"In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." ~I Thess. 5:18
This is the sight that greeted me early this morning as I drove to the park to run. My reaction to it was visceral and deep. It was as if all the color, all the light, all the ebullience of it buried itself in my chest, radiating its heat and splendor from inside me.
Just last night this same sky was an extravagance of a different sort. To the west, the sun was descending in a fiery explosion of gold, while to the east, a glorious rainbow stretched across the sky from one horizon to the other. The air held bits of cool rain, scattered so that you could feel each individual drop, sweet and clean.
And I wondered, "Why, God, would you expend all this glory, all this beauty, on one little town in one 24 hour period?" I couldn't get this out of my head as I ran. And suddenly other gifts, other sweetnesses, of yesterday presented themselves for my consideration. And yesterday was the most ordinary of days, if there is such a thing.
I knew I had to write about it. But there was such a cacophony of thoughts in my head, I wondered how to reign them in. I decided to give myself 10 minutes to list the things I was most grateful for over just the past 24 hours. Then I began to wonder if this wouldn't be a worthy practice every day. Just 10 minutes. What would it do in my heart and mind? How much more alert would I become to the wondrous gifts sprinkled throughout my "ordinary" days?
Here's my list. Compiled in just 10 minutes. Explanations added only where they seem essential. If you took 10 minutes to make a gratitude list of your own, what...or who...would be on it? What impact, if any, do you think it might have on you?
*scary gorgeous sunset, rainbow, sunrise
*a husband who loves me all the time, no matter what
*king arthur and the knights of the round table...i'm re-reading it with josh and we saw the holy grail twice yesterday and our hearts pounded and i had tears in my eyes and we couldn't make ourselves stop reading
*water...this and the 2 that follow born of the portions read from rich stearn's the hole in our gospel
*a long-term vaccine on the horizon for malaria...my cousin-in-law is working on this at vanderbilt and though i knew it was impotant, i didn't know how important til now
*the privelege of being conduit of god's provision for a beloved family in malawi who is caring for aids orphans
*my friend anne's book permission to speak freely which released today and will be life and courage and grace to those who read it
*friends...conversations...encouragement, challenge, love
*three amazing kiddos who have grown into people i love to hang out with
*health and strength...a body that keeps doing all the crazy things i ask it to
*my mom...talked to her on the phone yesterday...receiving her last radiation treatment today and feeling strong and healthy...her cancer found early, good prognosis
*healthy food that tastes like it should be an indulgence
*music...especially my son at the piano, and herbie hancock's new imagine project which i can't stop listening to