Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My 2012 Gratitude List, part 3

5. I am grateful for Nathan Johnson and Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God.  At Burke camp, a family church camp that we went to in July, Nathan was the youth pastor.  Nathan is, himself, a tremendous gift and  one of my very favorite people in the world.  When he was preaching during the evening services, he repeatedly emphasized how Jesus is all that we need, and he referred often to the book, The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence. I wrote about it here.   The hope of a constant awareness of God's presence, of His love and guidance has been a joy to me this year, and at times, has kept me sane and moving forward.  

4. One of the things I am most grateful for, especially lately, is how much better I am feeling.  I still have IC flares, and the odd bit of angina, but the flares are much less intense than they used to be, and between flares, the pain is again much less than usual.  I am actually doing better than I have since I was diagnosed with IC, 13 years ago. Even when I got crazy busy just before Christmas, with several research papers due, final exams happening and work, I still managed to make it through most if it without a major flare. At the very end, it happened, but then Christmas was quiet and I had time to rest until it passed.  This is huge, and I am wildly grateful for it.  

3.  One of the biggest highlights of the past year was receiving a job offer from Repit Le Zephyr in September.  The job, as a respite caregiver for families and caregivers of people with disabilities, has been a perfect fit for me.  I've been working part-time and hope to start working with more clients now that I am not so busy with school.  One of my biggest concerns was how I was going to find a job that would accommodate my physical issues.  This job fits me perfectly.  Even if I am flaring, I can keep my time with my clients low key, I have access to a washroom as much as I need (important for my IC bladder - check here to find out what that is), I have flexibility in scheduling my hours so if I need more rest, it is available to me, and I make enough money - or will when I have more hours - to work less than full-time if I need to.

More importantly, this job fits my skills and passions perfectly.  I get to work with amazing people, and the agency I work for has been wonderful at acknowledging my abilities and encouraging me. While I have a lot of experience in this area, it is all "unofficial", either volunteer work or just because I love the people I am caring for.  This can make for an underwhelming CV.  I am grateful that the people from the agency were willing to look closer, and recognize what I am able to do, and to value it even more because it was done for love.  One of the ladies who interviewed me told me that she believed that even if I didn't know what specific issues a child was dealing with, I would instinctively know how to treat the child in a way that would benefit him or her.  I almost cried.  I had no idea how much I needed someone to recognize and affirm my skills and abilities until someone did and I felt the wonder of it.  Absolutely something I am grateful for!

Stay tuned for # 1 and 2...

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