Growing in Gratitude: Choices

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.

As graduation approaches my mind has been focused more and more on the number of choices ahead.  Little choices that seem fun like what dress to wear to graduation or our first Sunday in the new church or where to put our things in our new house.  Bigger choices loom as well like what jobs should I apply for once we are settled into our new city and for Caleb in what directions should he encourage the new church to explore ministry.

Having choices is exciting, but I often also allow them to make me worry.  I am a planner.  When I set about planning my day or our meals each week, I like to think about all that is ahead and make choices based on efficiency and frugality.  I always had an idea that planning was important to me, but marriage to my spontaneous Caleb certainly has affirmed it.  Thankfully Caleb has picked up on my need to know what’s happening next and will plan some things with me or at least give me a heads up when his spontaneity is about to take over.  [smile] While we are learning from each other about new ways to approach the choices ahead, I think one thing we need to work on is being grateful for the choices themselves.  Having choices is such a privilege because it is a sign that we have more than enough.

Last night I was reminded of our privilege of choice when we headed out with a group from our church on Grate Patrol.  Grate Patrol is a ministry of the Salvation Army in DC that provides meals each evening to our unhoused neighbors.  For about a year and a half our church has been participating in this program by providing and serving meals once a month.  As we handed out the brown bag meals of a turkey and cheese sandwich, orange, granola bar, and water, many people accepted this offering with a simple word of thanks.  Others asked about the possibility of a choice.  Each time I had to respond that there was no other choice tonight, I felt confronted by the realization of how my worry over all my many choices is really so petty.

Its a simple lesson, I know.  It is even a lesson that I’ve been taught before, but standing here on the precipice of so many changes and choices I am glad to be reminded again of the blessing of choice.  So today I pray that in acknowledging my gratitude for choice I can let go of a bit of my worry about making the right ones.

Today I am thankful for choice.

What are you grateful for?



Smelly Shoes and Ice Cream

Before I move on to today’s musing, I want to take a moment to express my condolences and prayers for the victims of the bombing at the Boston Marathon yesterday. I read a beautiful prayer yesterday by blogger Kimberly Knight on that I would like to share with you. Please follow the link to join Kimberly in her “Prayer for Boston.”

Now for the smelly shoes and ice cream… Sounds like a pretty odd mix, right?  Well, yesterday marked the end of a seminary wide shoe drive organized by the Student Council and several other student organizations.  I have to brag on the hubby for a moment because he’s really been the coordinator for this event.  Soles4Souls is his “favorite charity.”  They collect new or used shoes to give to persons in the world who have no shoes.  It seems like the simplest concept.  We all have shoes we don’t use and don’t need in our closets and there are people all over the world who need shoes.  So throughout Lent and into the beginning of the Easter season, we’ve encouraged everyone in the Wesley Seminary community to clean out their closets for a good cause.

The success of the event has been great! We’ve collected a little over 380 pairs of shoes and about another $100 in donations.  That puts us very close to providing 500 shoes for people in need.  It’s so exciting to think about where the shoes will go.  After packing the shoes, we celebrated with an ice cream party!  Also Caleb’s idea– I’m beginning to think that his plan all along was to find some way to have Refectory ice cream sundaes one more time before we graduate.  [smile]

Photos of the day’s festivities are included below.  Hope you enjoy!



Boxes of shoes headed to Soles4Souls!

Bags and boxes of shoes!

Bags and boxes of shoes!

Celebrating with ice cream!

Celebrating with ice cream!