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Posts from the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Do the Dishes

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” – Emily Dickinson

“A sign hangs on the wall in a New Monastic Christian community house: “Everyone wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.” I was, and remain, a Christian who longs for revolution, for things to be made new and whole in beautiful and big ways. But what I am slowly seeing is that you can’t get to the revolution without learning to do the dishes. The kind of spiritual life and disciplines needed to sustain the Christian life are quiet, repetitive, and ordinary. I often want to skip the boring, daily stuff to get to the thrill of an edgy faith. But it’s in the dailiness of the Christian faith—the making the bed, the doing the dishes, the praying for our enemies, the reading the Bible, the quiet, the small—that God’s transformation takes root and grows.”― Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

Do the dishes.
The seemingly ordinary.
A phone call, text, visit.
Holding a door.
Letting someone in your lane.
A smile.
A warm embrace.
Attention to what already is not what is missing.
Slowing to take in the shapes, colors, beauty around.
Do the dishes of daily love, joy and kindness.
The makings of a real revolution.
Change we long for achieved one small act after another.
Transformation from rigor, repetition, waiting woven with wonder, delight and awe.

“Love is light—only fully realized when it is reflected. It was never meant to be kept.”― Stephanie Catudal, Everything All at Once: A Memoir

Gratitude and Peace Each Day

“Peace is the music of every soul. Our glory lies in understanding, listening and honoring that music.”― Amit Ray, Walking the Path of Compassion

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”― W.T. Purkiser

Acts of kindness.
A warm embrace.
Conversation to connection.
Beauty in abundance.
Joy overflowing.
Peace. Grace. Love.
May these all be yours.
Happy Thanksgiving and may gratitude spill over into each day.

“Ordinary love, anonymous and unnoticed as it is, is the substance of peace on earth, the currency of God’s grace in our daily life.”— Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

Take Delight

“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”― W. Somerset Maugham

“Exquisite beauty
is often hidden
in life’s fragile,
fleeting moments.”
― John Mark Green, Taste the Wild Wonder: Poems

To be where I stand.
Fully awake and aware.
Not losing today looking back or too far ahead.
Steeped in now with gratitude, awe and thanks.
Color. Light. Beauty.
Balm and binding.
Take delight in this day.
Fleeting and full.

“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”― Harry A. Ironside

At the Same Time and More

“I don’t want to sit like a brooding hen on the nest of my past achievements. I want to keep on going deep into the uncertain act of making, to see the unknown world stretch out before me and to devote myself to exploring it.”― Katherine May, Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age

“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.”― Rumi

We can hold grief and gratitude at the same time.
Not one or the other but both and more. And more.
There’s always more right in front of us.
Give yourself permission to experience and move through both and all.
Rough and smooth patches. Usually a mix.
With hope, faith, devotion and more hope.
Changing, evolving with time, space and distance.
Joy, hope, resilience, grace, laughter, peace.
Doing their work in us and through us.
We have the capacity and calling to love deeper and louder.
Find contentment wherever you are.
There are no rules or 10 easy steps.
Not alone, keep walking this sacred ground.
Rooted in the present, moving forward a step at a time.

“I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.”― William Stafford

Keep Going, Growing and Gratitude-ing

“Love is the beauty of the soul.” – Saint Augustine

“In the second half of life, we do not have strong and final opinions about everything, every event, or most people, as much as we allow things and people to delight us, sadden us, and truly influence us.”― Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Abby is my birthday buddy today. Born 7 years ago. I begin the last year of another decade moving well into the second half of life, assuming longevity. We don’t know what happens or when it will happen. So steep in this day alone and be present to what is right now. Not lingering in the past or moving too far into the future.

The past 7 years have been a long season filled with joy and loss, change and transformation, being stretched and pulled, made new from many things I wouldn’t choose. Loss of parents, dogs, aunt and the grief that follows and remains. Gain of five great nephews and delight and hope overflowing from children. An unexpected and necessary career change. Good friends. Caregiving. Two marathons. Cancer diagnoses for family members (ugh and heavy sigh). A three plus year pandemic woven through it all. Resilience, grit and gratitude.

Any advice from it all?

