For Peacemaking Comedy, Baptist Gatherings, and a Clean Cupboard - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 13

Seven Gratitudes: Counting Our Blessings Every Friday of 2017, a link up with for-the-birds-blog.com

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...

1

For open windows.

We were able to turn the air conditioning unit completely off and throw open the windows in our apartment this week. It is a wonderful feeling to save energy. Did you know that about 40 percent of US energy usage goes to simply air conditioning our indoor spaces? It felt good to be relieved of that burden for a while.

Even better, I have to admit, was the acute feeling of community I felt with the chirping birds, chatting neighbors, and whistling wind. It was a joy to rise in the morning to the sounds of the world waking up, to notice throughout the day what was happening in the natural world, and to rest at night with the evening breeze. My body synced with the rhythms of the other creatures nearby and I loved it.

2

For the joy of sustainable wins!

I LOVE getting texts like this one:

Gospel Text

It is an exciting thing to hear about the awesome things my friends are doing out of love for self, neighbor, and creation. Keeping the earth is the most natural thing for the human being; it is our first vocation. I CELEBRATE when folks find themselves more and more at home in the pursuit of ecological justice, mercy, and healing!

3

For seeing the pantry shelves thin out!

Aaron and I challenged ourselves to see out this last week of March with what we had left in pantry and fridge. It looked awfully lean, but I will have you know that we actually ate GOOD this week--Lentil Loaf and sauteed Green Beans, Scratchmade Pizza, Cheeseburger Sliders with Fancy Potatoes, Fish with Mac-n-Peas, Lentil-Guinness Stew, etc.! 

The challenge of a few random ingredients roused a holy creativity in our kitchen. I am thankful for the ways we practiced abundance when what we had.

Also, I am thankful to see ingredients dwindle because that means we are using them. How long did 5 pounds of flour used to last us? Several months, probably. Now we use 5 pounds every month for homemade pizza crusts, loaf breads, biscuits, pie crusts, and cookies! <3

It is cool to take note of what it takes to provide for ourselves from scratch. Much cheaper than conventional measures! I can’t wait to make our grocery list for April. :)

4

For my theological education.

I was at a religious event earlier this week and realized that I felt profoundly uncomfortable with the proffered theological ideas. I was sad to discover the shallow thoughts about God, but I was terribly grateful for my sensitivity to them. I am thankful that I am no longer victim to whatever theology is handed to me.

My theological education exposed me to a vast array of ideas and theories about God and the world. In that whirlwind God speaks and allows my own voice to matter. My voice matters.

5

That community is something we practice, not something we achieve or somewhere we arrive.

Telling myself that community is worth the hard stuff/working up the nerve to engage the hard stuff. 

Telling myself that community is worth the hard stuff/working up the nerve to engage the hard stuff. 

I had the opportunity twice this week to have difficult conversations with colleagues and friends. One was an act of confession. The other was the work of loving confrontation.

I was bolstered to engage these loved ones in these difficult ways because I have been learning—Lent’s been working on me, aye—that community is something we practice or continuously work at, not something we lose because of imperfection or mistake.

I can trust my friends to bear with my repentance and I am responsible for bearing grace for them as well.

These conversations were not ones I wanted to have; they made me feel anxious at the outset. However, by the end of each I felt closer to my comrades, more seen and able to see. Love—the deep, abiding kind—grew.

6

For the invitation to participate in the life of my Baptist “denomi-network.”

I am thankful for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina and for their provision for me. Aaron and I are guests of the Fellowship this weekend alongside several other Baptist divinity students for our annual state gathering for Baptist fun, workshops, and communal decision making.

It feels good to be believed in and challenged to grow in leadership. It also feels good to be around other Baptists who just can't quit each other or our calling, no matter past hurts or current differences.

7

For the Laugh in Peace comedy tour!

Rabbi Bob Alper, Pastor Susan Sparks, & Comedian Aman Ali before last night's show. (Photo cred: S. Sparks)

Rabbi Bob Alper, Pastor Susan Sparks, & Comedian Aman Ali before last night's show. (Photo cred: S. Sparks)

CBFNC began last night with a wonderful standup comedy show featuring a Baptist preacher, a Jewish rabbi, and a Muslim standup! These three work together to heal community divisions and prejudices through laughter and love.

Thankful for their brave creativity and incredible skill. And for the chance to meet such godly peacemakers! (Aaron got an autograph and everything.) (Oh yes. We geeked out.)


Seven Gratitudes Link-Up

If you would like to join in on this weekly practice of gratitude and chicanery, grab yourself a button and link up with us here every Friday morning of 2017.

Seven Gratitudes Linkup Button

HOW TO:

  1. Write a listicle about your seven gratitudes each week.
  2. Publish your piece with a link back to my blogpost on Friday mornings.
  3. And then link up with the form at the bottom of the page.

Be sure to visit with the other bloggers in the party--THEY ARE TOO WONDERFUL TO MISS!


Tell me what you're grateful for in the comments below or over on Facebook. I wanna hear!

Thanks for being here, beloveds.

L