#SevenGratitudes is a year-long weekly series is about cultivating thanksgiving in the midst of the everyday, pausing to allow our hearts and minds to catch up with the waves of grace in our lives.
So glad you're here this morning! And I’d love to hear a gratitude from your neck of the woods. (These things multiply, you know.) Throw one down there in the comments if you like or blog in our link up.
This week I am grateful…
That I am writing you from Texas. <3
Aaron and I made the lovely trek from the upstate of South Carolina to the town of Waxahachie, Texas this past weekend. It was a smooth journey punctuated with visits with dear friends and stories read aloud (I am about to finish the last complete Outlander novel, y’all!).
And, in just a few hours, Aaron and I will receive the keys to our resident housing here at Wilshire Baptist Church. I'm totally chill about it, yep. Totally cool. YEAH RIGHT. PEOPLE, WE'RE MOVING HOME TOMORROW MORNING!!!!!! I CAN HARDLY WAIT!
Thankful to be here. Thankful to be counting my blessings so near the place that will be home base for the next two years. Whoohoo!
For my mother-in-law’s care for our dog.
My mother-in-law, Shelley, loved on our dear dog Barkley these last two weeks while Aaron and I tied up loose ends in the Carolinas. Not only did she feed, water, and walk him, but also got Barkley groomed and started adding special fish oils and probiotics to his food(!).
She sent us videos and pictures periodically of our furry friend, which made my heart both hurt and hurrah at the same time (how is it possible to miss a critter so much?).
I am grateful for Shelley’s careful attention of one of my favorite breathing beings while I could not be here to give it. Also, I think I have found this woman’s love language.
For dear friends who follow the Spirit with brave integrity.
Several of my dearest friends, spanning several states, shared several stories of recent difficult decisions and giant steps forward this week. The Spirit must be up to something, for these beautiful folks are stepping in beautiful rhythm of Kingdom hope.
Though I cannot give out their stories, I do want to marvel in gratitude at the often unnoticed interconnectedness of life, of the One in whom we move and have our being. I needn’t feel alone much, if ever. Moments like these, weeks of transition and trust like these, reveal to me the constant underlying pulse of a God who woos and welcomes us all—ever higher up unto Kingdom, ever deeper into the heart of Jesus.
I am in awe of my friends, of their willingness to venture out in the name of Love. I am grateful to witness their willingness to risk clarity for God’s vision—and to receive one another deeply and without hesitation.
Stirs me to the bone.
For this picture right here.
Granny--Earlene Andrews Cothran, my great-grandmother--promised to prepare her famous Italian Wedding Cake for my brother’s baby shower last weekend, but ended up—by unanimous family request—whipping up both a banana pudding and a peach cobbler to go with it! That's right, three desserts.
Look at the beautiful pride on her face.
For the opportunity to be still this week and let the Deep Stuff surface (and storm) as it would.
For the first time in eight weeks or so I was able to sit secure and secluded for a bit of reflection. Really, I was just sitting, writing letters to my loved ones and, lo and behold, there it came:
The Deep Stuff.
The Really Important Feelings that needed time to digest and decide how exactly to present themselves. The Very Private Fears that needed to speak-a-word. The Held Off Processing of rapid transition. The Ignored Mourning.
We sat there, me and my Deep Stuff, in the swirl of hurt and hope—enveloped completely in the Love of God and the shelter of time itself. Deo gratias.
God, how I pray for safe spaces for all my sisters and brothers of earth. Jesus, help us make space for one another, space enough to be still and brave with the heavy and holy Deep Stuff. Amen.
For stories via social media that remind me of my ecological vocation and set me to dreaming.
Like this Passion Portraits video about FOLO—which stands for “Feeding Our Loved Ones.”
And this Facebook post from The Elliot Homestead earlier this week:
Yes, and even this website all about Learning Herbs.
For the delight of a flower in my hair.
A young friend presented me with that little zinnia from his yard. The delight in his eyes transferred into the flower itself, I think, and comforted me for the rest of my journey that day.
Thankful for flowers in my hair that carry the joy of a child with them.
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.
- Write a listicle about your seven gratitudes each week.
- Publish your piece with a link back to my blogpost on Friday mornings.
- And then link up with the form at the bottom of the page.