Keep going.
Take full count – more blessings than burdens, sometimes they are the same.
There’s compound interest in loving well.
Be present in each day.
Ordinary days are ripe with joy, laughter and delight if you choose to see and partake.
Don’t become your job, making it your identity.
You are bigger than what you do.
Diversify. Try new things.
I’m two months into guitar lessons and love being a beginner and struggling to improve slowly with practice and fortitude.
Keep learning.
Life is in the little things.
Small exchanges with friends and family.
Sticking when times get tough.
Forgiveness required and imperfection a staple.
Believe in something bigger than yourself.
My name for this something bigger is God.
Pause, pray, praise.
Faith, grace, hope required daily.
Someday is today.
Always get the squeaky yellow tennis balls – the best for ball chasing and shredding (Abby’s insight)
Know what you stand for not just what you are against. Focus on that.
Work and pray for things to get better – it’s not the government or the “other guys” job.
Give up cynicism and criticism – dead end road and merely adding to the noise.
Be generous and kind.
Laugh a lot and allow tears to release and heal.
Love is the journey and the destination.
When all else fails, keep choosing love.
Life keeps happening – be a participant, not a spectator.
May you keep going, growing and gratitude-ing (just made this word up – gratitude is a verb – put it in action)
And don’t forget to celebrate.
Happy birthday Abby and me.

“Wholly unprepared, we embark upon the second half of life. Or are there perhaps colleges for forty-year-olds which prepare them for their coming life and its demands as the ordinary colleges introduce our young people to a knowledge of the world? No, thoroughly unprepared we take the step into the afternoon of life; worse still we take this step with the false assumption that our truths and ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning; for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.”― C.G. Jung

Gratitude Face

“Express gratitude for the greatness of small things.”― Richie Norton

“Thank you for the day and night,
for rainy spells and summer’s light.
Thank you for the skies of blue
and puffy clouds in grayish hue.
Thank you for the gigglefests
and midnight’s cloak to hasten rest.
Thank you for tomorrow new
and yesterday’s tomorrow too.
Thank you for “I’m glad we met”
and also for “we haven’t yet.”
Thank you for the peace of mind
a grateful soul doth always find.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich, Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a Few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year

Prompted by a smile, a laugh.
Lighten up.
Weave gratitude through each day.
Small things, great beauty.
Blessings and abundance abound.
In seasons shifting.
Ordinary days.
Friends and family.
A bouncing tennis ball to chase.
Work to do.
Play as well.
Laughter and joy.
Connection and solitude.
Full heart.
Grateful soul.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”― Meister Eckhart

Plain Common Work

“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”― Robert Louis Stevenson

“The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain common work as it comes certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life.”― Robert Louis Stevenson

May you look forward to each day with enthusiasm and zest.
Clean slate, fresh start.
Renewed by the sunrise, fresh air, flowers on fire.
Captured by ordinary moments.
Beauty in nature.
Flow in common work.
Daily joy not hinged on circumstances.
Equanimity and ease.
Gratitude, grace, gladness.

“Don’t pass it by–the immediate, the real, the only, the yours.”― Henry James

One Grateful Thought

“We are never more than one grateful thought away from peace of heart.”― Brother David Steindl-Rast

“Warm summer sun,
Shine kindly here,
Warm southern wind,
Blow softly here.
Green sod above,
Lie light, lie light.
Good night, dear heart,
Good night, good night.” – Mark Twain

May your burdens be lifted for a bit.
May you walk lightly for a while.
May you feel the sun and summer breeze.
May joy, peace and awe hold you this day.

“The root of joy is gratefulness…It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”― Brother David Steindl-Rast


“Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.”― Samuel Johnson, The Idler; Poems

“For so, surely you will cast a light of gladness upon his onward journey, and contribute your part towards the building of that kingdom of love which links our earth to heaven.” – Edward Carpenter

May gladness overflow from your heart.
To your words.
To your actions.
In each moment, or even just a few.
Moving through this day.
Grace. Gratitude. Gladness.
Linking earth to heaven.

“May your heart be filled with gladness.”― Lailah Gifty Akita

Memorial Day

“May the many monuments that abound remind me of the desperate need for courage, the inestimable value of valor, the honor evoked of sacrifice, and the fact that a life spent in the service of self embodies none of these.”― Craig D. Lounsbrough

“A true patriot does not seek to live off of the sacrifices of others. Rather, a true patriot is the one who sacrifices so that others might live. And therefore, we might be quite wise to take a moment and ponder the reality that a nation heavy on recipients and light on patriots will soon have neither.”― Craig D. Lounsbrough

Memorial Day.
Remembering those who have sacrificed for our freedoms.
Who went beyond self into other.
Choosing we rather than me.
More than a long weekend and kick off to summer.
A day to remember, honor and be grateful.
And hopefully extended well beyond one day.
Humans forget, get distracted, take others for granted.
Thank you to all who served and serve.
Those no longer with us and those who remain willing to make the sacrifice.

“Thank you to those men and women who put self aside because they held the thought of us on the inside. So, whether that be the bloodied beaches on D-Day or any number of other battles remembered or forgotten, we now hold you on the inside and we say “thank you.”― Craig D. Lounsbrough

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