I’m spending this 4th of July thankful for my country, and preparing to leave it for a few weeks.
As I get ready to go to Italy some things seem really vital to me, and others don’t. I spent way too much time searching for my teal duct tape. And too little time on other, more important things. I have had plentiful amounts of rest, though. Soaked up all the quiet times when I was out at camp last month knowing my soul would need it in July. I’m so glad two of my best friends are going with me. We toss around the phrase “adventure of a lifetime” to refer to us going on this trip, and it’s honestly true. I can’t think too much about the way God arranged for us three to be doing this together because it is too great and mysterious for me to comprehend and I get all teared up.
Speaking of tearing up- yes, my emotions and empathy are running high. Earlier this week I said goodbye to one of my favorite clients ever, she’s moving far away. After 4 years of serving her and being friends, it crushed my heart to see her go. So, there’s that, as well as the usual life things that come up, and the courage it takes to step out in faith on a trip like this. Not to mention thinking of the refugees I will meet, the stories I will hear and all that I will experience. It’s a lot, and I don’t know what to expect. This doesn’t feel like something that just plunked into my life. It is something that I’ve been growing toward for years. I have this sense that it’s all on the table. All the tiny decisions made years ago are playing their part even now.
that there are no taxes on friendship. Because I’d quickly end up bankrupt and in federal prison. As far as friendships go I’m in the absolute top tax bracket, the 1%. I do not deserve it!
for delicious flavor and lots of it.
for Saturdays and Sundays when the world feels a little slower and simpler.
I’m thankful for new things.
I’m thankful for so much to do! In a good way.
I’m thankful for my wonderful siblings.
I am thankful that I have a good mystery to read.
I’m thankful for game nights and humility (I didn’t win!!).
I’m thankful for the times when I remember that this life, these ordinary days are precious.
Yesterday I had an unexpected break and was able to sit down and add to my list of gifts. This is a habit I didn’t expect to make, but I’ve kept with it for almost 5 years! My perspective has changed in so many ways. Sometimes I do it and it’s very un-inspired. Other times, I just overflow with gratitude, which is really fun. The point is to open my eyes to what is right before me, this day. What do I have to be thankful for this moment? It may be fun, hard, painful, or simple. Together these things make up my life: food, people, opportunities to trust, comfy pj pants, pretty flowers, deep realizations, cups of coffee, silly memories, and more. And they are gifts by the grace of God.
“The whole of the life — even the hard — is made up of the minute parts, and if I miss the infinitesimals, I miss the whole. These are new language lessons, and I live them out. There is a way to live the big of giving thanks in all things. It is this: to give thanks in this one small thing. The moments will add up.” –Ann Voskamp
For the word of the Lord is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
-Psalm 33:4-5 ESV
Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving!
friends to pray with and just be with. This has been a tough time for my church family and city, with the loss of Pastor Ty and Terri. (See news story and video here.. goodness, I love my church.)
comfort when we’re mourning.
the inspiration of lives lived without regrets. People who gave and loved wholeheartedly.
how life goes on and we choose to celebrate and have joy! My birthday week friends enrich my life and mean so much to me!
when the room is filled with the sound of half a dozen conversations between friends. That is music to my ears.
gigantic blocks of cheese.
relaxing walks to de-stress from challenging caregiver days.
goofy fun with neighborhood youngins.
the way God is helping me see more clearly so many beautiful gifts in my life. Every day is full of moments and people and good things. Often I miss out, dwell on petty things, or just plain don’t notice. But I’m learning to treasure.
my colorful rug, always reminding me of Jamaica.
Saturday wanderings with best friends.
when beads and small children and sidewalk chalk combine in a crazy way that makes you wonder, “what is going on??!”
the fun blessing of being a part of an outreach & vbs this week with my church.
getting to meet beautiful neighbors:
when friends linger on a Sunday, lazily amused by the antics of a small boy and a puppy.
when I miss my people who are too far away.
when I fail at Bible memory group.
when I got really sad news but I had a friend to share it with.
when I get to arrange flowers and bake cookies and be really proud of my friends.
when I’m stressed out although I have no reason to be.
when God is good. (Which is all of the time.)
this right here:
safe travels, crazy travel companions.
my family. I love them.
homemade ice cream.
very large fish!
sweet tea in plentiful abundance.
mornings that do not start well.
salads that are beautiful and dinners with friends.
this life, right now. The hard parts and the wonderful parts. I am blessed.
the smell of tomato plants.
rest & antibiotics to get better.
puppies and toddlers to bring cuteness into our lives.
voxer karaoke from my brothers.
the book of Romans.
those days where everything is just “off.”
fireworks + friends + sonic afterwards = the simplest, best things.