Thursday, June 05, 2014

Thankful Thursday - Five Moments

Last year, a friend sent me a magazine article that contained a variation on keeping a gratitude journal. It suggested the practice of writing down "five moments" for which one is grateful. Situations, encounters, moments when grace showed up, when love showed up, when humor and beauty showed up. So that's what I'm going to do right now - share five moments for which I am grateful.

1. Spending time at the Loaves and Fishes pantry today. Talking and laughing with the clients. Helping them pick out food for their families. One young woman hesitated to take two packs of cheese for her family of three because she didn't want to take away from other people who might be coming after her. Later during our time together, she chose a can of sliced potatoes and said, "I know the rest of my family won't eat this, but I like them, so I'm picking this can for myself." I laughed and said, "It's great that you are thinking about your family, but sometimes you have to think about yourself." Another woman carried a tiny baby in her arms as she walked through with her family. I wanted to hold that little one and catch a whiff of that new baby smell. Such a sweet little guy.

2. Listening to my daughter talk about her first day of babysitting an 11 year old girl. It was a full day of childcare, and the two of them had a great time together. Arts and crafts, reading, games, followed by the 11 year old making lunch for them, and then more games and an hour and a half swimming at the Y. My little girl is growing up to be a responsible young woman. Not long after that, my son told me about his adventures with a tennis playing friend of his. My rap-music-loving son is learning about country music and went fishing for the first time today. Now he wants to buy a fishing pole! I'm so grateful that my children still like to tell me what is going on in their lives.

3. Having a margarita at a local restaurant and then walking five or six doors down and going shopping at Trader Joe's with my husband. That is the perfect date for us. I don't like eating out too often - I hate to spend the same amount of money on two drinks, two appetizers, two entrees, and two desserts as we would spend for four or five days of groceries for our family of four. So one drink and a cart full of food is the perfect compromise!

4. A free writing workshop at one of the local libraries on Tuesday evening. My favorite writing teacher, Maureen Ryan Griffin, introduced 15 of us to "the healing power of words." Writing exercises, some of which we read aloud. Poetry. Word lists. Laughter. Tears (mostly mine). Applause. Handouts with prompts, questions, and a bibliography. I left motivated to keep on writing. Not that I was thinking about stopping...

5. A moment yet to come... one of my nieces is on her way here to Charlotte right now with her boyfriend. They will spend the night here and then head off tomorrow to a wedding a couple of hours away. We have never met her beloved Ben, so we are looking forward to that. This I know for sure - he must be pretty awesome because she would not settle for anything less than that.

Speaking of nieces and fine young men, another one of my nieces is getting married two weeks from tomorrow. I'm sure it's gonna be one heckuva party. I can't wait to join the celebration.

Ain't love grand???
Ain't life grand???


I cannot deny that sometimes life isn't so grand for everybody. In the wake of yet another school shooting today, I encourage all of us to be deliberate in loving the ones we love, forgiving those who have done us harm, and to seek and advocate for peace as often as possible. I am determined to be known as a peace-keeping, peace-loving, peacenik.

We live in a dangerous, gun-crazed country, and these tragedies are happening in quick succession these days. Did you know there have been more than 40 school shootings in this country since Sandy Hook in December 2012? And that doesn't include shootings in other public places. When will this madness stop??? Yet another of my nieces wrote this poignant piece about gun violence in this country.

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