They say that you shouldn't spend too much time camped out in memories, in the past,
in days and lives gone by... whoever "they" are.
I disagree. I say go back, look back, reminisce.
And give thanks.
Today, I am grateful for the deep connection I have made to women of faith this year, not Bible teachers or anything like that, but the women of the Bible. The adulterers. The demon-possessed.
The bloody and the lonely. The mother of our Lord and Savior, especially her.
They have each and all inspired me, challenged me, and accompanied me
on this year's life journey. I am grateful for their faithful presence.
I am grateful for the simple, profound, confounding, assuring, messiness of the life of Christ.
Life, healing, redemption, nourishment, sorrow, pain, accusation, death,
resurrection, reconnection, hope, joy unspeakable.
I am deeply grateful.
The gift of the Eucharist. Body broken. Blood shed. Stories shared down thru the ages. Prayers recited. Peace given and received. Tears shed. Hugs offered. In prayer. In silence.
In the company of so many. In the company of The One who Loves Me Most.
Perseverence. Patience. Persistence. The kind that grows thru the cracks in the stone pathways.
The kind that defies the odds. That peeks up, out, and around, and simply refuses to die.
Light, life, movement, noise, breath, the ocean, hotels, hot water, seashells, mai tais,
laughter, rosemary olive oil bagels, and chocolate bars with almonds.
Flowers, trees, grass, leaves fallen, raked, and bagged, dogs that escape their electric fences to play with the neighbor's dogs, vets that sew up wounded dogs (sorry, Wrangler... I hope you feel better soon), and the unconditional love that my sweet little doggie, Maya, shows,
especially when she can sense that I'm sad or upset.
Even when things don't end well, when the only option is opting out...
Even when you are trying to find your way home, wherever "home" may end up being...
No matter what, no matter where, No matter how dire the circumstances have appeared to be,
I have found that there is always a reason, a motive to smile and to give thanks.
So why don't you just do it? You know you want to.
Look back at old photographs. Recall trips taken this year. Weddings attended. Parties given.
Babies born. New homes purchased. Jobs provided. Healing granted.
Look at the tough stuff too. Marriages dissolving. Relationships eroding.
Promises broken. Hearts shattered.
In every situation, thru every situation, in spite of every situation.
I hope and pray that we will all be able to find reason to be grateful.