“God is a God of the present. God is always in the moment, be that moment hard or easy, joyful and painful.” – Henri Nouwen
“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” – Henri Nouwen
Set your intentions in the morning so that your reflections at day’s end are closer to what you desired than aiming for nothing.
A framework, a compass, a lighthouse.
Inquire, observe, seek.
Ever present in the now.
Sow, till, reap.
“The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” – Henri Nouwen
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton
“’Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” – Alice Walker
May gratitude be your first response to this day, to another, to yourself, to God the author of it all.
The place you begin, the road you travel on, the destination.
Awake and aware of all that already is in this very moment.
To see what is with rather than what is missing.
Difficulties remain but they are not the complete story.
Gratitude, grace, blessings.
Reignite your senses to see it all and be in awe.
First and foremost.
Thanksgiving and expression of it.
“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” – Eckhart Tolle
“There’s a bright spot in every dark cloud.” – Bruce Beresford
“Wisdom. . .is knowing what you have to accept.”― Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose
No doubt, it’s been a long winter.
It’s hard to be positive about 30s in April, on the cusp of May.
Another circumstance we can’t do anything about, out of our control.
Collectively, we’ve had a lot of those the past two years, stuff out of our control.
The one true thing in our control is our reaction and response.
Do we allow them to take our joy hostage or do we free the hostages, inviting and entering gratitude in all seasons?
A personal daily choice.
I am going to keep choosing gratitude, albeit imperfectly.
There’s room on the team of joy if you want to join.
We have plenty of spectators, critics, cynics.
Humor, delight, wonder are playing first, second and third base.
We need some pitchers and a catchers.
Participate and play the game, it’s a short one.
“Humor is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer.”— Reinhold Niebuhr
“Prayers are tools not for doing or getting, but for being and becoming.” – Eugene H. Peterson
May gratitude, joy, awe, wonder find a place in you this day.
In the noise and shouting, a whisper and song.
Remember the sacred and holy, entering with abandon the mystery, depth and light.
“Days pass when I forget the mystery.
Problems insoluble and problems offering
their own ignored solutions
jostle for my attention, they crowd its antechamber
along with a host of diversions, my courtiers, wearing
their colored clothes; caps and bells.
once more the quiet mystery
is present to me, the throng’s clamor
recedes: the mystery
that there is anything, anything at all,
let alone cosmos, joy, memory, everything,
rather than void: and that, 0 Lord,
Creator, Hallowed one, You still,
hour by hour sustain it.”― Denise Levertov, Sands of the Well
“We can find true refuge within our own hearts and minds-right here, right now, in the midst of our moment-to-moment lives.” – Tara Brach
“Even when there is no immediate threat, our body may remain tight and on guard, our mind narrowed to focus on what might go wrong. When this happens, fear is no longer functioning to secure our survival. We are caught in the trance of fear and our moment-to-moment experience becomes bound in reactivity.” – Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance
May you allow new thoughts in to color this day.
Open, inviting, attentive.
Filtering with your heart rather than mind, the past, assumptions, resentment, offense.
Tools of the world, of ego.
Allow your spirit to take the lead, to dance, delight and release to freshen the air.
Generosity, kindness, gratitude widen the path, deepen the journey.
Seek, ask, listen.
What else, what if, why not?
Bud and bloom.
Awaken and thrive.
“If we are holding back from any part of our experience, if our heart shuts out any part of who we are and what we feel, we are fueling the fears and feelings of separation that sustain the trance of unworthiness. Radical Acceptance directly dismantles the very foundations of this trance.” – Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance
“The soul can split the sky in two and let the face of God shine through.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay
My Heart Leaps Up by William Wordsworth
“My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.”
May the deep blue sky capture your attention.
Penetrate the armor.
Push you back on your heels in awe.
Seek delight in the ordinary.
Pursue joy in reach.
Woven in the sky.
In blessings we pass by daily without seeing them.
Take full account.
Look up, leap up.
“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf.” – Albert Schweitzer
“Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.” – Henry David Thoreau
May you count it all.
Each ring of a tree.
Moments, days, months, years.
Take full measure.
Of beauty, of joy, of laughter, of fun, of delight in ordinary days.
In struggle and loss.
In victory and gain.
A steady state of gratitude.
Growth unfolding slowly but surely.
Allowing time and distance to heal, bind, transform.
In waiting and want.
In discovery and awe.
Whole and parts working in tandem.
Emptied and filled.
Weaving, knitting, joining it all.
Take full measure.
“The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” – Eden Phillpotts
“O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.” – William Shakespeare
May this day of Thanksgiving celebrate and commemorate a life of daily gratitude.
In small and large things.
In difficulty and ease.
In imperfection and messiness.
In the middle of an ongoing pandemic.
On good days and challenging ones when we don’t rise to our best.
May we awaken to the power of perspective, the gift of joy unattached from circumstances.
Gratitude – the great multiplier.
Thanksgiving by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
We walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
Of pleasures sweet and tender.
Our cares are bold and push their way
Upon our thought and feeling.
They hand about us all the day,
Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives,
And conquers if we let it.
There’s not a day in all the year
But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
To brim the past’s wide measure.
But blessings are like friends, I hold,
Who love and labor near us.
We ought to raise our notes of praise
While living hearts can hear us.
Full many a blessing wears the guise
Of worry or of trouble;
Far-seeing is the soul, and wise,
Who knows the mask is double.
But he who has the faith and strength
To thank his God for sorrow
Has found a joy without alloy
To gladden every morrow.
We ought to make the moments notes
Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
Of music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
As weeks and months pass o’er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
A grand Thanksgiving chorus.
“Nature is the one song of praise that never stops singing.” – Richard Rohr
“The theological virtue of hope is the patient and trustful willingness to live without closure, without resolution, and still be content and even happy because our Satisfaction is now at another level, and our Source is beyond ourselves.” – Richard Rohr
Be filled, fill
Blessed in the ebb and flow, in the valley and the mountain
Expanding and growing
Above and beyond our understanding
Never lose heart
Go deeper, stay awake, guard your joy, hold your hope.
Blessed are we in it all of the messiness, imperfection, struggle and beauty of life.
“Blessed are we when we yearn, yearn for connection and love and touch. Blessed are we when we hunger for the beauty of life itself and the people to fill it. Blessed are we when we are unable to say I’m letting it go because we feel like we will be washed away into an ocean of nothingness. Teach us to hold on to the truths that enliven our spirits and fill our souls and loosen our grip on the painful untruths like that we are alone or unlovable or that desire itself is the enemy. Teach us to hunger for what is good and be filled. There will be no easy addition or subtraction, we will lose and we will gain and almost none of it will make much sense at the time. And it forces our hands open in the ebb and flow of wins and losses, comings and goings we will look for divine love in the mystery of it all. The stubbornness of flowers that still smile at us, at the grocery store and the need for endless small reminders that the pain of it all, the comedy of it all, keeps us wide, wide awake.” – Kate Bowler from podcast with Richard Rohr