that they are creative, and if they do they might not see a way to let that creativity shine forth. That is something to be grateful for indeed.

I know it has been too many days since I sat down to write. Being without a computer (in case you didn't know... my Dell caught a nasty virus, this time, at the 'doctor' right now - hoping that my photos from the past 6 years will survive) has made me hyper aware of how much time I actually spend online and attached to this keyboard. Too much. My life feels strange without it, but yet I have had more time to sleep and play and connect with those whom I know that do not have an email address or a profile picture. I am still without a computer to call my own, so my attempts to stay connected with this larger world have been limited. But I did want to check in to let you know that I am still lurking about. And I miss you.


I realized during this accidental hiatus that my 3rd blogoversary has come and gone this month. I remember when I started this blog. I set out with a plan even then that I would blog and write and get my thoughts into the world, even if no one would ever read a word. I still feel that way, although I am eternally grateful for the friendships that have been fostered through this little experimental community I have created.

I actually think of each of you as I write. I recall your names and faces (if you have a picture in your profile). I remember details of the emails that we have shared, whether we agree on things or not. I think about the things you have told me about your lives, the city where you live, the colors that inspire you, the names of your children, the causes that are dear to your heart. I think about all these things and more when I sit down to write, because although I would continue to write without an audience, it is so much more meaningful to know the people on the other side of the world who are reading this. 

For that, I am ever grateful.

It is a uniquely American tradition to share a meal on this upcoming holiday, whether with those you love or those less fortunate. And yes, there are parades and football games and enough food that borders on gluttony, but there is something more to this. I don't think that you can be truly great unless you are grateful. Whether you celebrate this holiday or not, it is a good time to pause and shut out the rest of the world, surrounding yourself with those who love you... to reflect on the passing year... to focus on those things that came to be, or those that didn't, as something to be equally thankful.... It is a good time to look back and see where you have come and look forward with a renewed purpose. That is what I will be doing this week.

Thank you for giving purpose to my passion by reading my words.
Thank you for continuing the conversation with me outside of this forum (and if you have never received an email from me, please make it easy by turning on your email in your profile!).
Thank you for supporting my journey to becoming the artist that I know I am meant to be.
Thank you for sharing a little bit of your spirit with me.

Your turn...
Sometimes the things that we hope for don't always work out.
What may seem disappointing is often a blessing in disguise.
It is easy to be grateful for those things that go our way, and play into our plans, but much harder to be grateful for the missed opportunities, the dashed dreams.
But if you can look past the initial disappointment, you will often find something to be truly thankful for.

 What blessing in disguise are you most grateful for this year?


14 comments:

Alice said...

Erin,

I really enjoyed the Simple Truths sampler club and hope to re-join again next year (if you still have it). Your lovely charms and pendants have opened my eyes, and taught me to look closer, and to express my wishes.

My blessing in disguise came when the large company that I had worked for 18 years was closed when the company chose to outsource all our work. I was devistated, lost, and frantic, depressed. Who would want to hire a middle-aged woman with little computer skills? But in the end, I became a stay-at-home mom, working part time here and there to keep my skills sharp. I was able to watch my kids grow up, attend their school functions, and eventually began my jewelry making business.

I'm thankful for all the friendships I've found in this blogging world. I'm thankful for my talents--of which I often doubt. And I'm thankful for the full support of my family, even when I lose track of time and don't get supper ready, or make them go into a bead shop, or help lug heavy tables and sit with me during a show.

Have a Blessed Thanksgivng!

cw said...

Erin,
'love your pendants and the messages they express, and maybe some secrets people have kept closed up inside themselves.
I enjoy your writings, admire your work, 'glad to be a beading buddy. You are a great inspiration.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
I will as well, because I know how blessed I am. I have been on the other side of things.
Chris

mairedodd said...

on a daily basis i try to embrace the balance of life - the opportunity that has arisen because of a personality i had no control over, the knowledge that by experiencing deep grief i can appreciate great joy, the understanding that we make choices throughout each day that affect ourselves and others (and we can make great ones if we are attentive)...
happy thanksgiving erin -

EmandaJ said...

I am thankful for this lovely blogging/beading community which you have created from your heart and your blog.

I lost my teaching job a couple of years ago and I DO miss the classroom -- but, now that I have a different job with a totally different environment and with completely different people -- I love my work!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday,
Emanda

steufel said...

