January Thankfulness

noticing thankfulness
sometimes hiding
sometimes surprising
generous gifts
singing to us
catching us up in smiling wonder
we stand blessed
yet again

47 thoughts on “January Thankfulness

  1. Wendy

    – for a new chicken recipe test so yummy we made it twice (in the same day)
    – for wrestling and writing and listening
    – for thin Oreos
    – for speaking opportunities that allow me to clarify what I really think
    – to sleep in this morning

  2. Ann

    ~for quiet after kid-chaos all day
    ~there was time for an afternoon nap while everyone was out
    ~to find just the right person to work on my piano
    ~to be making consistently good choices in a usually difficult area
    ~to know my siblings can keep eyes on our mom and that Jenny visits regularly

  3. Wendy

    – for the interesting work happening at Stanford’s d.school
    – for my daughter’s safe return despite bad weather
    – for a night of unbroken sleep
    – for introvert/hermit time
    – for the question, “What is it you most want to do?”, asked by someone who wants to help make that happen

  4. Ann

    ~Gpa made waffles for all the girls this morning
    ~for a lazy day of play
    ~to feel removed from church business while my heart is so full
    ~for an evocative blessing of Jan Richardson’s
    “May the Ancient of Days inhabit
    not only your future but also your past.
    May you know the grace, wisdom and redemption
    that yet dwell in what has gone before.”

  5. Wendy

    – to not even have words to describe the beauty and sacredness of what I bore witness to at today’s retreat

  6. Ann

    -for a long day of remembering
    -when there’s freedom to be open and honest
    -to really be seen
    -to hear little Violet sing Amazing Grace
    -to soak up the energy flying around with all three granddaughters in the house, now sleeping peacefully

  7. Ann

    ~for kind friends that offer to help
    ~for the distraction of little girls in the house…so much GLEE
    ~to know the wisdom in taking breaks to myself for rest
    ~Jenny composed a beautiful flower arrangement for tomorrow
    ~tomorrow will come and go, becoming another memory

  8. Wendy

    – for an unbroken night of sleep
    – that God persists in inviting me into the new, even when I am being a chicken
    – for a second opportunity to practice not being a chicken 🤤
    – for the joy of baking and cooking for people
    – for the beautiful ideas I have been entrusted with offering for tomorrow’s retreat

  9. Wendy

    – for the quiet of the house to wrap around myself
    – for the Staples manager’s enthusiasm to donate office supplies for Monroe Middle School
    – that I don’t have to leave design behind when I do art – that it can take a stronger role
    – that my daughter made all her airport connections uneventfully
    – for the kindness of a neighbor
    – for the flood of ideas that woke me up and for paper and pen to write them all down

  10. Ann

    ~for love in action and out loud with Hazel and Violet
    ~for safe travel
    ~for the kids’ crazy excitement at seeing Gpa
    ~dinner was devoured (one down)
    ~to see how we might work around my kids’ animosity toward each other
    ~God-given peace

  11. Phaik

    ~ for the cooler spell of weather this week
    ~ for the cicadas that hold my attention in the early morning
    ~ I was able to extend my stay here
    ~ for rear-view cameras in cars
    ~ for prayers of friends, oh so many years ago, answered in ways never imagined

  12. Wendy

    – for the open door of intriguing conversations with a coach I respect
    – to grieve as I made art about two painful decades of life
    – to find some interesting new music
    – that I am being shown a bigger world than I have known, and noticing how easy it is to cling to the familiar
    – for the grace of a good night’s sleep

  13. Ann

    ~the house is ready for company, little ones included
    ~to get some cooking done, with baking planned for morning before going to the airport
    ~for M’s help with all the things I can’t or shouldn’t do
    ~for sweet anticipation of spending time with my daughter and granddaughters
    ~for time to absorb the bad news from the piano technician before deciding anything

  14. Ann

    ~to sing Taize, closing a hard day in a good way
    ~for time to rest my back tomorrow, as most of the busy work of toddler-proofing the house is done
    ~for a short visit with a friend that remained unusually light and easy
    ~such interesting discussions happen while planning worship
    ~the piano is being tuned up in the morning so that playing in bits can be added to my PT

  15. Wendy

    – for rides to and from the shop to get the tires rotated
    – for the mystery of how art heals
    – for the gift of slippers from my mom
    – for the understanding of my fellow coaching buddy in Scotland
    – for the clarity to wait in two instances, then seeing the obvious appear both times, and realizing how much needless time I would have spent had I done it my old way and over-prepared weeks ahead.

