Belting it out for our America…and this gift of life
We have SO much for which to give abundant thanks…every single day. On this day after our Independence Day, I am in a very reflective mood, and while Pandora’s classical music station fills my room and heart space, I feel the need to write down this thanksgiving list on this here glorious 5th of July.
I am thankful for…
1. Family. No matter the tangles, thorns, the hurdles and challenges, they are my life’s heart beat. My mama and pops have sacrificed so much for me and loved me unconditionally. I love them with all that I am.
2. My faith in God. I’m not sure where I’d be right now without faith. God gives me hope in the midst of storms and reminds me that light always emerges from darkness and that Love endures forever.
3. This silly infected elbow of mine. While it’s been an uncertain, frustrating, and often painful journey over these many months — and still continues, I am learning more and more about the power of trust, perseverance, prayer, friendship, true healing, patience, and rest; grace is EVERYWHERE. “Consider it ALL joy, my brothers and sisters…” -James 1:2
4. Perspective. Often when I feel like throwing myself a pity party, the power of perspective takes hold and shakes me out like laundry that needs to dry. I am so very blessed: I know love, I can laugh until it hurts and cry cleansing tears, I have my faith that gets me over all hurdles, I have an incredibly close family, I have magnificent and beautiful friends, I love being a teacher (with the summer O-F-F!), I have a sweet home and mode of transportation in “Miss Vicky,” I have health, and even when that’s murky, it’s better than the reality for a whole lot of folks.
5. Books and the author’s minds who have so miraculously written them. I have been digesting some amazing books this summer:
Last Child in the Wood by Richard Louv, Animal Farm by George Orwell, I Am One of You Forever by Fred Chappell, The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
Next on the docket: Hinds’ Feet in High Places, The Kite Runner (I know, I know…I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet either!), Born to Run, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
6. Quiet. As it says in Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything, and a season for every purpose under heaven” (3:3). And so there’s a time for movement (dancing!), for music, for laughter, for chatter, for all that wonderment, but there is also precious time for quiet, solitude, and rest, and goodness gracious, the summer has afforded some delicious doses of this natural remedy and gift.
7. Music. (oh, the irony…see above) I ADORE music – both listening to and playing it, and I’ve been thankful to recommit myself to playing my guitar each day and to swallowing my pride and trying to dust off the old keyboard to remember some little ditties. Scott Joplin, do you remember me? Recent melodies/artists I’ve been turning up ALL THE WAY: Bonnie Raitt, Bach’s Brandenburg concertos, Joe Cocker, Van Morrison, and Peyt’s wedding mix. 🙂
8. Whole Foods. These are what God gave us to fuel, nourish, and heal our bodies. I really cannot imagine putting anything else into my body, nor do I want to! Yesterday’s 4th of July feast consisted of grilled peppers, onions, and zucchini alongside steamed shrimp and black bean salad…hmmmm…Lord, have mercy!
9. Having a pen pal. My dear friend Mary and I write to each other every day, and while it’s not in the old-fashioned letter form that I so adore (we live in the same city!), it’s still real and special and genuine. While our writing is cherished, I am looking forward to visiting her again soon in person!
10. Early mornings. I adore getting up early, and yes, even in the summertime… snuggling and burying myself in the covers…listening to the birds chirping…watching sweet rays of sunlight…tasting that first sip of coffee…journaling and reading to the symphony of quiet…and realizing how blessed we are to have another day.
11. Postcards. Ah, the unexpected treasure! I just received a postcard from my dear friends Erin and Brent during their travels in Rome (with quite the attractive local gent on the front!). Something so small can mean the entire world. Hmmm, I think I’ll send somebody an ATL postcard…just ’cause…
12. Our America. Our Freedom. I, for one, take this so for granted. God Bless our United States and for all those fighting to keep us free. May it not take a holiday for us to remember…
From Nathan Angelo’s heart to mine and yours, listen to this: America, the Beautiful