Growing in Gratitude: A weekly series on “Daily Musings on Life Together”
The psalmist wrote, “Sing a joyful noise to the Beloved all peoples of the earth! Serve the Lord with a glad heart! Join hands in the great Dance of Life!” (from Nan Merrill’s Psalms for Praying). Join me in this dance each Monday as I practice giving thanks for things big, small, tangible, and intangible. Feel free to count your blessings in the comments.
I’d like to introduce you to my friends. My precious girlfriends from whom I’ve learned so much about life and giving thanks– Amber, Blair, Courtney, Jane-Marie, Katie, Laura, Meghan, and Noelle.
We met in college and as freshmen began a weekly bible study together. We stuck with each other through the ups and downs of all four years of undergrad and came out on the other side of graduation closer than any group of friends I have ever had. We call ourselves “The Nine” because well when we graduated there were 9 of us left of the original bible study. Now after multiple weddings, a number of fiances and boyfriends, and most joyously 4 births (with 1 more on the way in September) we number much more than 9 when we get together, but who’s counting. [smile]
With their powerful witnesses of love and their challenges to think about things in new ways, these girls have helped shape me. In fact the idea of this weekly series, “Growing in Gratitude,” comes in part from them. Over the years as we’ve tried to figure out ways of staying in touch we’ve developed this ritual of naming 5 things we are thankful. When we started out these lists were emailed weekly, but as life has gotten more complicated we scaled back to once or twice a month. Still receiving these lists over the years has been such a blessing. In many ways, these grateful lists carry the story of our lives. Graduations, new jobs, engagements, and pregnancies have all been announced on these lists. Smaller triumphs and everyday joys have also been named. Often at the end of speaking words of gratitude, we have shared requests for prayers for peace in decisions that are being made or prayers of healing for family, friends, and ourselves.
By cultivating a ritual of naming both our joys and concerns aloud (in print), we have found a way to remain connected despite the physical distance that separates. In exchanging these words of gratitude, our lives have been enriched by living vicariously each other’s adventures in jobs, graduate school, marriage, and motherhood. Together we have shared in the abundance of life.
Today I am grateful for friendship.
What are you thankful for today?