For Advent's approach, our anniversary, & completed drafts - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 48

#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 communion, contemplation, and contemplating communion.

St. Matthew’s Episcopal welcomed me to the table on Sunday morning, Christ the King Sunday. The meal warmed my belly and buzzed my mind. How overwhelming is God’s grace sometimes! It often is a gentle hand on the shoulder or the faintest whisper of fond greetings. But Sunday it was a radiating pulse of re-orientating love. It was a welcome home. Again.

The next day I sat to do some major work on my school capstone project, musing for hours on the topic of cosmic communion and praying with the nature of matter (which is a story I hope to tell soon!). Several things became clear, and I will share two of those things here.

First, I love, love, love communion. The more I think about the practice and experience it in my body with the gathered community of faith, the deeper the thing becomes, the more encompassing and transformative, the more the truth of it dwells in me, making me a citizen of God’s reality.

Second, contemplating the ways God dwells deeply in and with the ever-unfolding creation gives me life—it makes me alive.

I love God, I love creation, and I love to think. It is grace—an unexpected and utterly free gift—when God meets me in the communion of it all.

2

For generations of family who love me with their best. For the chance to love back.

I am a lucky, lucky woman to have known family four generations back from my own—great-great grandmother Pearl was 103 when she died. Even today, I live in the same time with three other generations of family.

I am thankful for the chance to learn from their ways, the good and the bad. I am thankful for how these very real persons offer me love and support in manners specific to their stories, stories built over eight decades of time.

I am thankful for the Spirit who helps me reckon with myself enough receive their love, to hear their hearts. To judge less. I have done a lot of that in my short span of life.

Thanks be to God for continual release from fear and the isolation it inspires. Thanks be to God for love through families, however diverse, complicated, and exactly what we make it. Thanks be to God for the stubbornness of love.

3

For lotion.

Y’all, I wash dishes every day. And winter is coming.

How marvelous it is to rub soothing oils into my thirsty skin. How pampering! How luxurious!

I am grateful for this little ritual of care.

4

That yoga is only a decision away.

Yoga means “discipline.” It is a disciplined healing practice that opens the body to its fullness, to its stretch and span of being. When I was going a little berserk last night in the middle of a project, my roommates cried, Take a second! Take a walk! Yoga!

I decided to listen to them.

The next eight minutes I spent on my little sunroom floor, right between the drying rack and my twin bed, were completely absorbed in the aligning of my spine, the flex of my muscles, and the pull of my tight, tight joints. Which pulled me back together and back into the present moment.

Gracious, what a gift it is to be a body and not only a mind.

I am thankful for the encouragement to reintegrate with myself. I am thankful for the reminder that this wholeness is a product of discipline. Though many systems and priorities would have me stuck in my brain all day, yoga and the clarity and integrity of self it offers is just a decision away.  

5

That drafts get done, but that the work ain't over.

As my formal education is winding to a close, I am thankful—SO VERY THANKFUL—that I am able to meet and complete the tasks of my degree. However, I praise God with all of my being that the good work of my vocation is not over.

Gosh, it is literally about to begin.

6

For four years of marriage with my husband.

our dance

Our anniversary was yesterday. We celebrated between, around, and through the demands of our callings. Aaron listened to my drafts and thought with me through my problem-solving. I laughed with him, giggling when we ended up talking in the absolute middle of the night, like slap-happy teenagers, and whispering goodnight.

He is so good.

my husband

And I am thankful.

7

For Advent’s timely invitations.

I am thankful for the liturgical invitation to anticipation.

Advent is thing into which I can funnel the full paradox of feeling I am experiencing now at the end of seminary, the end of living apart from my husband, and the end of, well, a certain chapter of my life.

Excitement and anticipation abound, as well as a little grief. Transitions mean so much.

Grateful for the matrix of Advent’s many invitations and stories that help guide my way evermore in and towards Emmanuel.


What gratitudes are stirring in your hearts, beloveds?

Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Thanks for being here!

L