Ten serious thank-you’s

I’m joining my fellow bloggers over at Finish the Sentence Friday, where the prompt is a mashup from Ten Things of Thankful (celebrating their 6th anniversary) and Finding Ninee.

In revisiting some of my journaled Examen* prayers, both new and old, I captured a snapshot of things for which I’ve been grateful. Over the past year, I wrote and prayed Thank-you for:

  1. Rich choral harmonies. In the Western tradition of music, harmony reigns supreme. When listening to my favorite voices, I close my eyes, so as not to detract from the sound, and drink in the gifts of major and minor chords, fluid melodies, lush harmony and voices of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
  2. Spying on birds through my studio window. There are two lilac trees that frame the window next to my writing desk. Several birds call them home or good places to visit. They don’t know it, but I watch them hop and scamper about on the branches, heavy with leaves and blossoms. I watch them with joy and gratitude.
  3. No sub plans. When I left teaching, one of the benefits was the freedom to be sick. Whenever I wake up with a bad cold, the flu, or crippling back pain, I can simply roll over and heal. I don’t have to log on and request a substitute. I don’t have to hastily put on sweats and a hat at 6:00 a.m., race to school, and frantically prepare my room for a substitute teacher, hoping no one sees me in my miserably less-than-professional condition. Oh, good golly, Miss Molly, every single “thank you, Jesus.”
  4. Tim’s generosity. My husband is willing to give or help almost anyone with anything.
  5. Enough to share. Tim’s generosity is possible because we have been given plenty. Some of it we have earned. Some has been passed down. Either way, we have resources to spare and we are blessed with the gift of giving.
  6. Affirmation in unexpected places from unexpected people. As I work through questions about faith and the Bible, I look for understanding and encouragement from those with similar doubts or uncertainty. When a girl who could be my granddaughter spoke up recently at a non-profit meeting, contesting rigid policies proposed for very controversial issues, I sat up a little straighter and cheered her on. I also captured some of that bravado.
  7. so I’m getting more outspoken. With the understanding and encouragement in unexpected places from unexpected people, I am giving myself permission to step out a bit more boldly about the not-a-crisis-in-faith I am living. Stay tuned.
  8. Jesus is there with the little ones. One catalyst for my new-found courage is the crisis at the border and how those in different faith “camps” are responding. I am grieved that the administration is turning its back on the most vulnerable, while claiming to believe in and serve a loving God and selfless Jesus. I am alarmed by what appears to be a lack of compassion by those I love and have called brothers and sisters in Christ. (And I ask forgiveness if I am unfairly judgmental.)
    But I am comforted that Jesus is present with those in conditions of dire need and desperation. He is singing to the tiniest in the night and holding them tight during the day. I know He is.
  9. It’s not all about me or up to me. Despite my angst about what is going on in the world, I know my particular flavor of outrage and my focused perspective or opinion do not significantly impact the world. Thankfully, it has not been left to me to solve the problems of the world — just those placed in front of me, for which I have the passion and the skills to improve or repair. (And I think we can all be grateful for that.)
  10. Hope for the future. Whether on earth or in Heaven, I am grateful for hope – for me, my family, my friends, my community, and the world.
    Again, and really, truly: Thank you, Jesus.

My lovelies, ten is just not enough, is it? The list of fundamental, timeless thank you’s is endless – the sacrifice of Jesus, an eternity in Heaven, my family, Audrey’s little kisses, a good cup of coffee and a cupcake, a zillion books on my Kindle, a small but loyal tribe of blog followers, and getting rid of the hiccups. Just too, too many good things.

Today, though, I wanted to think about gratitude for some of the more serious stuff.

Besides, I figure you already know how I feel about chocolate.

Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

*In case you are curious, for my Examen practice, I stamp five empty shapes on each two-page spread in my journal. In each, I respond to one of the five prompts:

  • Look back on the events of the day.
  • Review the day with gratitude.
  • Pay attention to your emotions.
  • Choose one emotion of the day and pray from it.
  • Look forward to tomorrow.

