Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for air conditioning on hot days.
I'm thankful for cold water.
I'm thankful for cool sheets under the ceiling fan.
I'm thankful for small cups of espresso in the morning.
I'm thankful for coconut milk yogurt with fresh berries, almonds, and uncooked oatmeal stirred in.
I'm thankful for strawberries and  watermelon and cherries and blueberries.
I'm grateful for grapes on sale for 99 cents a pound.
I'm grateful for my sun hat and sunglasses on my morning walks.

I'm grateful for the pile of books I recently brought home from the library recently.
I'm grateful for the upcoming book discussion and movie night at my church - I've gotta reread To Kill a Mockingbird.
I'm grateful for Searching for Sunday - I'm reading it slowly and copying many quotes into my journal - I feel a book review coming on sometime soon. It's one of the best books I've read in a very long time.

I'm grateful for the time I spent at the seminary in Richmond last week.
I'm grateful for the conversations about the Bible, about race and racism, about art, about books, about food, about interracial families, about the challenges of being a minister, about health, about marriage, and about God that I had with the folks I met there.
I'm grateful and excited for the many conversations I will have in class and after class and between classes over these next few years.

I am grateful for new friends - three hours sipping tea, telling stories, laughing, crying with a new soul sister yesterday afternoon.
I am grateful for old friends - conversation, laughter, more stories this afternoon with a friend visiting from India.
I'm grateful for emails and links to articles and videos and texts sent from friends who want to give me something to think about, something to laugh about, something to write about.
I am enormously grateful for the wisdom of my spiritual director. She is wise and thoughtful and asks great questions.
I am grateful for conversations with my kids, sometimes easy conversations, sometimes difficult conversations - but at least we're talking. Still talking. Still sharing. Still hanging out together. They are 18 and 21 - don't they know they are supposed to be sick of us by now? Who am I kidding? They get sick of us often - but they haven't given up on us yet. And we will never give up on them.

I am grateful for the team of folks that is forming to work towards the reintegration of schools in Charlotte. Segregated schools don't work. Isolated schools don't work. Kids who never attend school with kids who don't look or live like them don't get as broad or as deep an education as those who are exposed to a greater variety of students and teachers. We need each other. It is an honor to listen to and learn from these courageous men and women who are dedicated to institutional change in this city of mine. There is a lot of work to do and a lot of excitement building around getting the work done.
I am grateful that my church has taken the plunge and invited Dr Cornel West to come and speak, to come and challenge us, to come and push us far out of our comfort zone. It's time for our church to step out and speak up and move into the deep suffering and profound needs of our community and our city. There is a lot of work to do and a lot of excitement building around getting the work done.
I am grateful for the Moral Mondays events happening here in North Carolina - for voting rights and other justice issues. I am grateful for the hundreds, the thousands of people marching and writing and signing petitions and taking stands and making demands on behalf of themselves and others. There is a lot of work to do and a lot of excitement building around getting the work done.
I am grateful for the ways in which I am being pushed out of my easy and comfortable life into new ways of thinking and interacting with others, into painful realizations and confessions of my own complicity in unjust systems. Yet again, there's a lot of work to do and a lot of excitement building around getting the work done.

I'm grateful for my silly little dog and how she follows us around the house.
I'm grateful that we haven't had any ant problems this summer.
I'm grateful for the rain we've gotten lately. We need more, but California needs 40 days and nights of rain!
I'm grateful for the simplest of pleasures - food, water, clothing, a home, electricity, refrigeration, sunshine, coconut oil, and breath. Wait - not one of those things is simple. But it is remarkable how much and how often I take those things for granted.
I am grateful because I have so much for which to give thanks.

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