For newborn nephews, life’s unfolding, & our bed - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 33

For newborn nephews, life’s unfolding, & our bed - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 33

This week I am grateful...

1

To meet my newborn nephew. To see his face.

Oh my goodness. There have been so many feelings about this little one’s arrival. When I got to “meet” him over FaceTime, when I saw that precious face, every one of those feelings melted into awe. Then gratitude. Then absolute, head-over-heels Love.

I praise God for the miracle of life. I celebrate the safe delivery of another beautiful earthling. I am hopeful for his future and the ways our paths will cross. I see God and God’s powerful creativity already at work in my nephew.

To witness such a Presence is transformative, and I need transforming. The world needs transforming.

For Thug Kitchen, my mama, & The Wailin' Jennys - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 32

For Thug Kitchen, my mama, & The Wailin' Jennys - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 32

This week I am grateful…

1

For the Wilshire welcome.

Sunday morning was our first official day at our new church, Wilshire Baptist. I woke nervous in all my limbs, feeling the wake of memory after memory of other first days with other new folks in other new places.

The past can haunt, for sure, but a curious thing happened.

The plan was to join the church in both the early and the eleven o’clock services with a brunch Q & A session in between. Being as anxious as I was there was nothing to do except show up. Just be there. Submit and enter the process of the unfolding moment.

So I did.

After it was all said and done I realized that somewhere between the bookends of joining the church I had gotten baptized all over again, and my clothes weren’t even wet. Instead, my anxieties—the pain from past experiences—were lapped away by this congregation’s smiles, breakfast casseroles, hugs, handshakes, and how-do-you-dos. I was baptized by ecclesial embrace, a grace we Baptists should talk about more often, for I was made to be new and made to be home.

I am thankful for that.

For dirty miracles, a new friend, & my dog - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 31

For dirty miracles, a new friend, & my dog - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 31

This week I am grateful…

1

For news of people healing the land. That bioremediation is possible. For dirty miracles.

I did some significant reading this week in Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew’s Toolbox for Sustainable City Living, which was very exciting. As I read I was reminded about the wondrous possibilities we have in the pursuit of healing the earth. Cities are not the anti-Christ of creation. Instead, they can be seedbeds of ecological revolution. Indeed, the biblical book of Revelation ends with visions of a New City where the leaves of the trees will be for the healing of the nations. Sounds like edible landscaping to me.

Toolbox reminded me deep in my spirit that there is hope. Specifically, it reminded me that there are people working diligently and creatively around the world for our collective well-being. Even further, it reminded me that those people are doing the essential down and dirty work, not simply hobby farming or gardening for profit. Rather, there are folks reclaiming soils that have been violated beyond recognition—soils polluted by petroleum products or awash in toxic waste.

There is an entire section in Toolbox about bioremediation, cleaning and restoring land, water, and air that has been saturated with pollutants and toxic waste.

To be clear, scientific data and knowhow is essential to do this work. It would be needlessly dangerous to march in and start shoveling soil that glows in the dark without doing one’s research. However, this book reminded me that the necessary information is very available and accessible. The work of keeping (from the Hebrew word shomar, meaning to guard, protect, foster—as one would a child) creation is available to all humans, not only those who take up certain professions.

Cleaning and restoring creation in your neck of the woods could be a matter of planting sunflowers (phytoremediation) or growing mushrooms (mycoremediation).

Is that not miraculous? 

For signs and wonders, and the BBC - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 30

For signs and wonders, and the BBC - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 30

This week I am grateful…

1

For pancakes on Resident Row.

Aaron and I love pancakes. And we are picky about them; I am especially so. We like a certain wheat-to-white ratio, a definite cinnamon and vanilla spike, and 100% Pure Maple Syrup on the side, please. What we really like, though, is to share them with good people.

Enter our new friends here on Resident Row. The whole gang piled in Saturday morning—those folks who are doing the risking of relationship with us that I mentioned last week, the ones who said they like us and are glad to have us, THOSE ONES, our new neighbors—and my heart got so happy. The youngest among us came in footie pajamas. The oldest among us reached quickly for coffee. We all, I do think, had a very good time.

Thankful for the friendship forge of a moment that we are in right now. 

For Our Parsonage, Sun Tea, & Lady Godiva - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 29

For Our Parsonage, Sun Tea, & Lady Godiva - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 29

This week I am grateful…

1

For our parsonage.

I am beyond thankful for this place that we get to call home for the next two years. Is it not perfect? I grew up in a string of parsonages (houses provided by congregations for their ministers), so these spaces just feel right, if that makes any sense.

I love the provision of it, the fact that this church recognized and realized a powerful way to support its ministers. I love that this home is situated as one of four homes in a row that each house a pastoral resident and loved ones.

Practically speaking, I LOVE that this house has a yard and a completely shaded back patio. It has subway tile, good lighting, and ample storage in the kitchen. There is room for guests and animals and plants!

And a most awesome bathroom tile conundrum. Any ideas?

Gratitude. I am giddy with it. Thankful for the chance to dwell here and share life with whoever comes through the door.