On this drizzly Thursday morning, I am grateful for the drizzle.
I am grateful for the sound of the birds singing and chatting with one another, even in the rain.
I am grateful for lemony ice water, my addiction of late. Lots of ice. Cold water. A squeeze of fresh lemon.
I am grateful for the gift of a carefully and beautifully written, thoughtful, encouraging, and inspirational letter I received from an author I have come to admire. Along with a small volume he recently produced with a few friends, he also sent me a bookmark, a CD, and an invitation to attend a retreat he will be leading next year.
A comment on this blog from another author whose writing and thinking I respect and value immensely.
The upcoming visit of Lisa and her husband, Doug. What fun we shall have!
Continued lessons taught and learned in the journaling class I am teaching. Last night, I learned another lesson about how not to let the words and actions of others to distract me from the goal: to encourage spiritual growth through journaling.
The strength and flexibility I am developing in my recent foray into yoga. To sit, to stretch, to breathe deeply, to feel the power of my own arms and legs - without the use of weights, without having to punch or kick, without equipment of any kind - and to end each session by lying on the floor in my bedroom covered in a blanket, praying for continued peace during the rest of my day... It is not a bad way to begin the day and get in shape at the same time: physical and spiritual exercise.
The marriage of April and Greg in the Bahamas tomorrow. No, I don't get to go and celebrate with them. But I do get to pray that all will go well and fantasize about how glorious it will be for them to stand on the beach at sunset, surrounded by family and close friends, and welcome in to this weary and skeptical world another couple bound together in love and loyalty.
Stories of growth and struggle, of health and dis-ease, and how often we reach out to one another in mercy and compassion.
This is a photo of that little box between the front seats of the minivan. There is a rubber band. A small stack of index cards with Bible verses (created and given to me a dear man at our church) that we sometimes discuss as we drive back and forth on our jaunts. And there is a small stack of the love notes we made and leave anonymously in places all over town. On top of all of it are the Sweet Mint Lifesavers we are all addicted to; hey, if we're gonna spread the love, we may as well do it with sweet minty breath, right?
I am thankful that I can return to this blogging community, the community of my church, the fellowship of my friends, the loving closeness of my family and know that I am surrounded by travelers on this life journey that don't have it all together but are willing to travel together in spite of our individual and collective messiness. We don't have all the answers, but we are seeking for them. We are not all happy and healthy and excited about what we do every minute of every day, but we are seeking after joy and peace and growing in our ability to ask for help when we need it.
And we all have the opportunity to heed the call of the writer to the Hebrews when he wrote: Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
We do need mercy and grace.
We are always in a time of need.