This week I am grateful…
For tortilla soup on Christmas Eve.
Between the 5 and 11 o’clock Christmas Eve services on Sunday Pastor Mark and Alison had a whole gaggle of folks over for soup and stories, making much out of that window of time. Even the memory of it now warms my heart. It was simple, really, but good. It felt special, but also quite normal.
It was the beginning of Christmas.
For baby snuggles.
I got to snuggle my littlest neighbor to sleep by the tree on Christmas Eve during that window between services. What joy it is to hear the murmurs of one so new to this world. Silas was exactly four weeks old on Christmas Eve. His parents are our dear neighbors and Aaron’s co-resident at Wilshire, which means that I am honored with these snuggles often.
What a wonder it is to live in fellowship together, to witness such beginnings, transitions, and liveliness in one another—all while we pass that sweet baby around.
I just got off FaceTime with my mom’s side of the family. They are corralled for Christmas this weekend—at least 25 or so of them. On Christmas morning I got to FaceTime with my dad’s side, too. They watched and smiled with us as we opened the presents they sent.
I have expressed my gratitude for freakin’ FaceTime before, and I will probably do it many more times hence. Thankful to see and hear those loved ones far away, to “visit” their huddle just for a while like I was there in the flesh.
Believe it or not, Dallas gets cold. I am thankful for our cozy home and the shelter it provides. Thankful for central heating and fleece blankets. Thankful for that blissful, sinking all-over feeling that we call “warmth.”
For a women’s circle, for community next door.
Neighbor Alyssa circled the womenfolk of our street on the second day of Christmas this week. The sweetest tremor of magic tickled up my spine as I sat there listening to my community catch up, sharing news and joy.
Thankful for she-neighbors, especially ones whose vocations so overlap with mine. Thankful to not be alone.
For a whole day at home with my husband.
Thursday Aaron and I slept in, ate in, and stayed in! Thankful for his day off and the great swath of togetherness we got to relish. It felt luxurious and delightful, but was so simple. We did “nothing.” But it was everything.
Sometimes the best things are the simplest—and the most unrecountable.
For a year of Seven Gratitudes.
Today is the final set of thanksgivings for 2017. Fifty-two Fridays ago I began this gratitude practice as a way to engage the world in love despite a difficult personal season. Looking back over a year of gratitudes I can see a good journey. The process has changed me, molding space within me for Holy Mystery.
God’s presence is ever with us. God is ever loving us. Spiritual practices clue us into that transforming gift.
Thanks be to God. And thanks be to you for journeying with me.