Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, "Thus far the LORD has helped us." (1 Samuel 7:12)
"Spiritually and theologically speaking, an Ebenezer can be nearly anything that reminds us of God’s presence and help: the Bible, the Sacramental Elements, a cross, a picture, a fellow believer, a hymn – those things which serve as reminders of God’s love, God’s Real Presence, and God’s assistance are 'Ebenezers.'" (link for more information)
Appropriately timed, the things for which we are thankful are also our Ebenezers, as they remind us of God. In traditional Thanksgiving, blogger fashion, I'll give you my list for this year.
1. Always at the top of the list is Mom. She's just the best. Don't even try to argue. Maybe your mom is the best for you, but mine is the best for me, and I love her.
2. Always next is friends. Yes, I can make it plural now, and that's a wonderful feeling. A few of the women at church, one in particular, have really taken to hanging out with me and just making me feel loved, and it's just grand. I haven't asked if I can use their names on my blog yet, so I won't, but I'll tell you that one has two young boys with autism and works a lot with the children at church with me, and another has two young boys, one with some Aspergerish tendencies, at least, and 2 beautiful Tonkinese cats. She's teaching me some piano, and I watched her boys last week. Not to leave out Leigh, who is doing great and enjoying the warm weather in LA. We Skyped last night, and I'm not entirely sure if I liked it or not, but I wanted to try.
3. Always third is Elsie P. Secretly, it's hard put Elsie after friends, because they're really kind of tied. We're back in the apartment, and she meowed all night outside my door. But, if I open it, she comes in and tries to yank my hair out with her teeth, which doesn't feel very good, especially while sleeping. She transitions between houses seamlessly, I'm happy to say, and her stomach is hanging in there on the steroid.
4. I don't know what I would do without my church mentor. She's always there to cheer me up when I need it. She's great at finding little things, like puzzles or Mickey Mouse Band-aids, that I love. I look forward to going to the church and seeing her every week, and it makes my day when she comes to Saturday Night Worship and I get to do church with her.
5. Mom and I are tutoring a woman in English. She is from Korea, and she has two daughters. The younger one is quite shy, while the older is outgoing. D has started to bring K with her to our weekly Bible studies (that's how we're practicing conversation), and she and I are going to go see Harry Potter within the next month. Next weekend, we're going to see Tangled and bringing the moms. It's just such a blessing to have the opportunity to get to know someone, and maybe help them out too. D is teaching Mom as much about the Bible as Mom is teaching D English, and I get to be right there and watch it all!
6. I'm grateful to my doctors and therapists for doing what they do. It's so much more than "just a job" to them. They truly care and it shows. My doctor is a neuropsychiatrist who specializes in ASDs, and my therapist is not an ASD specialist but is just "on my wavelength," as Mom always says. I've been seeing her for going on 3 years. Appointments are a little rough now that Leigh doesn't come, because I don't think I know what to talk about very well, but maybe I'll learn.
7. My new thing: horseback riding! I am still in awe that I got almost a full scholarship to ride for 5 months! I only pay $5 a lesson (in addition to the $12 in gas each time). On Tuesday, I got to go off lead for the first time, and Casper bolted! Well, he started trotting rather quickly. I yanked with all my might, sat my bottom down hard in the saddle, and said, "Casper, whoa." Nothing. After about the tenth time, he did stop, and then got going again! It was really hard to keep him to the outside of the arena when I was pulling back so very hard. Anyway, it was great fun (I like to trot), and I wasn't hardly scared at all.
8. Emmaus House! We've had some very preliminary conversations about an autism group home with them. I think, given that I could keep riding horses and attend church (which they say they'll find a way for horses, and Mom will take me to church every Saturday), I would go. It's not that I can't survive in the apartment but rather that I do better when I'm around people. I'm happier.
There you have it. My Ebenezers of 2010. There are so, so many more little things, but this is just the 8 that immediately come to mind, and I'm not in the mood for 10, so I'm going to stop here. Off to eat some turkey!