Gratitude

Yesterday evening I joined a group of friends for what has become my favorite part of Lent this year – a dinner following our community Eucharist. These dinners have truly felt like family events, with the hosting couple making something vegetarian and delicious (soup, rice and beans, or curry, for example) and others bring appetizers, wine, bread, and dessert. At each dinner the host has posed a question to the group, and those questions have given the gathering a bit of focus in addition to socializing. We’ve talked about our Lenten disciplines, named a surprising thing that happened during the week, and talked about how we understand sin. Last night was particularly intense. Our host asked us to name what we are most and least grateful for. People took it very seriously and revealed a lot about their lives.

Naming those things which one is grateful for is part of the practice of examen prayer. I have always had so much to be grateful for that I usually have trouble getting to the next part of the examen. But not last night. I had trouble last night thinking of what I am grateful for, By this I mean what I am especially grateful for right now, not just those things I am always grateful for like food and safety. This speaks to my general level of stress and my struggle to deal with the uncertainty and transition. And I really hate that it’s happened. It scares me.

So I want to try again. Here are some things that I am particularly grateful for at this very moment.

-The return of spring and the bulbs in bloom on the Close.
-My desk, which was a steal at Ikea and has tons of space to spread out.
-That I got a phone call today indicating I haven’t fallen off the diocesan deployment radar.
-My discernment parish which is allowing me to host family and close friends there for lunch after ordination.
-A dog that loves me.
-The photos from the year we were engaged that I found tonight, including the trip we took so my husband could see my alma mater for the first time.
-My alma mater, a place whose every brick I once knew and which is carved into my memory almost as strongly as my seminary.
-That we are going to be able to attend my niece’s birthday party this weekend in spite of Palm Sunday rehearsals, etc.
-That when thinking about having someone feed/walk the dog while we’re out, we had multiple friends to choose from.
-For the medical science that has saved the lives of friends who in the not too recent past would not have survived a variety of things – cancers, a virus, serious injuries…
-For my iPhone. It is one of my favorite possessions in the world. Really. It’s like an extension of my body.
-For NYC. Never has anywhere made me feel so free or alive or powerful. Not being able to drive doesn’t matter here. I am grateful for that every single day.
-For my fantasy of getting a tattoo to celebrate ordination. It might happen. Or it might not.
-For my vocation and for the promise of a lifetime of work that will ask everything of me.
-For naps, sleeping, rest, and my warm and cozy bed.
-For a warm and cuddly person to curl up with every night.
-For my hair iron. It really is the little things. I love making my hair smooth and straight.
-For the coming of Easter.
-For the fact that my favorite vestment maker keeps measurements on file. I hate being measured.
-For cute shoes.
-For earrings.
-For lipstick.
-For cheese, chocolate, tomatoes, and pasta.
-For singing.

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~ by Sophia on April 1, 2009.

2 Responses to “Gratitude”

  1. That's a great list that made me smile for you – but dont be too hard on yourself if gratitude is a bit of an effort in these testing times. God is calling you as you are & sometimesthe experience of being a tad anxious or fearful will be a gift to your ministry.I chickened out of the tattoo I had planned for my priesting & I really regret that, but it feels that the moment has passed – go for it ! 🙂

  2. I love your list! We share a number of those!I can hardly believe you are about to graduate! Where does the time go?!

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