For Life with Friends, Talks with Dad, & Chicken Pot Pie - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 12

For Life with Friends, Talks with Dad, & Chicken Pot Pie - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 12

Seven Gratitudes is a weekly gratitude practice. Several of my friends and I linkup every Friday to share the ways we notice the bubbling and swirling growth of grace in our lives. Thanks for joining the fun! 

This week I am grateful for…

1

The amplified joy of life with friends.

St. Patrick was well remembered Friday night ‘round the Coyle-Carr table. We were blessed with the presence of our friends and the gift of our friends becoming friends with one another.

Aaron and I made a cottage pie, roasted broccoli, and a green apple tart. Stephanie made a Rainbow Salad, which I thought was clever and very luck-o-the-Irish of her!, and Laurie and Adam supplied Irish beers for all. 

Wes and Meg stayed the night in our guest room and shared pancakes with us Saturday morning. Weekend mornings are just wonderful anyway, but then to share that blissful grogginess with some our best friends—that’s a little bit of heaven!

I am thankful for the way friends make time slow down. Or, rather, they help me experience every moment as it happens. With every breath, laugh, and story I am drawn directly into the perfect grace of the present moment.

Talk about life-giving. <3 

For Dorothy Day, St. Patrick, & KitchenAid - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 11

For Dorothy Day, St. Patrick, & KitchenAid - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 11

Gratitude is a dynamic and paradoxical phenomenon. 

As my spirituality professor pointed out this week, I must attest to the way gratitude is both a spontaneous experience and a cultivated practice. It is both a gift to receive and a choice to be made.

The two experiences relate to and support one another. The practice part—the intentional reflection upon one’s life with thanksgiving in mind part—influences, especially, the frequency of those moments of spontaneous experiences of gratitude, those moments when deep-seated thanksgiving swamps in and rolls over your whole person, flowing out into sighs of praise.

The more we continue to practice gratitude, the more our senses fine-tune themselves to the glorious wonders waiting at every turn.

This resonates deeply with this #SevenGratitudes thing we’ve got going here. From my viewpoint here at volume 11, I’d say thanksgiving is popping out all over.

If you are new to the gang, welcome. Every Friday a band of defiantly thankful women (so far it has been a purely feminine affair) gather ‘round this cyber hub and form a circle of gratitude—a community of intentional hallelujah.

I’m glad you’re here. See below for ways to join in!

This week I am grateful for...

Forgoing the Hustle & Embracing the Rest - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 10

Forgoing the Hustle & Embracing the Rest - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 10

Round 10 of #SevenGratitudes is underway, friends.

This is a weekly space for considering our lives with gratitude in mind. It is an opportunity to grow thanksgiving and praise in our hearts and feel in our bodies the liberation that brings. It is dogged resistance to the systems of greed and consumption in our world today. It is a hopeful practice--and hopefully a fun one!--for a better world.

Thanks for joining us!

This week I am grateful for:

1 . Permission to forgo the hustle and rest, rest, rest.

Spring Break this week has been good. I needed the rest and, more than I even realized, I desperately needed permission to leave off production for a while. I almost did not know what to do with myself during those first few days of not having to get somewhere or do anything.

Barbara Brown Taylor describes the experience of Sabbath as a wonderful, mysterious gift—in which there is a “little death.” Even though I was on Spring Break and not a Sabbath day, I think I experienced some of what she meant by that “little death.”

Lent: How It's Keeping Us this Year

Lent: How It's Keeping Us this Year

Just shy of two weeks ago some dear colleagues and I were sitting at the community lunch table. Between tidbits from class and the day-to-day came, of course, a discussion of Lent. It was, after all, the week before Ash Wednesday: the beginning of many folks’ favorite time of Year.

Lent's popularity crosses all the major Christian traditions. Even evangelicals and capital “P” Protestants are doing it. My family kept Lent when I was a girl—and we were Southern Baptist!

There is something about this season of preparation, this invitation to turn and walk lighter in the shadow of the cross. It moves many of us in a deep way, like the gradual pull of an ocean current or the flirty come-hither dance of a fire’s flame.

Perhaps we know in our bodies—centers of integral discernment our brains oft ignore—that something important will be said and asked of us at Easter. We’ll need to prepare for that. It does a body good to prepare for the holy. I feel that need. All the ions in my body point toward that laden cross and empty grave.

Like the rest of the Year, Lent is something that happens--whether we “do” anything about it or not. Our “doing,” though, can help us become more aware of God’s wooing ways, of God’s invitation to the way of the cross.

For Backcountry Wedding Planning, Surprise Ashings, & Juniper Fox - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 9

For Backcountry Wedding Planning, Surprise Ashings, & Juniper Fox - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 9

Welcome to Seven Gratitudes, vol. 9!

Seven Gratitudes is a weekly spiritual practice for me and several of my friends. My intention is that by carefully considering and joyfully sharing my thanksgivings, I might be moved to a deeper sense of God’s pervasive presence in the world and, also, my place in it.

I am happy to meet you here, too. 

There’s a lot in the world that would keep us from rehearsing our gratitude, friends. I celebrate, however, your presence and the chorus we make for praise, no matter what.

This week I am grateful for...