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

Happy Friday, beloveds! I hope your week has been filled with opportunities for growth, rest, and creativity. Thanks for joining me for #SevenGratitudes this week.

For anyone who is new, this 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.

I hope you'll come on and add to the thanksgiving pile up--share a gratitude with us in the comments below!

This week I am grateful…


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 (which I adore and giggle about daily--so much character!). Any ideas?

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


For the strength of men and the care of strangers.

I write often of the power of women, of their strength, creativity, and resiliency. I am proud to do so and proud to be a female person.

This week, however, I must remark upon the strength of mankind—that is, those people of the male species. Many of them are strong too.

(The strength of different persons does not preclude eithers’ power. Ain’t that grand?)

With the moving trucks loaded and unloaded and heavy boxes heaved to and fro so many times within the past few days, I witnessed the creative cooperation of strong men. Now, I am speaking of physical strength and, to a certain degree, emotional strength. Strength of character. Most of the men I encountered this week--as they hauled my heavy belongings in and out of different spaces--were complete strangers to me.

They labored deliberately for the sake of our well-being in 90-something degree weather in Dallas in July. That takes courage and endurance, aye? Not to mention deliberate care.

So I saw strength in these men.

And I am thankful for that, especially when my own muscles felt like jelly.


That this is the first thing you see when you walk into Wilshire Baptist’s church office.

The saints greet you

When Aaron gave me my first tour of the church last Friday, chills shot up both my arms when we turned into the office.

A Baptist church quoting scripture about saints and hospitality. Please tell me you understand how beautiful this is. <3


For “I like you two so much.” Or how one phrase can change everything.

We are in a new place and it is good, good, good.

It is also risky business, you know, meeting our new community, wondering if we’ll all jive together.

Thank God for new friends who throw back and laugh with us, who just come out and say it—“We like you. Welcome home.”


For the subtle ease of sun tea, aka cold brew tea.

The air, it BOILS down here in Dallas. I have every intention to more than survive this extravagant heat and one way I plan to do that is to all but drown myself in iced tea. But WHO wants to fire even a stovetop burner to brew tea? How dare anyone add to the BOILING conditions of Dallas in July?

I remembered this week the gift of sun tea. But, and that is a BIG BUT, I do not really mean setting tea out in the sun to brew (direct sun makes a right cozy atmosphere for non-beneficial bacterial growth; room temperature is fine). I mean the gentle awesome fact that tea will take over whatever liquid into which it is plunged. In other words, tea don’t always need heat—just to be plain about it.

I wish I took a picture of my simple mason jar taking on those rich amber hues up in the kitchen window. I put three Luzianne bags into a quart jar and covered them with cool water from the tap. About 4 or 5 hours later I had a strong tea concentrate that I then poured into a pitcher with a quarter cup raw honey and eight cups of water. Voila.

Thankful for my honey-sweetened, no-heat-required iced tea. A little glass of cool to beat the (BOILING) heat.


For a chance meeting with Lady Godiva.


Aaron and I made our way over to the (free) Dallas Museum of Art yesterday and guess who I stumbled into?

Thankfully I did not actually stumble into Lady Godiva (unlike this unfortunate selfie-taker), but rather had my breath snatched right from my lungs.

I learned her legend this past winter. Story has it that Godiva, which means “God’s gift,” rode a horse stark naked through her lands in order to win justice for her people. Her husband had set up some unfair tax that was devastating the locals. He would not budge, but (jokingly?) suggested that he would relent if the lady bared it all for a parade through town.

This sculpture captures a moment of decision. Her face is turned in discernment, her mind not quite made up. And, yet, her hands are already moving in determined defense of the people within her domain.


I love the naked courage of this story, and I do not even mean that to be funny. I really like the idea that a woman of power would shirk not even the most vulnerable of experiences in the defense of justice.

Also, a naked woman moving confidently in truth is definitely something to be feared; there is a wildness in her like God’s own.

This story is an old one, and probably a fairytale from the start, but it holds something alive.

Thankful for the embodied bravery, vulnerability, and legend of Lady Godiva.


For my fellow Mary Magdalene celebration schemers.

Tomorrow is the feast of St. Mary Magdalene—the first to proclaim the resurrection, the apostle to the apostles!

We’re having our neighbors over for a mess of pancakes in order to celebrate, and then I’m going to work on some of these great ideas from my fellow liturgical schemers (see the comments on this Facebook post):

Thankful that the Story is not told in one voice, but rather in a full round of diverse hallelujahs.


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.



  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!

What is one thing YOU are grateful for today? 

Raise your voice in the comments below!

Thanks for being here, beloveds.