Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thankful Thursday

There's this thing I do in my journal, an odd thing, a somewhat random thing, and it almost always turns out to not be "random" at all. To not be odd. It usually turns out to be absolutely perfect.

What I do is this - when I start a new journal, I write quotes on random pages. I glue in images from magazines on random pages. I tape in titles and headlines from articles. I stick in pieces I've cut out of church bulletins and programs. All on random pages in the otherwise blank journal. Then as I write my way through the journal, I'm often pleasantly surprised by the perfection of the placement of the journaling prompts and ephemera that I rediscover as I fill the pages.

Earlier this week, I thought about wanting to get back to my light-hearted blogging.
The Thankful Thursday posts.
Writing about what I eat and drink.
Telling travel stories.
Posting pictures of my kids and describing their antics.
But then I thought, "how can I focus on myself and my family, food and travel, when there is so much pain and suffering in the world?"
Deep sighing ensued.

I turned to what I expected would be two blank pages in my journal yesterday, and this is what I found pre-written on the lower left hand side page: "Wendell Berry: Be joyful - though you have considered all the facts."

I don't remember where I saw that quote, but it was exactly what I needed to see yesterday.
Having considered several facts of late - facts about our country, its history, our world, its turmoil, to name only a few -  I was reminded that being joyful, being grateful, being intentionally attentive to the goodness of life, the fullness of life, are exactly what I need to focus on. Not "though" I have considered all these facts, but rather "because" I have considered all these facts.

That "random" act of journaling I performed several weeks ago as I prepped this current volume for use has served as a motivational and encouraging reminder to be joyful always, to give thanks without ceasing, and to not be ashamed or afraid or apologetic for the joy and gratitude that dominate my life.

Tonight I am thankful for:

* every time I check my phone and I've hit 10,000 steps

* summer fruit, especially when it's on sale: cherries, nectarines, watermelon, grapes, peaches

* homegrown tomatoes and the neighbor who shares them freely because her uncle grows them in vast quantities. I didn't know how delicious tomatoes could be until I ate these tomatoes - grape and cherry tomatoes that could be classified as "nature's candy"

* yoga, especially with Kelley

* home cooking (especially when I didn't have to do the cooking)

* lemon water in the morning, coffee too

* steel cut oatmeal with chia seeds and flaxseed and banana and a drizzle of maple syrup

* sitting with my family at the dinner table, talking and laughing about the bizarre topics that come up between us. Serial killers. Cannibalism. Tattoos.

* eating out too

* traveling light (backpacks and packing cubes are my favorite means of keeping it light and simple and organized and efficient)

* rubber stamps and washi tape

* time with friends, walking, talking, sipping tea, laughing, and me taking notes the whole time. That's a natural response when your friends are as funny and thoughtful and wise and insightful and articulate and generous as my friends are. They tell me the best stories and share nuggets of truth that I simply must capture on paper.

* deep sleep

* the discovery of a tv channel that plays binge-a-thons of "Law and Order" almost exclusively

* the chance to celebrate with my brother that he graduated from college at the age of 52! I am so proud of him for working so hard for so long to get it done.

* finding feathers on my walks

* babysitting a sweet little four month old. Holding her. Making her smile. Giving her a bottle and watching her drift off to sleep in my arms.

* the trust her parents have in me, welcoming me into their homes and their lives

* being invited to lead a workshop on journaling and also to lead the book discussion session at the retreat I linked to above. Check it out here - and please consider coming to the conference.

* Thanks be to God!

No comments: