For freakin' Facetime - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 35

#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…

1

For a successful last first week of school.

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Monday began my final push toward finishing my education (as far as I can possibly know). After getting settled back into my little sunroom quarters here in Winston-Salem over the weekend, classes got off without a hitch. I have the pleasure to sojourn:

  • History of Christianity, part 1
  • Women & Slaves in the New Testament
  • Christian Ethics
  • Islam & Islamophobia
  • Art of Ministry Capstone Thesis
  • Family Systems Theory

It looks like a lot laid out there in print, but if this past week is any indication as to how the rest of this semester will be, I should be in good shape. The classes, for the most part, dance together in content and overall direction of thought.

I am grateful for this chance to grapple deeply with how the ancient and the current shape and color reality today. I am grateful to glimpse God in it all, especially the wrestling part.

2

For excellent roommates.

(Image taken by a friend after an afternoon of hard work and organization in our apartment this past summer.)

(Image taken by a friend after an afternoon of hard work and organization in our apartment this past summer.)

Though I am in the loathsome position of having to live apart from my husband, I have the honor of living with three incredible women who are my colleagues and friends. They have already provided me a supportive and understanding nest of community. And a Chikfila date.

They strengthen my heart. Praise be.

3

For herbal teas (and hankies!) that helped me cope with a cold.

Wouldn’t you know I got a cold this week? ha! Thankfully, though, there exists this precious little box of miracle makin’ mischief. I swear by these teas, friends. They nurtured my ability to breathe this week and eased the pain in my throat. Also, the ritual of preparing tea probably helped too, making me slow down and be present and rest when I could.

And let’s not forget the joy of the quaint hankie. Not a dime did I spend on tissues, folks. Nose and pocketbook are both happy with that choice.

4

For freakin’ Facetime.

My best friend (who just celebrated her 3rd wedding anniversary AND became a homeowner this week—let’s add those to the gratitudes! Whoohoo!) called Wednesday because she loves me and is good at it. We chatted about this and that, as friends do, and then she asked when I would see Aaron again. My first inclination was to say, “Oh, tonight.” Which was not actually true (see gratitude #7), but he and I had a date planned that night via Facetime.

Yep, the answer surprised me too.  

Of course video chats do not even come close to actually being with my person. My gut response to my BFF’s question, though, showed me how much those tech chats really help. They just help. It feels good to see my love’s face and his expressions. It feels good to be seen, too.

I am thankful for Facetime, Google Hangout, and the togetherness they help transmit over 1,100 miles.

5

For happy trees and fall-ish weather.

Fall flirted with us a bit here in Winston-Salem this week. The weather was beautiful and cool. It was a lovely atmosphere for my return to Hogwartz—I mean, classwork at WakeDiv.

The trees seemed to quite enjoy themselves, too. I noticed on my way up from the bus stop or over to the library that the trees seemed happy. They smelled extra good and stood so tall. It looked like they had a fresh layer of new mulch, so maybe they were just sucking up some nutrient they needed.

But I’d like to think they were happy.

I am thankful for the experience of beautiful weather and smiling trees this week, even while my heart breaks and my stomach twists into knots for those suffering the effects of natural disasters in Texas and around the world.

My school is gathering underclothes for refugees in Texas. Let me know if you would like to get involved.

6

For the opportunity to work with powerful women.

Women of amazing intellect and compassion are everywhere I turn. Two advise me, one coaches me, thirty or so sit beside me in class, worship, and Community Lunch. I am overwhelmed with the gift of female friendship, mentorship, and sisterhood.  

7

That I get to see my husband in 2 weeks and 6 days.

Let the countdown begin. Hallelujah.