In the circle, my favorite of the shapes, I review the day with gratitude. Like this:

21 comments

  1. So glad you could join us at the FTSF/TToT mashup! I think that when we are thankful for the serious stuff, we find joy in the little things, too. We also are able to put in perspective the challenges/trials/hardships/things outside of our control, and, while not necessarily happy about circumstances, we can be at peace with our seemingly-inconsequential efforts to alleviate pain. Thank you for that reminder. Faith, hope, and charity–that really sums it up, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Kristi – Mardra Sikora (who I met on Belle_Brita’s blog hop in February) invited me to join y’all – I’m glad she did. Thanks for the encouragement, too.
      BTW – I always throw in a little Peace with my faith/hope/charity… xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really appreciate your ending about focusing on one emotion, and feeling it. I’ve only recently come to learn how much I supress how hurt I feel about the world… the children at the border, and the lack of empathy from people who claim to embrace the goodness in the world, spiritually and other. It’s heartbreaking, and I often feel myself shutting down with a lack of understanding of how so many people who claim to love humans, and Jesus, and life, turn their backs on life.
    Oh and birds through the window. That’s always a thankful for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes on all counts. And there are so many of us who feel like this, why do the bullies have their way? Oh… we could go on and on, right?
      Take care of your heart, my lovely. We can’t fix everything, but we can care for each other… All the best, xoxox

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  3. I enjoyed reading your list. What a blessing it is to freely give to others (and not worry if we ourselves have enough)! We are bird people too. Before having kids, my husband and I would go into our backyard and walk a long trail into county parkland with our binoculars to spot the different birds. Afterwards, we’d take out our bird book and mark which ones we had identified. Unfortunately we haven’t made time for this in a long time (kids can monopolize weekends), but when we do take neighborhood walks as a family, we point out the eastern bluebirds, blue jays, cardinals, gold finches, etc. We want the kids to notice the beauty in nature so that they respect it- all of God’s creatures.

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  4. Welcome to the TToT (for this side of the mashup/dual ‘hop).
    Enjoyed your post.
    Kinda identified with your Number 9 in that I am quite prone to respond to (the outrageous) with my own outrage. Unfortunately, or not, I found myself being pulled in all the time (as the world develops it’s taste for the outrageous, I suppose.) lol
    I then decided to be more careful with how exposed to current events I let myself be. It has helped. The energy that gets expended reacting to the world often is more effective when, instead, is applied to other matters and causes.
    (Good, thought-provoking post!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Clark. I am also a victim of the vortex of lousy news – its pull is difficult to withstand and I am too often led into further wranglings by a simple mouse click. And, yes, applying our energy where it will do the most good is key, I think. Thanks again… All the best… xoxox

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  5. What a lovely post!
    We often spy on the birds from our windows, unless it is the times when we are at a National Wildlife Refuge. I often feel like the hummingbirds are spying on us through out windows. LOL
    There is a greater need for faith, hope and charity in the world with each person doing something to alleviate the suffering of others. There are many good people in the world.
    Your comment about hiccups reminded me of my grandparents’ cure for the hiccups. It was a spoon full of sugar and it always seemed to cure my hiccups. Maybe chocolate would have worked too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the spoonful of sugar was just their way of spoiling us and getting our minds off the hiccups! And I so wish we would all buy into the “one act of random kindness” habit. The little things do add up and, as you said, would alleviate at least some of the suffering… All the best. xoxox

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  6. Reckon Jesus would be kicking over tables and whipping people’s behinds by now, especially with the lack of compassion from so many of His so-called followers. I have to keep reminding myself He doesn’t need defending, and evidence of bad people does not equate to evidence of a bad God.

    Here’s hoping love wins…and in the meantime, birds in the lilac tree sounds perfect to distract and soothe the mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes to every single word you wrote! I think He really would be takin’ some names, although things have been pretty dire forever, so now is probably not all that different. We just hear about everybody’s mean-spirited selfishness because of 24/7 news and social media. I just wish “love” wouldn’t take its time to win! All the best… xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess the end point is Love has already won and we need to express that confidence and kindness to help the point get established. Social media definitely brings the double edged sword of additional knowledge.

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  7. Hi! It is a pleasure to meet you through the TToT! I loved the devotion of your ten things listed, clear statements of faith and personal growth, courage and humility, and all with true gratitude. Like you, I find one of my biggest blessings is being able to stay at home now, and not have to deal with work morning on days when my body doesn’t respond quickly, or spend long hours that drain me and take away from my ability to get things done at home. God has also continued to provide for our needs since my retirement, and for that I am truly grateful and blessed. I smiled to think of you watching the activity out the window in the lilac bushes (my favorite), it is the tiny miracles of creation that often sing to our hearts! XO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all – after “thanks for your kind words” – I just LOVE your Josie 2 shoes!!! What a clever name! I’m so happy you are enjoying your 2nd half (another way of saying retirement) as much as I am… All the best… xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So glad you joined our TToT for the 6th anniversary! Great list, and ohh, I remember the times when I taught school that I went to school sick just because I didn’t have my lesson plans up to par!

    Liked by 1 person

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