Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday, because of times in the past that were hard, but perhaps this year it can be redeemed.  Since no one is making me perhaps I will talk about gratitude.

“The continuum of words related to gratitude go from greed and jealousy; through taking things for granted and feeling entitled; to appreciation, acceptance, and satisfaction. The practice of gratitude would be an appropriate prescription whichever one of the above describes your attitudes.  The rules of the grammar of gratitude are not as simple as they seem at first glance, however. For example, often instead of rejoicing in what we have, we greedily want something more, better, or different. We can’t be grateful because we are making comparisons and coveting other possibilities.  When this happens on a personal level, when it’s our ego that is dissatisfied, then we are ungrateful. But when we want something more, better, or different for the glory of God or for the benefit of the community, this greed may be a manifestation of our devotion, our love, or our yearning for justice. And then we are grateful for these commitments.”  — Spirituality & Practice.

I read this yesterday:

If God hasn’t changed your circumstances then perhaps he wants to change you.

This has been a long time coming for me. I have asked God to change my circumstances for years.  And seemingly he is either silent or I am not listening well.

I thought I wanted a job that pays money.  I still do want that and a job where I am making a difference in the world, a contribution to my community or to helping others through exposing the injustice with pictures and words.  If I am honest, I also still want position and power for my glory and ego, so perhaps this is why God doesn’t give me back those opportunities just yet.

Instead I am learning to lean in to being a mother, for it is an honorable, risky and challenging job (though the pay is low and the retirement plan stinks!)  In all seriousness, God has given me the four children I have for a reason, they are an extravagant gift. And you never know whose mother you are, who your children will become.

I am learning that I am valuable even though I don’t make money. And learning that my contribution to world just may be through something else — through insight, or creativity, or dare I say a prophetic word (small p definitely) from time to time?  Okay perhaps not.  I don’t know much, but I am learning.  There is so much that I don’t know.  I too quickly go from insecure to proud and satisfied; from cock sure to fearful and hesitant; from mute to long-winded and rambling; from loving my own thoughts to wondering at my idiocy.  But I am learning to be comfortable with my voice and in my skin.

And I am unlearning many things.  Sorting and sifting through what has been taught to me. I am encountering and learning from beautiful people along the way.

Though my house collects dust bunnies — even as my house collects them — I see

all that is growing

in and around me. 

The dust bunnies can wait.

I am being transformed and I am grateful.

October 26th, 2011

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’ 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NRSV

linger :: slow and sober (a poem)

The main expression of my spirituality has been this little church that I go to, and my sobriety.  The path of recovery and—I’m a terrible Christian and meditating is very hard for me, and I do it.  I do it badly, like I do a lot of things.  I believe in doing things badly.  I believe in listening to the—what calls you from your heart and your spirit and if you do it badly, like learning to dance, you do it badly or you’re going to kick yourself when you grow old and you meant to do it.  — Anne Lamott.

Listening to my heart, even if done badly

is better than never having done it.  My heart is glad

to be sober.  When I consider how many mornings I woke

with a hangover present

and the headaches. Dread and regret were loudly

pounding on my soul.  God woke me up, as he has done so many times.

Asked me

what was most important.  My hunger.

The black hole of fear and isolation?

I knew I wanted something.  But not this.  Broken-hearts are so unimpressed

with being sober.  But finally

it was, in the end, better to let go.  To know

that I was awake.  Loved.

And I remain with him.  My need.  I give it all.

I look for beauty now and find it.  Some day I will stop

searching.  For now I am just with him.  And it is enough.

to linger.