Thursday, April 07, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

Many moons ago I was in the habit of posting a weekly note on Facebook titled, "The Tuesday Ten". Spurred on by a friend, Kilby, I would take a moment out of each Tuesday to focus on gratitude. Alas, like most good habits, this fell to the wayside. I would see occasional thankful notes written by friends, but my own notes on thankfulness merely added to my growing pile of good intentions, and we know where that ends up. I now have a new friend who weekly posts a "Thankful Thursday" on her blog. Like a good poke in the ribs, this has inspired me to pick up right where I am and express my own gratitude.

So, without any further ado-

1. Beginning simply, and literally 'where I am', I am grateful for my sweet cat, Milo, who is next to me on the couch, snoring away in his sleep. Milo reminds me to be content. He has his moments when he really NEEDS to be fed or loved on, and he lets us know in unmistakable terms. But Milo spends most of his time being supremely content- especially if there's a sunbeam in which he can lie.

2. Speaking of cats, I am thankful that our little Emmi is finally coming around and has decided that we are not, after all, evil incarnate. In fact, she is seeking out our company more and more, meeting me when I come down for coffee first thing in the morning, spending time in the school room with the kids and me, and even asking for petting and hopping into a lap now and then! She's so funny with her squeaky little voice, talking to us when she wants attention and sitting on whatever paper might be available- even our notebooks if they're left open.

3. Since I mentioned that I am on the couch, I am grateful that, though I am currently sick, (cough, cough, sneeze) my kids are going about their schoolwork without my pushing them and my dear husband is attentively seeing to it that I have what I need. I don't think that I'm very high-maintenance when I'm sick, just give me a couch, a blanket, a stack of books, and some quiet, and I'll be happy as a clam. (Perhaps the rest of my family are better equipped to determine how high-maintenance I am now, but I'm not asking.)

4. Considering the seasonal change happening outdoors, I am grateful for the daffodils and hyacinths which are blooming in our flower beds. Those beds need a spring cleaning from all the winter dregs, but the daffodils don't care- they pushed right up through the dead leaves and twigs and detritus and bloomed anyway!

5. Also concerning the season- I am grateful for the April showers which will bring May flowers, and between said showers there is brilliant sunshine of such quality as is only seen in the Springtime.

6. During those sunny breaks between the rain showers I have been lacing up my running shoes and taking them out for a few miles at a time. I didn't run much at all over the Winter, (okay, not at all) with the miserable cold weather, my own overwhelming routine at home, and my ITB issue, I let that discipline sit in the pile of good intentions. I am so very grateful that I have resumed running, having found the right combination of warm-up stretches and cool-down so that my knees and hips haven't once complained.

7. Whistling. Erin and Isaac have both begun whistling in idle moments… What a treat to hear.

8. Fresh sourdough bread baking in the oven= aromatherapy.

9. Modern technology which allows me to stay in touch with friends and family from all over the globe. I can chit-chat with friends, catch up on the latest with my three grown children who are so far away, and see the wedding and baby pictures posted by dear friends as their families grow.

10. Off buttons. Sometimes I need to slow down and be right here.

11. Fellowship in the Word of God with my sisters in Christ every Tuesday and Thursday, except, of course,  today.

12. The Word of God, which is a bottomless well of comfort and peace, supplies nurture and refuge for my soul. There are no words with which to express my gratitude…

13. Finally, I am grateful today for the hymn, "O God Beyond All Praising", which has been stirring in my heart and on my lips all week.

O God beyond all praising we worship you today
And sing the love amazing that songs cannot repay;
For we can only wonder at every gift you send,
At blessings without number and mercies without end:
We lift our hearts before you and wait upon your Word,
We honor and adore you, our great and mighty Lord.

Then hear, O gracious Savior, accept the love we bring,
          That we who know your favor may serve you as our King;
And whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill,
We'll triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless you still:
To marvel at your beauty and glory in your ways,
And make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise.
-Michael Perry 1982

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