For midterms (really), vulnerability, and easy recycling - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 40

For midterms (really), vulnerability, and easy recycling - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 40

This week I am grateful…

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For all this work.

It is that time of the semester: midterm! I have assignments due, papers progressing, a weekend class, and one monster of an exam coming up. It is just that time—and it truly makes me glad. Seeing all of these assignments and responsibilities met means I am that much closer to my goal of graduation, integration, and going home!

Lift a prayer for students, if you would. This is when stuff starts getting real.

On going home, good theater, & Michaelmas! - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 29

On going home, good theater, & Michaelmas! - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 29

Happy feast of St. Michael and All Angels!

Today’s a day especially set aside to remember how messengers of God come into our midst—slaying the monsters of our nightmares and the dragons of doom upon the earth.

It is a great day to recall Gabriel’s visit to Mary, the mysterious Three’s visit to Abraham and Sarah, or even the heavenly showdown in Revelation between the Woman Clothed with the Sun and St. Michael against the Seven-Headed Dragon of Revelation 12 (you have GOT to read that tale if you’ve never)!

It is a wild holy day, y’all, and it is the first major liturgical holiday Aaron and I celebrated outside Christmas and Easter.

The first year we had paper crowns, fiery chili, and a fierce dragon piñata.

Last year we added homemade blackberry pies!

And tonight my dear friends are planning to welcome a small host for brats, pumpkin beer, and, I am sure, a bit of storytelling—for Michaelmas is good for that.

I am thankful for this weird holiday and the way it stirs me toward mystery. I find myself remembering and recognizing the angelic messengers in my life, those people that bear good news at just the right moment.

I hope you have yourself some fun today, slaying dragons, telling stories, and looking for ways to move on mission with God’s message of peace and good will to all—

For Saints, Sabbath, and the First Day of Fall - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 38

For Saints, Sabbath, and the First Day of Fall - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 38

This week I am grateful...

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For sister Hildegard.

It was the feast of Hildegard von Bingen this past Sunday. I did not even know until Monday and so enjoyed remembering her then. I stumbled upon an exhibit the Brooklyn Museum has on the German mystic, and a few quotes, too.

I have GOT to learn more about our girl Hilde. 

For honest professors, Life Around the Table, and Practical Magic - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 37

For honest professors, Life Around the Table, and Practical Magic - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 37

This week I am grateful…

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For my new laundry rack, that it fits and works well in my little sun room.

Y’all know we purchased an umbrella clothesline posthaste when we moved to Texas. Well, after a few weeks of hanging laundry with the birds and the breeze and my Barkley-boy, I had to ship myself off to Winston-Salem for school, sans clothesline.

Which I really did not consider would be a thing.

Why should a clothesline, of all things at present, be a thing? Furthermore, why would I miss the time and energy it takes to hang clothes on a line when an electric dryer is directly available?

I did two loads of laundry in my first weeks back here in NC. Both times I felt…icky? Stumped? Stuck? Answer: All of the above.

The dryer felt loud, obnoxious, and unnecessary. It felt like a huge amount of energy for the simple task of getting my clothes dry. Recent experience has taught me they THEY DO THAT ON THEIR OWN. Rather quickly, too.

Of course I am not in a position where I am responsible for washing cloth diapers for a young one or my entire household’s week of clothes in this apartment. I think those would be reasonable uses for a dryer in an apartment.

As for my needs, though, I remembered a drying rack I had in college, and, thusly, moseyed myself over to Amazon for a price check.

Two days later...

Not a thanksgiving short - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 36

Not a thanksgiving short - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 36

For the first time all year I am a day late with my #SevenGratitudes. Grad school's made a tall order this semester, seeing as it is my very last one. Plus, I am living 1,100 miles away from my husband. There may be other weeks when my gratitude practice will have to be flexible. 

However, the important part is that there is still time. There is still time to gather and examine the loose ends of my lived experience of Reality this week. There is still time, though not within the usual 24-hours of Friday, to see how those loose ends weave together into a picture of God’s freely-given presence and love.

Which, utterly and completely, is what practicing gratitude reveals to me, beloveds. It shows me, every week, whether I want it to or not, just how much and abundant and lavish is God’s love. It is almost too much to bear sometimes.

But it ain’t gonna fail us. It ain’t gonna quit. God will love us through, hallelujah.

Thanks for being here, a day late, but not a thanksgiving short.