  16. Phaik

    ~ at how easy it is to pick up the threads of a ‘lost’ friendship
    ~ everyone enjoyed the evening after all
    ~ my safe drive back in the unceasing rain
    ~ I now have a stash of hard-to-find favorite childhood biscuits
    ~ how I am still stunned, wondering, and in disbelief – in a good way

  17. Ann

    ~people have offered lots of help for Saturday
    ~to get so much done in one day…it’s been a while
    ~Jenny sent me a long list of food to have on hand for her little ones
    ~I like lists!
    ~for the process of writing about Carolyn’s life and realizing once again how different our experiences were

  18. Wendy

    – that my Dad’s tooth extraction went smoothly
    – for the honor of guiding today’s art retreat for a dear friend
    – to feel wonder and awe at being a sacred witness
    – to partner with my daughter in being able to give this gift (her part was babysitting!)
    – that my son got into the class he’d been waiting for

  19. Ann

    ~for the beauty of fog and safe driving through it
    ~indeed, for touching reminders of our belovedness
    ~to know that singing effects someone other than me
    ~for a good feeling, rather than regret, after speaking at length in the book study
    ~for the way grief waxes and wanes, leaving tender spots to heal

  20. Wendy

    – for the sacredness of blessing the belovedness of each person in our community this morning. It’s got to be my favorite Sunday every year.
    – to learn from a curator critiquing work through the lens of being a juror/judge.
    – for the ways God meets me when Ann sings
    – for Erik’s shepherding of us all
    – for the sweetness of a good night’s sleep last night

  21. Wendy

    – to send off an experiment with making a big print of small art, and curious to see how it will come out
    – for the courage, understanding, and compassion of my adoptive parent support group
    – for progress on taxes
    – for the insights of my small group, which continue to percolate in me
    – for the safety and trust to be completely candid with them about where I’m at
    – for a cozy day with my daughter

  22. Ann

    ~to be able to have a busy(for me)day
    ~to be continuously learning safer/better/wiser ways to navigate interactions with my adult children
    ~for rare poignant moments with Sophia’s tender heart
    ~for excitement anticipating Jenny and her little girls arriving this Thursday
    ~to recognize family traits….some great, some not so great

  23. Ann

    ~for the clearing of the river water after being muddied by rain
    ~to love the constant sound of it rushing by and to imagine it carrying thoughts and feelings away
    ~to laugh and laugh with Sophia, more than anywhere else ever
    ~for memory’s incredible dimensions
    ~to be slowly working Feldenkrais and mild stretching into my mornings

  24. Wendy

    – for all that I am learning about the combination of art and healing and how it resonates within me in a big way
    – to realize that in a sideways manner through art, I am the doctor my father wanted me to be
    – to paint some of my pain in a more visceral (vs. intellectual) way
    – to be aware of the state of my body as I painted
    – that the sorrow I feel offers something to me

  25. Ann

    ~ for restful sleep and good energy
    ~for Patty’s expertise easing Mike’s anxiety about Medicare details
    ~to be able to walk Sophia home from school and happily chat
    ~for fun playing junior monopoly
    ~to have wonderful curry already in the fridge when we got home
    ~to hear from Phaik

  26. Wendy

    – for a gentle dental hygienist and no cavities
    – for King Egg Rolls (and the amazing sauce)
    – for the new client who is now an old client, and the invitation to hold things loosely
    – for progress on getting things together for taxes
    – for the warmth of the sunshine

  27. Phaik

    ~ there were no injuries
    ~ the mishap occurred near the home of a family friend
    ~ he became the bridge between the other parties and us out-of-towners
    ~ for his incredible support and hospitality when we needed to overnight there
    ~ that, because of S, we were able to continue the road trip – in another car – the next day

  28. Ann

    ~to put feelings in to words, helping solidify thoughts
    ~for the safe space of our small group time
    ~to have such a kindhearted pastor help plan a service for Carolyn
    ~for safe driving on slippery roads
    ~to reminisce while looking at loads of old photographs

  29. Wendy

    – that a new client ended our first session together feeling hopeful
    – for a nap and a cornbag that helped avert a headache
    – for the adventure of a new recipe
    – for time to pray with a dear friend
    – that a copy of “In the Sanctuary of Women” is on its way to me 🙂

  30. Ann

    -exhausted tonight, there’s hope for deep sleep
    -to make it through a dental cleaning with no back trouble
    -Mike really doesn’t mind stepping in as my driver
    -to know our small group meets tomorrow
    -for the planning of a memorial service bringing about some good family conversation

  31. Wendy

    – for the grace of some positive academic news
    – for the new identity my daughter is emerging into
    – for a helpful critique on new paintings
    – for the sound of the rain!
    – that I have so many opportunities to practice standing firm

  32. Ann

    ~for the gift of the rain
    ~to be snug, dry and warm
    ~little Hazel demands to call me so I can see her dance, via facetime
    ~for so much joy brought by my granddaughters
    ~for Sunday’s question: Where are you going on this “journey”?

