One of my spiritual practices is gratitude. I purposefully declined to participate in a 30 day gratitude challenge on FB statuses because it can be, well, trite. But since today is Thanksgiving, I awoke with a desire to write out a gratitude list. It was too long for Facebook, so here goes:
I am grateful for friends who are like family and family who have become my friends. I am deeply thankful that, despite my attempt today to write thank you notes to them, that my heart's love cannot be contained in those ineffectual sentences. The notes and texts can only contain the rational portions of what they mean to me, but my heart and spirit sung while thinking of each of them.
I am grateful for my dear husband. He is hunting right now, not unlike a step father who used to get my mother's ire every holiday he hunted. I smile about that now because I do not mind. My husband's companionship over our 22 years has a sweetness to it that I cannot shake. Sometimes we have walked beside each other, but usually one drags the other until we change places. He is a good man, who doesn't always know it, and his humility causes me to love him more.
I am grateful that I cannot find half of my shoes. Not because I don't like my shoes, but because I cannot find where I have hidden them from the pups. I am grateful for the holes in the yard and the carpet. I am grateful for the challenge to keep up with their intelligence. I am grateful for their loving slobbery kisses. I am grateful for their humor and everyday joy. I want to be more like that.
I am grateful for the health issues that rekindled a sense of urgency and prodded me out of my complacency. I see and hear and think and laugh and love more fully because of it. I am energized to be more effective with the time available.
I am grateful that I am a nurse. Well, I really would like to have more holidays and weekends off, but this profession comes with a distinct privilege. I have been invited into the most sacred moments of people's lives-a dreaded diagnosis, the birth of a baby, the death of another. They may not remember me long after their moment has passed, but I remember their faces, their names, their situations, and I pray for them still.
I am grateful that I have the basic needs covered (warm house, food, security, job) and that I can use my resources to help others. I am grateful for the children that I sponsor. I am thankful that I have been blessed to be able to give to others. The smile of Antonia and the mischief of Greys, the stories from my Ghanaian, El Salvadorian, Ethiopian and Ugandan friends and the other missionaries and pastors around the world that I follow, pray for, support...it is a smaller world all the time. Tho my passport may never be used, my heart is stamped with many countries where my friends live.
I am grateful for the land, for being blessed to live in a place with seasons and farms and trees and rivers. Being outside, I can almost audibly hear creation crying out what an amazing Creator we have. I love being able to experience so much of it with my husband and my dogs. Being out in the fields or the woods, somehow puts life into perspective. Helps me breathe easier, pray with clarity, loosens my spirit.
I am grateful for the individuals who have allowed me to walk with them on their spiritual path. It is an honor, truly, to be present as they realize truths. It is an honor, truly, when they begin to grasp what an amazing God means to them and their worth. It can be a slow, rocky climb, sometimes even a bit of a battle. But that is where the most change happens! Being able to be a part of others' lives as they grow makes me so grateful for my own journey. I am not who I was, nor am I who I will be.
I am grateful for my grandfather who laid a foundation that I never thought I would use. I am often reminded of his faith, his words, his voice, his relationship with God. I am grateful to have seen it, and now to experience it myself.
I am more grateful than I have words for my God. We have had quite a journey ourselves. I am not even sure what to say about it. I was lost but am now found. I was blind but now I see. Grace overcame my broken and poisoned heart. And I have a hope that I could not have imagined. Ever. Not hope in a then, but in a now. It is too precious for words.
I am grateful.