Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thoughts on the Grateful Life

Hi Friends,

This week's crazy-busy, so I only have a few moments to share what I've been thinking about this week. We found out that our little Oreo has a kidney tumor that seems like fairly aggressive cancer, so it's really just a matter of time before... (you know ... ugh). So, that's been super hard. But I usually figure that if I've got to go through a hard thing I may as well squeeze all the life lessons and character development I can out of it while I'm there.

So, in light of that, the girls and I have been talking and thinking long and hard about having an attitude of gratefulness in life rather than an attitude of entitlement. I'm hoping to live this season with that gratefulness and help them do the same. So, we've been considering (in the midst of tears and sorrow over Oreo) how thankful we are for the time we've had with her - how she taught Joelle how to be a confident rider, how to sit the trot and the lope, how to do gymkhana, and how Joelle taught little Oreo how to jump, and how much enjoyment they've gotten from each other. We've also been thinking about God's kindness not just to us for giving us at least this little time with Oreo, but also His kindness toward her. Knowing that she was near the end of her life, he brought her to us, a family who would love her through her last days. She had the chance to teach one more little girl how to ride before the end (two, actually, because she helped Bethany so much too), which is something she loves to do. At her former home, she'd done that, but the girls had all grown up and she didn't have a job to do there anymore, so she was just sitting around. How kind of God to allow her a last opportunity to be loved by little girls and teach them. Oh, I'm getting choked up just writing this!

I suppose we could complain about how little time we've had, how we expected years and years more with her, how God hasn't healed her, how unfair it all is. But instead, we're hoping to focus on God's love and kindness, and I'm hoping to show and teach the girls how that attitude of gratefulness can change our lives for the better, how becoming a grateful person who thanks instead of expects, who see God's kindness instead of his "no," who looks for God's love in all things, will radically change the way we approach life and allow us to see Him more clearly and live the lives He envisions for us.

So anyway, that's what we've been mulling on around here ... even as we cry our tears for Oreo. (And thanks to all of you who have shared how you're praying for us, we so appreciate it, because even though we're learning to cultivate grateful hearts, this is also a very hard thing, and a very sad thing. So, we're grateful for all of you, too!)