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

#SevenGratitudes is a weekly gratitude practice for the enlivening of my soul, a deepening engagement with the world, and simple encouragement for anyone who stops by. Thanks for being here.

This week I am grateful…


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—based in the remembered pain of other 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 Thug Kitchen.


After being briefly introduced to Thug Kitchen last summer at Peacehaven Community Farm, I was thrilled when the local Dallas library brought this saucy cookbook back into my life this week. Three vegan recipes (and a happy husband) later, I am astounded by the dancing flavors and interesting textures plant-based meals can offer. I am also astounded by this cookbook’s, shall we say, “earthy” accessibility and humor!

So thankful for good food and belly laughs!

Here are links to the recipes I tried this week:


That my mom has a spidey-sense.

The phone rang Wednesday morning really early. I was sitting on the couch in my pjs looking at my coffee. It was Mom.

“How ya doing, sweet? How. Are. You.”

Well, I was actually trying to avoid that question all together, Mama. Thanks.

Thankful for a parent who can sense “a disturbance in the force,” and calls to see what’s what.

Grateful for the people in my life who really care to know how I am doing, even when I don’t want to know myself.

That’s love.


For an afternoon hanging pictures with my partner. For the good of settling in.


‘Cause you know when the gallery wall is up, we’re really home. We live here now.


For The Wailin’ Jennys’ music.

These women will carry you. Listen here:


For treasures unearthed.

Old cds, tons of pictures, questionable decor, etc.—treasures unearthed through unpacking. Though I don’t keep it all, I am thankful for the way things can hold memories and stories of where we have been and who we have become. Thankful for symbols of my journey.

Which object holds story for you?


That I am loved by a God who dreams and dances more Life than I can ask or imagine.

This week has given me the sense, on the whole, that God is driving me toward more than I even know. Not success or applause, but Life. Deep, gritty, wondrous Life.

That is the only thing that makes sense in light of the next few months. The thought of leaving my husband, our new home, and our new community in a few weeks in order to finish my degree in NC makes me hurt. But it has to be worth it. It must be worth it. God, it has to be worth something.

Aaron reminds me that the Good is usually the most costly and difficult. And God intends Good, aye.

I will have to tell you later how I feel about it.

For now let me just say thanks, my prayer and mantra. 

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!