For Hard Days, Happy Dogs, and St. Brigid's Circle: Seven Gratitudes, vol. 5

Thank you for joining me for another round of Seven Gratitudes! This practice is absolutely proving itself beautiful.

As my friend Kaitlin said last week on Facebook

This is important, friends. Gratitude, especially in difficult life seasons, is a practice that gets us through and teaches us what shalom looks like in the smallest things—
— Kaitlin B. Curtice

Will you join our counting? Will you add your voice to our chorus? We rehearse our gratitude every Friday, seven quick thanksgivings at a time.

You are so invited, beloveds. I hope you'll feel welcome in our resistance through gratitude!

This week I am grateful:


For a successful Uber Frugal Month Challenge!

On Tuesday, Aaron and I wrapped up a month of basically not spending any money. We wanted to take a financial pulse and check in with how and why we use funds.

Well, it was a success, people. We learned a lot and got a huge boost of confidence. I will not bore you with all the details, but there is one point I just need to share—we stayed within our food budget!

Eating out is such a pleasure. It is a fun way to support good food and business practices and feel connected to our community. However, eating out can also be a way of disabling our own kitchen creativity AND, if I'm honest, escaping from life's responsibilities. January's challenge helped Aaron and me connect again with how awesome it is to cook for our family, be more self-sufficient, and see a few budgeted food-dollars stretch to abundance.

Here's a #QuickSwitch about Meal Planning--my own post came in handy this month!


For a hard day of Ministry.


I enter while making the sign of the cross every time I serve at Greensboro Urban Ministry. It is a reminder of why I am there and Who is already there before me. Crossing myself feels like a shield shifting into place. All of a sudden I am dressed for whatever comes and am ready to walk in Christ's self-giving way.

Christ was a Light and a Shield this past Monday during chapel. The people were so hungry for love and truth. They scrambled over one another to get to it. Two in our midst suffer from acute mental illness. Their testimonies were so heavy. I am afraid they almost squashed a few of us. It was a painful, difficult, and grating day.

But dammit if I am not thankful for it. I am thankful for hard days in ministry--it means the shadows are having a hard time finding places to hide. The hard days point to the difference Jesus is making in and with us. It is significant, too, that we notice the hard days. Renewed or deepened sensitivity is a gift. 

How I am thankful for that cross that hides me, though--the one that reminds me that Christ is here hurting too. Without it I do not know if I could remain.


For the way small trinkets help me remember what I am about.


I wore a ribbon in my hair and a Celtic charm on my wrist this past Wednesday to help me remember St. Brigid. It was her feast day, and I wanted to lean into it.

The ribbon whispered tales of St. Brigid's Mantle and the ways it would miraculously stretch around others for shelter and healing. The charm clanked and tinkled a tune of my Celtic heritage and the spiritual practices that have strengthened my people and our faith over the centuries. 

Simple things, tangible things. Sometimes grace comes through touch.


For my Wake Div peer group.

Because of our covenant of confidentiality I am not going to be able to say too much. But. I just need y'all to know that I go to school with some of the most beautiful, resilient, profound, and dynamic wounded-healers in the world.

We gather in small groups once a week to hear and wonder together about one of our stories of ministry and/or personal formation. This week my group showed up for me and held my vulnerability with deep love and respect. I am so grateful.  


For the way dogs wiggle when they're happy.


This dog hangs out in the Wake Forest Religion Department a lot. He came and hung out with me while I waited for my bus this week. Such a wonderfully squirmy, wiggly bundle of short-haired joy!


For St. Brigid’s Circle.

Amanda  was so sweet to snap a picture of our spread, which was simple but covered all the necessary bases--

Amanda was so sweet to snap a picture of our spread, which was simple but covered all the necessary bases--

Last night, five incredible women and I formed a circle of wonder, encouragement, and holy fire. We gathered to connect with St. Brigid's stories and one another, to drink beer and laugh a lot. 

We stayed up too late. We prayed intermittently. We saw one another anew.

And I am better for it.

So thankful for their willingness to be present and open to one another and stories from the great, mysterious cloud of witnesses.


That bad dreams are just bad dreams—that I get to wake up.

I had the stupidest, scariest nightmare last night. You know the kind that feel Matrix-y, where you know you're dreaming and have to convince yourself through layers of reason that you are, in fact, dreaming and will, in fact, wake up?


I am grateful for dawn. I am thankful for the light that helps me tell bad dreams what's what.


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.



What are you thankful for this week?

I'd love to hear about it in the comments below--or over on Facebook!

Thanks for being here, beloveds. <3