Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thankful Thursday - the last one of the year

How can this be? How can this be the last Thursday of 2017?
The last hour of the last Thursday of the year?
I do not know, but here we are.

There is so much to be thankful for.

1. I am grateful for hope, for the hope that keeps me moving forward,
the hope that keeps me studying in seminary,
the hope that keeps me teaching at church and other places,
the hope that has thrust me into conversation about the possibility of a job.
Hope that will not back down when injustice rolls into town.
Hope that will not back down when fear returns.
Hope that refuses to surrender, no matter what.
I am grateful for hope.

2. I am grateful for Christmas cookies, especially the ones that are
brought over by neighbors or baked by friends or given as gifts.

3. I am grateful for laughter. I am grateful that my two adult children still
like to play games with me and my husband - and they love to laugh with us.

4. I am thankful for friends - for long walks with friends, for museum crawls with friends,
for sitting with friends before surgery, for laughing with friends over the
head-shaking, heart-breaking, laughable realities of marriage and parenting.
(What on earth were we thinking???)

5. I am grateful for journals and paper, for pens and colored pencils.
I am grateful for the fact that I have journals that cover more than thirty years
of my life, love, heartbreak, travel, loss, joy, and the extraordinary wonder
of ordinary days.

6. I am thankful for the soul-healing gift of prayer.
I am grateful that I can pray in my journal,
that I can pray out loud with others,
that I can pray as I do dishes and fold clothes,
and grateful that I can pray all by myself all the time.

7. I am grateful for firefighters, for ambulance attendants, for doctors,
for nurses, for the folks who care for nursing home residents,
and for chiropractors too. I am grateful for office managers and receptionists,
for record keepers and for janitors. I am grateful for the hard work of the
countless people whose faces and names I will never know, but without whose
diligence and discipline I could not live the life I enjoy.

8. I am thankful for my spiritual director, my pastors, my mentors,
my seminary professors, and so many others who know me well,
who see into my soul - and that love me anyway.
I am grateful for your questions, your challenges, your strength,
and your willingness to take risks with me and on me. I am grateful
for your generosity and your wisdom. I am grateful for your love for me
and your loyalty to me. I am grateful for your invitations to come to your
homes and your offices, your cities and your churches. I am grateful for
your text messages, your Whats App messages, your emails, and your
snail mail. I am grateful for your podcast suggestions and your website links.
I am grateful for your live videos and your face to face presence most of all.
I am grateful for your prayers on my behalf and your requests that I pray on yours.

9. I am grateful for loose leaf tea sweetened with local honey.
For fresh pita bread and homemade hummus.
For green smoothies and green juice.
For cashews, almonds, pistachios, and prunes.
I am grateful for key lime pie, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream.
I am grateful for pizza and fried chicken, for bagels and for bacon.
I am grateful for the ridiculous bounty I encounter at the supermarket.
I am grateful that we can partake in that bounty so fully and so often.

10. I am thankful for the miracle that is this life. I am grateful for breath,
for strength, for balance, and for good health. I am grateful for sight,
for hearing, for a sense of touch, for fingers to type, and for the ability
to read what I have typed. I am grateful for every opportunity I have
to give thanks. There is so much beauty in this world, even in the face of
all the destruction and devastation. There is hope in this world, even in
the face of fear and hatred and violence. And I am enormously thankful.

Thanks be to God for the indescribable gift of Love.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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