“What do you do when sh*t hits the fan?”
Be thankful. All the time.
“About what, Mary C?”
Everything. Anytime. If you’re bored, be thankful – lonely, be thankful – fat, be thankful – angry, be thankful – resentful, be thankful – tired, be thankful.
“What does that mean, in real life, Mary C? ‘This paint is getting all over the ceiling, what a pain”‘ – so do I thank God that I have arms to paint at all?”
No, it doesn’t have to relate to the thing you hate, or the person you’re angry at, or the situation that is making you lonely. It doesn’t mean intentionally finding the good in a bad situation. It just means, whatever you do, just be thankful. Thank God for the fact that there is a sky. That music is real, that emotions are good. Thank God for Harry Potter; for improved handwriting; for peppermint patties; for Calvin and Hobbes; for living in a house with a piano; for Michelle Obama; for warm February days; for Jayne hats; for telephones; for the ability to go running. And thank God for that while you’re bored out of your mind putting up siding, or resentful about a friend, or achingly lonely. Just thank God.
– my blog from February 2012 –
– McKee, Kentucky –
Gratitude is an all-weather spiritual discipline. She lightens up heavy days, she softens blows, she brings humility and other-centeredness into success, she gives an outlet for joy when everything goes exactly how you always dreamed it would. Gratitude doesn’t always come naturally, but the more you come back to practice it, like a difficult passage in a piece of music, the more gracefully and easily it flows out.
So I’m grateful (see! it’s working already!) for Leanna and her blog “link up” (at the bottom of my page you can find links to Leanna’s page and the other writers) – connecting wise writer women together every Friday to write about 7 things that we’re grateful for, ending the week with a nod to God and the world and the people that we love.
1) I wish the world was flat like the old days / and I could travel just by folding a map.
I am grateful for the “foldableness” of 2017. I kind of can travel just by folding a map. Gchat, Facebook, Facetime, texting – we moan about how they’re ruining our attention spans and corrupting our minds, but when I see them, I see the map fold up from all over the world and suddenly everyone that I love is curled up on my couch with me.
2) Come like dawn, like grace, like sunlight / Bring this world to life / Come like rain, like breath, like springtime, bring this world to life
I am grateful for my breath. Learning to take deep breaths even when my body is in an uncomfortable position in yoga. Learning to breathe gently and intentionally when I meditate. Learning to appreciate how my breath pumps oxygen to my muscles when I run. Coming back to cheesy youth group songs and starting to learn about what it means that this is the air I breathe – your Holy Spirit living in me.
3) I am not throwing away my – shot! / I am just like my country / I’m young, scrappy, and hungry / and I’m not throwing away my – shot!
THANK YOU, God, for my spiritual director, who reminds me that whatever shot I have, whatever small piece of the world I am called to be holy and faithful to, whatever I have to give and offer – it is good, it is enough, it is *your* shot, and no one else can do and be for the world what you are called to do and be.
4) I’m coming up! / So you’d better get this party started!
Thank you, God, for drag queens that shake their majestic booties to 90’s P!nk music and are themselves so aggressively and joyfully that they encourage us all to love and live in our own skin no matter how silly some people think we look in our twenty pound wigs.
5) We will sing freeing songs / speak healing words / live with clean hands / and free this land
I’m grateful for my feisty, fearless prophetic women that I find myself surrounded by this month, who love justice almost as much as they love Jesus, who are not afraid of what it looks like to do justice and love kindness because they are just so busy pursuing it with their whole hearts. You are my mirrors, loves. Thank you.
6) They’ll call it a mystery / But we’re gonna call it victory / We’ll be writing history / It’s gon’ be victory
I saw Hidden Figures last week. I’m grateful for what those women did with sweat and blood and tears for the world, and grateful for the challenge it gives us to not think that this was a fight from 1860 or 1960 or 1990 but today is still for fighting. I’m grateful for the people in my life who challenge and confront me on my own racism, and thank God for the people being brave enough to do that in whatever sphere they find themselves in.
7) Oh great God give us rest / we’re all worn thin from all of this
Thank you, God, for rest. For good sleep. For gentle company. For dogs that fall asleep on your leg. For coworkers that give long hugs. For decaf coffee in the afternoon. For the poetry of the mystics. For Your love that wraps me up, picks me up, and carries me when my legs get sore.