Thursday, March 08, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Ten Things

I think I've mentioned Alisha Sommer before. I hope so. She has inspired me in my journaling a lot lately. Keeping it simple - ten things. everyday. tell your story in lists of ten. groups of ten.

So here goes.

1. I have rediscovered the humor and wisdom, the moans and groans, the cynicism and the deep faith of Anne Lamott. I had the honor of hearing her speak in person last April (thank you, Gibbs) and I have started the book I received that night - Hallelujah Anyway - Rediscovering Mercy - twice before. I started it again yesterday and it feels like this time I might actually get through it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the book. It's me. I have been struggling of late to not do work for seminary. To put the books away and to put my computer away. To not read ancient texts and ponder Biblical Hebrew. My insistence on trying to be the perfect student has kept me from doing a lot of things. Reading for pleasure is one of the them. Exercising regularly is another. Blogging is another. Gotta get my act back together and remember that I am much more than only a seminary student. Anyway, is there such a thing as a perfect student? If there is, is "being a perfect student" my goal? or is my goal to prepare to serve and teach, to walk alongside and come up behind the people I am in community with? is my goal to listen and learn, to dream and pray, to grow and be transformed so that I can accompany others on their faith journeys, as they too listen and learn, dream and pray, grow and be transformed by the Spirit of the Living God?

2. Greeting cards for 99 cents at Trader Joe's. Please don't ever spend more than 99 cents on a greeting card for me. Better yet, just grab an index card or a plain sheet of paper, and handwrite the note. In your own words. It's is only greed that prompts card companies to charge $5.99, $6.99, or $7.99 or more for a single greeting card. Even the best card, the most poetic, the most perfectly worded card is not worth $8! So go to Trader Joe's and stock up on birthday cards, friendship cards, sympathy cards, wedding cards, new baby cards, all kinds of cards so that you don't have to rush out and overspend at the last minute. They have quite the colorful and creative collection.

3. Green grapes for 99 cents a pound this week at Harris Teeter. Yum yum.

4. Preparing to preach. Doing the reading. the thinking. the praying. the writing. listening for a word for the people from the Word of God. All I want to do is honor the One who is the source of my life and the center my joy. (For those in the Charlotte area, I'm gonna be preaching at noon at Wednesday Worship at First Presbyterian Church on April 4th, the Wednesday after Easter. We will have greeted each other with "He is Risen. He is Risen indeed." We will have celebrated the good news of new life, of resurrection, of life after death. We will have put the Easter dresses and Easter hats and Easter baskets away. What do you do after such a triumph, such a victory? That's what I'm planning to explore. Be there or be square.)

5. Virginia - one of the most faithful readers of this blog. I met her at church when we were still living up in Connecticut, and she sends me email responses to things I write here. She sends links to articles and explains how something I wrote speaks to something she has been thinking about or dealing with. Thank you, Virginia, for your encouragement and support. Stay warm up there.

6. a good haircut. I've found a fantastic barber. He keeps me looking sharp and also gives me great ideas on how to eat well and exercise too. I love when people in my life encourage me and teach me on topics that don't directly relate to what they do, but they recognize that our lives are not divided into separate categories. I am one person, living one life.

7. finding Moleskine journals on sale at Target. Actually my husband found them.

8. Black Panther. I've seen it twice. I'm not normally a fan of super hero movies. I'm not normally someone who goes to see a movie in the theater twice. But I couldn't help myself with this one. And I will certainly buy it when it comes out on DVD. So good. Go see it. Go see it. Go see it. And ignore all the criticism and the haters. They are just jealous!

9. being seen. being heard. being made to feel welcome. while walking with a friend. while sipping tea. while talking about a job possibility. in the pulpit. in the classroom. at home. in church.

10, my son. my beloved son. check him out. doing his thing. making us proud.

11. drinking tea out of big mugs - even as I am weaning myself off of honey in my tea. I'm trying to cut out as much sugar from my diet as I can. But don't worry - I still have the occasional cookie and piece of chocolate. and when there is bourbon in the vicinity, I will like to pour some ginger ale in it and sip it slowly.

12. heat and hot water and electricity. too many people in Puerto Rico are still without power, months after Hurricane Maria. And with the heavy snow that has fallen on the east coast, hundreds of thousands are without power tonight. I am grateful. May I never take these things for granted. Never ever.

13. solitude and silence. when I don't take enough time to get away, to withdraw from my life, to breathe, to write, to think, I feel pain in my soul. heart ache. I'm going back to the Jesuit Center this July. to be with God. to walk. to journal. to pray. a lot. to breathe. to swim. to sleep.

14. Gus. an older man from Greece who lived in a house around the corner from us. A kind man. Thick accent. Big smile. He walked nearly every day - in rain, in sunshine, on cold days, on hot days, in long pants, in shorts, with a hat, with gloves, with a hood, in a baseball cap. He would stop and sit on people's rock walls to rest. He would watch traffic go by and wave at drivers.  he had a heart condition, but nothing stopped him from his morning exercise. he was attacked by a dog in a nearby neighborhood one day while out on his morning walk, so after that, he carried a stick with him for a brief while. He would talk to me when he saw me outside. A few years ago, he asked why I had cut off my hair. I told him about my kanswer journey. Since that conversation, whenever he saw me, he would ask me about my health and how I was doing. Truly he was the kind of man I wish my children could have had for a grandfather figure after my own father passed away. Several weeks ago, I noticed that I hadn't seen him out walking for a while. A neighbor told me that he died. He contracted pneumonia and passed away. I miss him. I miss his gentleness and his kindness. I am glad I took the time to stop and talk to him as often as I did. I am grateful that he cared about me enough to ask how I was doing.

15. I guess I had more than ten things to be thankful for.
Thanks be to God.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I love your list! I really enjoy reading Ann Lamotte. I feel like she speaks lots of truth. I'm sorry about your neighbor!