  33. Ann

    ~to get to worship this morning and all that entails
    ~for Erik and his thought-provoking offerings
    ~for a refreshing nap before getting some groceries
    ~to frame one of my art pieces and be amazed at the warm feeling of satisfaction
    ~to consider all that has to shift in order to really embrace a perspective change

  34. Wendy

    – for home
    – for Ann’s sweet greeting and understanding at my lack of sleep
    – to celebrate Don’s 95th birthday…I aspire to have as much spunk when I am his age!
    – to enjoy the last of the amazing French croissants with my daughter
    – for a gigantic nap this afternoon

  35. Wendy

    – to realize that drawing is careful noticing of what is
    – for what I learn as I create
    – for invitations into being messier
    – for the warm community of my asian-american small group
    – for cozy slippers

  36. Ann

    ~for function today without sleep
    ~for suspension of rumination about Carolyn
    ~grief sneaks in and out
    ~when food for thought pops up unexpectedly
    ~for the invigoration of fresh air and puttering in the very wet yard with Soph

  37. Wendy

    – for the challenging invitation to bravery each time I paint, and the lively inner dialogue it sparks
    – for my Auntie’s gift of frozen French croissants I could bake here at home. They make the house smell so good!
    – for the plumber who cleared the main line
    – to look forward to dinner and presenting with my coaching mentor at the end of the month
    – for the first client to come via my website
    – for the silly song my new washer and dryer sing

  38. Ann

    ~to be able to walk away from extreme frustration with technology
    ~for safe driving to pick up Sophia and back while passing three multi-car accidents
    ~to find a few pictures of Carolyn to share
    ~for fun playing games with S, so unusual for me
    ~to have The Sanctuary of Women speak to me in intriguing ways

  39. Ann Burris

    -for relief after making a decision
    -to get in a walk during a break in the rain
    -for fun plaing Sleeping Queens with Sophia
    -for texts and pictures from my daughter
    -for settling of emotions

  40. Wendy

    – to notice one of my favorite colors (Payne’s grey) all over the clouds at sunset
    – for the gift of an extra night of quiet last night
    – for the sound of the rain
    – for how good it feels to be home again
    – for time to paint some new work

  41. Wendy

    – for the rain!
    – for a safe drive home from LA in it
    – for my first “contemplative car ride” – and what a sweet time it was to be with God in a new way
    – for running into old friends at Harris Ranch, and finding they are in the middle of creating something like the Contemplative Center in southern California – and thankful again for the spacious grounds we have at Westhope.
    – for the inspiring and gracious ways my mother’s siblings are strong together and for each other

  42. Ann

    ~for the sounds of rain, mostly gentle rather than torrential
    ~for a change of plan that allows me to stay out of the car tomorrow
    ~to find the process of down-sizing possessions interesting
    ~for the long practice of discernment helping me to be more patient with it
    ~to feel God’s immediate presence throughout persistent big God questions
    ~to be trying to use new language regarding my body and how I feel

  43. Phaik

    ~ that the chemo session of a cousin went better than expected
    ~ to reconnect with cousins I meet all too seldom
    ~ for an engaging, animated conversation with their teenagers
    ~ for reminder of approaching situations with a humble awareness
    ~ for the friend that gives his time, expertise and care to fix D’s car as if it was his own

  44. Wendy

    – for the three dear young men who have been like nephews to me since they were born
    – for how honored I feel that they talk deeply with me about their lives, and let me speak into them
    – to cook for my parents and enjoy a meal together
    – for my mother’s family’s devotion to one another, even with all their differences.
    – to get to do word unscrambling puzzles with my mom, and to celebrate together when we finally figured out “lounge”!

  45. Ann

    ~for courage to air my feelings and be met with grace and love
    ~to be learning more about the effects of consistent self-care
    ~to find a NadaChair stashed in a box, a mystery to me, and love using it
    ~to make baby steps when bigger ones are beyond me
    ~rain is in the forecast

  46. Wendy

    – for my cousins and the grounding of family, with all its idiosyncrasies 🙂
    – to be able to be of help to my parents
    – for the wonders of drawing with the Apple pencil
    – for finally being done with the gift wrap roll from Costco that wrapped Christmas presents for maybe10 years. Time for a new look!
    – for the inspiration of discovering new artists
    – that I am in a different place, and how relationships around me are shifting as a result.
    – for friends who share profound insights that bring clarity
    – for an artsy cousin who shared my excitement about a new box of 132 prismacolor pencils

  47. Ann

    ~worship went well, while I stayed home to nurse my spasm-ing back
    ~for time and space to heal
    ~for an interesting read, going back through a writing project from years ago about chasing beauty
    ~to feel some satisfaction as well as chagrin at how little has changed
    ~to have started the year with Jan Richardson’s The Sanctuary of Women in the morning and Christine Valters Paintner’s Wisdom of the Body before bed
    ~for M’s energy while tackling some down-sizing in the garage

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