and then people can go back to their usual routine of complaining and posting about really stupid stuff on Faceboook.
Listen. Madeleine L’Engle said that if something is worth giving up for the 40 days of Lent, then it’s worth giving up once-for-all. If that is true (WHICH I BELIEVE IT IS) then the opposite stands true as well. If we are going to spend a month yapping about our gratitude, then we need to let it sink deep and become a part of who we are. We need to become more grateful.
Last year I read 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. The book wasn’t really my thing, but the idea was. My pastor gave me a journal just like the journal she uses to write down her gifts (except mine is a beautiful shimmery pink) and all year long I’ve kept it by my bedside and have started to write things into it. Just because I keep it by my bedside in no way means that I write in it consistently. But I figured that I’d take Thanksgiving to look back over the year at some of the little things I am thankful for that I would have forgotten had I not been intentional to thank God for them and add to my conspiracy theory of God’s overwhelming love for me.
- late night tweets with @erniehalter
- familiar Hallmark stickers in all Salvation Army buildings
- remembering to bring chapstick
- an extra set of pajamas
- sitting next to Graham
- late night nonsense laughs
- free apples
- the nickname “Stephadee”
- Rhoda helping me do my hair
- Mei-Ling having breakfast at the same place
- glitter all over the place
- Mochas at the Q Cafe
- Lindsay coming to Y@Ms
- helping Micah be brave
- front row seat to Sarah’s growing up
- knowing the streets of many cities
- hand-delivering books I was planning to send
- Micah throwing his garbage away without being asked
- friendships safe enough to forgive
- Rhoda’s watermelon juice
There are many more I want to treasure for myself, and many more I missed because I didn’t write them down.
But lately every morning I wake up, I find myself amazed at the sunlight and honored that God chose me to live another day on the earth. I am grateful for each breath, for each person I encounter, for each moment God has given me to live. I don’t need November to remind me of that so long as I wake every morning singing the praises of the new mercies God has in store for me.