#SevenGratitudes is a year-long weekly series is about cultivating thanksgiving in the midst of the everyday, pausing to allow our hearts and minds to catch up with the waves of grace in our lives.
So glad you're here this morning! And I’d love to hear a gratitude from your neck of the woods. (These things multiply, you know.) Throw one down there in the comments if you like or blog in our link up.
This week I am grateful...
For 12 people, 2 nights, one bathroom—and the gracing of a home.
The last of us four roommates, Holly, moved in this past Saturday and it was an epic day. She and a colleague were actually in a car accident (everyone’s fine, thank goodness) on the way home from our denominational gathering in Atlanta while her family came in from Kentucky to help her move. Well, long story short, Holly got moved in by lots of loving hands and just a few cuss words, and our apartment was basically a slumber party the whole weekend through.
I was blessed—BLESSED—to witness the deep waters of grace in Holly’s family. It flowed out and embraced each of us roommates (and Aaron! He came in on Saturday, too!) through their flexible hospitality and willingness to do hard things together and with us. Holly’s parents made us feel connected, like beloved friends, and that was a gift. Her cousins, brother, and aunt chimed in with their own notes of welcome and hilarity. I kept thinking to myself, How often does this happen? How often do people of several different states and generations and walks of life end up sleeping on the floor of the same apartment together, eating pancakes and swapping stories of a Sunday morning?
I am thankful for the unexpected chance to find myself pressed in and shaken together with grace this past weekend, for the chance to be at home with a family of strangers who made us friends and family, too.
I am thankful for enough, for what I need in the right now. Enough flexibility to bend around cumbersome plans, quick shifts, and different expectations. Enough patience to breathe deeply and accept the unexpected. Enough love, more than enough really, from my husband and our nearest and dearests to move confidently and wholly forward into the breaking tide of change and unknowns.
I am thankful for the Spirit who moves me to look for enough, who helps me to trust and be right where I am.
For 24 hours with my best friend and our wonderful husbands.
Through seemingly random reasons, my best friend Kelli and her husband Arthur, who live in Seattle, Washington, were in NC for a few days this week (of all weeks). And they got us an Airbnb together for 24 hours on July 4th.
It. Was. Glorious.
And absolutely wonderful.
There is something about folks you can be yourself with, folks who help you actually find your true self, even in the midst of crazy transition. These are those.
I can’t even start to tell you how freakin’ thankful I am for each of those twenty-four hours of close community with three of my very favorite people.
For a Chick-fil-a date with Mawmaw and Papa. For an authentic conversation with my grandparents.
Sometimes it is hard to actually hear the hearts of my grandparents. In the midst of boisterous family gatherings, these good folks get pushed into certain roles, and we miss the essence of Earl and Estelline. Our Chik-fil-a date Wednesday night was a rare moment of getting-to-know-you beyond prescribed roles.
We talked about how they met, their learned wisdom of married life, my research into our family tree, and then Papa, who is often shy and reserved, shared what it was like to grow up without his father:
“It is like getting a new car, a beautiful, shining car that is all yours. You’re told to drive it. But…but, you see right quick, there are only three wheels. Living without a father has been like that, for 70-some-odd years. Like trying to drive a car with three wheels.”
I think it would behoove us all to keep the Earls and Estellines of the world from being hushed in prescribed roles in the corners of our family gatherings or community circles. What their wisdom, depth of experience, and weathered hope might do for our communal conversations and decision making, I do not know. But it would probably be something good.
That home is wherever I’m with you.
Aaron and I have slept in three different beds this week already, and we have not even started the journey to Texas yet. I am thankful, though, that no matter where we are or how we are configured by circumstances, I am home with him.
What even IS this grace, this vocation of marriage?
Please enjoy one of my favorite little sweetheart songs.:
That DNA ancestry information is available, for half of my heritage in percent.
My uncle Todd, my mother’s brother, just received news of his DNA heritage background. So, as he said, that has a lot to do with my own DNA. He and Mom share genetic makeup, and then Mom gave me half of my own. I won’t go into all of the specifics now except to say that 40 % of my mother’s DNA is straight up Irish, which was surprising. And compelling. The quest continues.
Thankful for my uncle’s willingness to share this news!
For a baby shower. For the way a good party pulls my family from the four corners.
Aaron and I are currently at my maternal grandparents’ home in South Carolina getting ready to throw my brother Nathan and his wife Calyn a baby shower (see their cute announcement from a few months ago here). I am so thankful for the way this family pulls together and pulls off a party. And not just the mechanics of a party, but the heart of joy that makes the party.
The shower starts tonight at 6, and I can’t wait.
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.
- Write a listicle about your seven gratitudes each week.
- Publish your piece with a link back to my blogpost on Friday mornings.
- And then link up with the form at the bottom of the page.