For Thor Ragnarok, Morning Voices, & Dogs in the Classroom - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 46

#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 my Thor Ragnarok experience.

Thor-Ragnarok.jpg

Three great things:

Thor was funny,

my friends were there,

and the Coke ICEE situation was, you know, SELF-SERVE & FREE REFILLS.

ICEE

I still might be rattling from the sugar and caffeine, but, gracious, I had a good time at the movies last Friday. Thor’s my favorite male superhero—though he better watch his footing when the new Black Panther stuff comes out in a few months!—and I have been anticipating the fresh tone of Ragnarok since its first trailer dropped.

thor.jpg

Definitely did not disappoint.

I heard on NPR that in Norse mythology Ragnarok means, basically, apocalypse. It is the death of the universe that cannot be avoided, but it also is never the end of the universe. Ragnarok is only one part of the rhythmic, never-ending cycle of ultimate reality.

The Marvel film played with Ragnarok’s meaning.

There were some chilly moments when Death looked like imperial colonialism and unchecked ambition. Other times she looked like a duped daughter.

While I watched I wondered, since death and life are necessary to one another in our world, if Thor would somehow learn to redirect Death’s misunderstood or misinterpreted purposes in order to live and reign alongside his sister, the goddess of death...

That did not quite happen (find me if you wanna talk though some feminist critique; Hela was kinda Lady Babylon-y), but I will say that the story was very good.

In the end, the Ragnarok itself was costly, but, somehow, good.

Reconciling. Unifying. A call for renewed hope--in a way I did not anticipate.

The movie was also just fun.

Thanks be to God for interesting stories and Marvel-ous modern-day mythologies.

2

For stuff showing up when it’s needed.

Both of my pens ran out of ink Monday when I was studying in an empty classroom. In the same moment, when I was trying to finish an assignment, all the pens I had just gave out.

Well, I looked to my right and there, pretty as you please, was an abandoned pen just lying on the desk.

And then the next day, just when I needed it, I looked to my left and the universe offered me a paperclip.

Makes me hopeful. Makes me remember that there is enough in this world—if we share.

God’s creation shares by nature. Let us humans share, too.

3

For completed assignments!

work-done

Last week I was grateful for productive days. This week I am thankful for turning stuff in! For the first time in my life I turned in a paper a week early, AND I knocked out one of my final papers (with several hours to spare, I might add).

This feeling. It’s amazing.

Thankful for how I am learning to work with and trust myself.

4

For our four-legged guest lecturer.

guest-lecturer

Mr. Karl Bark, professor of DOGmatics, led our discussion in Dr. Shaner’s Women & Slaves in the New Testament class this past Wednesday.

Karl Bark

How freakin’ adorable?!

It was a blessing to see faces light up around the room as we all vied for his attention, which he distributed quite systematically. ;)

5

For fleece-lined tights!

Bought some this week. Perhaps I have only thought I knew snuggly warmth until now, but now I know it for sure. $12 at Target can change your life.

(Dramatic, but, real. So thankful for practical pleasures.)

6

For St. Clare's mirror.

While doing some research this week I stumbled upon this icon of St. Clare of Assisi.

clare.jpg

“Place your mind before the mirror of eternity.”

Some might read her quote as an excuse for focusing on their afterlife instead of dwelling deeply and truly in this one. But I do not think that would be in keeping with Clare’s ethos. Clare, a sister who practiced voluntary poverty and service to the most neglected in her community, placed her mind before the mirror of eternity so that her acts in the short-term might align with God’s grand acts in the long-term.

Her quote sounds like an opportunity to thwart escapism in exchange for an ever-deepening relationship with the sacred ecological cycle of creation—moving lovingly in the world for the sake of the seventh generation.

Thank you, sister.

7

For my husband’s morning voice—and that I get to hear it in person in just a few short days!

There is something wonderfully intimate about knowing someone’s morning voice, the tenor and tone of a soul just risen from slumber into the fresh day. Sometimes it rings hopeful, other times it rings timid, but every time it rings with the sacred liminality of the time in which it is spoken.

My husband’s morning voice makes my skin tingle.

And I get to hear it in person for seven mornings in a row beginning on Tuesday.

Praise God. 


Thanks for being here, beloveds. I'm off to celebrate a life for which I am very grateful--my dear friend Laurie turns 28 today!

Happy birthday to my fiercely Lutheran, hilariously honest, unashamedly Eucharist-lovin', mind-reader of a friend. Would not have wanted to do this divinity thing without you. <3

Happy birthday Laurie

And happy Friday to all--

L