Erin, happy blogoversary! And once again you find the words to describe what I love abaout the blogger-world. To know, that are friends on the other side of the globe how feel the same - for that I'm deeply - grateful! Happy thanksgiving!

Michelle said...

Happy Anniversary, Erin!
We just celebrated a milestone--the shop had it's 5th anniversary on November 18! Wow!

Hmmm...something hidden to be grateful for. My recent surgery. Even though it means, without a doubt, that I will never have children of my own, I'm grateful to the Dr who finally listened to me that something was wrong. I know that I can go on from here, healthier and stronger. It may be sad to some that I will miss out on bearing children, but it's been a blessing to me.

I've been thinking about you often over the last few weeks. Hope you are doing well. And I'm glad to hear that you are spending time with those not connected to the internet. Those relationships are so important!
Many Hugs,
Michelle

Judy said...

Hey Miss Erin! Love the pendants and how wonderful that you made them unique to each person, very special indeed!
My hidden blessing....hmmmm, I would have to say our move to Tennessee. Who would have thought it would have enriched our lives so much and brought us closer as a family.

Cristina Norcross said...

My blessing in disguise was having an abnormal mammogram, then another mammogram, a sonogram and finally a needle biopsy of my left breast. For a whole month, I didn't know if I had cancer. This pause for health caused me to be more patient and knd with myself. I decided to give up a few extracurricular responsibilities in order to put my health and family first. I found out 4 days before the opening night of a show that I was co-producing, that I was cancer-free.. The tests came back negative. The gift is that I am making more time for myself and appreciating even more every moment with my two little boys. Happy Thanksgivng to you and yours! Cristna. author@firkinfiction.com

SoulsFireDesigns said...

My blessing in disguise is this... I started my Etsy shop this last spring at my husband and best friend's urging. I have had some sales but have honestly not made a profit at all yet. And it has been discouraging. However choosing to do this business has reminded me that not only am I a mommy, but I am a person. I have gotten out of my little SAHM cycle a bit. I've made incredible friends and met so many inspiring people. I am grateful for this, for a chance to feel like a person apart from my children again, even if it isn't really profitable the way I hoped it would be yet. :)
Thank you, Erin, for being one of those people I admire, that inspires me. <3 Have a wonderful holiday!

Brandi said...

I'm grateful for YOU, Miss Erin, for constantly being awesome in so many ways.

The one blessing in disguise that I'm grateful for is my dad's recent and second diagnosis of cancer, and that there was even a diagnosis to begin with (giving us a starting point for treatment). I'm grateful that he has health insurance. I'm grateful that he's upbeat. And I'm grateful that the treatment seems to be relatively non-invasive, giving him a sense of independence.

I'm just flat out grateful for family, in general.

Cabby Crafter said...

Congratulations on your blogoversary Erin! I love your work and you inspire me to create and blog more - yes, even when it seems that no one is noticing or reading.
Hope your days will be blessed always. - Michelle

Stories They Tell said...

My blessing in disguise-- my husband and I worked our little fingers to the bone to establish an upholstery shop, not just any upholstery shop, but one specializing in the careful and artistic restoration of the furniture of the 18th & 19th century. We did work for the Statehouse of Vermont, re-working the Victorian settees in the Governor's Office and also his ceremonial chair, made from the wood of Old Ironsides, the U.S.S. Constitution. But the economic downturn put us out of business. So my husband was lucky enough to find work in a local family-owned factory. And I get to stay home and do art all day. So we went from a business requiring about 80 hours a week, dealing with (often) stingy and whining clients to a life where my husband goes to work happy, comes home happy, has time to do what he loves to do and so do I. A true blessing in disguise! Thanks Erin, for remembering so much about us all and what's more, for caring about us. And thanks for letting us share our stories! Happy Thanksgiving!

Kristen said...

Erin, you are not going to believe this one. You already know that I am eternally grateful for you and your inspiration but this time it has taken on a life of it's own. In accepting your color challenge an unbelievably wonderful thing occurred. As I have been working on this challenge I have taken on a whole new venture that I never thought was possible. As I began, as usually happens when you make me step out of my box, inspiration struck. I am making my very first tutorial AND the plan is that I will be opening an Etsy shop of my own! I never thought this was going to happen and for that once again my dear sweet friend I am truly grateful for all you have done for me since I stumbled upon your blog. You are a true heart and friend I plan to get to know more over the years.
Hugs Always
Kristen

Lori Anderson said...

Your last comments -- that's something I've been thinking about for a long time.

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