Sunday, November 29, 2015

Post Thanksgiving

I am home after a wonderful trip up to Nashville to be with family and friends for Thanksgiving. I was looking forward to it with mixed anticipation. Yet another family member gone. I knew it would be particularly hard on my brother David and Patrick's friend Karen but it felt good to be among the group.  

I say it each year but I am so very blessed to have such a wonderful family. I can't imagine them not being there and it is funny, we don't necessarily talk or get together as often as other families but I know should something truly be needed by any one of us, another would step in. What a glorious diverse and eclectic mix of personalities, we are! My greatest thanksgiving is this and even if it should be all taken away tomorrow, I would still consider myself one of the luckiest girls to have lived just because is was.

Ah and now for the challenge of keeping a spirit of gratitude for the rest of the year - to take nothing for granted, to see everything through the lens of Eucharisto, thanksgiving to God for ALL things. I am rereading Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts" and have started a new list of blessings -I whole heartedly recommend this book.  There is something in the counting that makes God's nearness all the more tangible. “The practice of giving thanks...eucharisteo...this is the way we practice the presence of God, stay present to His presence, and it is always a practice of the eyes. We don't have to change what we see. Only the way we see.” 

What a joy to live noticing all that is present and abundant, from the tiniest to the grandest. What a blessing to live open to possibilities, acknowledging the gift of life and being grateful for the hard things as well as the easy. Living a grateful life means letting the values of respect, responsibility, and generosity flow though us. It means being a conduit for blessing others, whether through large weighty gestures such as mission trips and volunteering or small tokens such a smile at the stressed grocery clerk or grumpy car driver (as he takes the right of way). Even the seemingly insignificant acts can bring encouragement and actually make a difference. Let us change the world one small smile at a time :)

Recent gift listings:
6. Bumped to First Class on the way to Nashville
7. Making the second part of the flight after a delay with only minutes to spare
8. Thanksgiving Feast!
9. Music making in the living room
10. Visualizing Autumn & Matt's wedding
11. David sharing the Warehouse-y art space in Nashville
12. Remembering Mom at the Garden & Brew Supply Shop
13. The Spirit Bags from the Grandchildren (really my kids and the nieces and nephew but I think of them as Mom & Dad's grandchildren when they gather together to bless us like this ?!?)
14. Roasted Broccoli with lemon aioli
15. Bumped yet again to First Class on the way home (I am not a "special" or "frequent" flier -so crazy)
16. Finding a taxi driver who takes credit cards because I forgot and had no cash at all)
17. Comfy bed when I am so very tired
18. The clear blue color of the noon sky, neither too light nor too dark

Today's Prayer:
"I bless this day in the fullness of good it already contains, in the many occasions it offers to listen deeply, to be of service to others, to express gratitude moment by moment and to keep my mind so filled with love, beauty and joy that no negativity can find even the tiniest crack in which to set foot. I bless this day in the infinite opportunities it gives me to love: to love and bless every human I meet, every beast or bird I pass by, every plant I behold, for all are but the manifold expressions of the infinite Life that undergirds all. Truly, I bless this day for the wonderful adventure it can become as I walk through it with the eyes of wonder rather than boredom, use every opportunity to express peace rather than irritation, and chose love over fear. Thank you, Life, for this day." - Pierre Padervand

Thanksgiving Ice Family 2015


Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen - Good Time

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