Like a broken record...
As the summer days heat up, as the days turn into weeks, as the dishes and laundry pile up,
as the air conditioner cools us down, as the memories mount,
and the clean dishes and laundry remind me daily of the bountiful water and active lives we lead,
I find myself returning to the same theme: gratitude.
Thank you, Lord, for your goodness and provision and protection and grace.
Thanks for these two children, this husband, this house, these functioning cars.
Thank you for the electricity and running water and wifi and DirecTV.
Thanks for the telephone service and mail service and dry cleaning service.
Thank you for all the fruit and veggies and bread and cheese and cereal and milk and beans and olive oil and popcorn and almonds and pizza dough and tea bags and brown sugar at the market and the cloth bags I get to haul them home in.
Thank you for family and friends who open their homes to us, welcome us in, and share everything they have with us.
Thanks for art and candles and music and quiet evenings with wine and cookies and the sharing of sacred stories.
Thank you that Steve and Kristiana are far better photographers than I am and that they are eager to capture the images of our lives and deposit them safely onto our computer.
Thank you for external hard drives that offer another way to protect the images and memories that are dear to us.
Thank you for the minds that came up with all these gadgets and doo-dads that make our lives so very easy in so many ways.
Thank you for friends who invite me to concerts at the last minute.
Thanks for the loudness of it and the energy of it and dancing and singing and hearing songs for the first time.
Thank you for the ways in which music draws us together, but then tells each of us a different story.
Thank you that I can hear the music, that I can see the bands (Chicago and Earth, Wind, and Fire - how the heck they came together to do a concert tour is beyond my imagination, but it was great fun !), that I can stand up and dance, that I can shout over all the racket and express my excitement with my friend, that I have all these senses alive and alert.
Thank you that I am alive at this moment in history to experience all that I am experiencing in this life, right here, right now.
Thank you for the realization that church doesn't have to be boring.
Thank you that You never bore me or leave me alone or cease to amaze me with Your presence.
Thank you that, even if no one else cares about what I believe or joins me in what I believe, that I get to walk this faith journey with you.
Thanks for the camera and the blurry photos and the clear memories they bring to mind.
Thank you for Asheville and The Laughing Seed and the bead store and the vintage clothing shops and the hippies and tattoos and the wig store and the chocolate shop and the sound of my children laughing as we wind our way through and around all of the above.
Thank you for flowers and gardens and wise gardeners and those of us with brown thumbs - literally and figuratively.
Thank you that, although the brown thumbs vastly outnumber the green thumbs, the green thumbs are the ones in charge of the production of the food we eat.
Thank you that there is such beauty in the smallest tree and the largest weed, the tiniest Yorkie and the largest elephant, the desolate desert landscape and the blooming, colorful rainforest.
Thank you that, in spite of all my fear and loathing, all my doubt and questioning, all my wandering and wondering, all my tears and worries, all the real and devastating sorrow in the world and in my own family, all my anger and ranting, all my unseemly, spiteful, vengeful thoughts, all my codependence and addictions, all is well. All is well. All manner of things shall be well.
Like a broken record that skips and returns and skips and returns.
I find myself skipping a lot these days and then returning to this same place.
This place where, at the end of the day, I always return to one simple prayer:
"Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord."