Gratitude list, November 2022

stars glittering
the night sky, when I’m up late
feeding the baby, falling into
bed
& the arms of my spouse
for a few more hours of sleep before
daybreak
fresh coffee & hot oatmeal
little hands reaching for me
for games of peekaboo
songs & cuddles
for the wide embrace of our village —
grandparents
dear friends
good neighbors
teachers
pediatricians
therapists
our congregation — with whom we raise
our children
for music while I’m doing dishes and folding
warm towels just out of the dryer
for naptime, blessed naptime,
a moment of peace amidst the chaos of
Legos & crayons & rounds of Uno & kitchen dance parties & “another snack please!” & playdates & playgrounds & tag
long walks in the neighborhood
the scent of burning leaves
& the way sunight catches in the leaves
at golden hour
dinner to make,
bathtime bubbles & squeals,
for sharing stories & poetry & prayers,
goodnight kisses & “I love you”s
& when the dog curls up on my lap
& the whole house is
quiet
holding a freshly sharpened pencil
& a blank page on which to praise
this one holy and beautiful life.

Small graces on a fall morning

Sunlight slices through the night,
washing the world in color.
I rise, grateful
for earl grey tea in my cup
lavender swirled in
each inhale,
another chance to get it right
or rather, live gently —
to soften my heart where it’s been hardened
toward others (and myself).

Cold nips the air,
dew drops deck blades of grass,
yellow and purple mums brighten porches,
leaves shift their outfits for the season,
a reminder that change often seems slow
until one day you arrive,
bursting with beauty.

The promise that those same leaves will fall,
carpet the yard in red and brown,
become fuel for a backyard bonfire,
smoke curling in the sky
while we sip hot cider
and embrace its warmth.

The last dandelion puff,
placed in my hands by
a child who knows how his mama trusts
dreams and prayers…
in every ending and beginning
shining on the horizon,
bathing us in hope.

This list of “small graces” was inspired by this reflection.

A prayer of thanksgiving

For a little boy who celebrates fresh flakes with spontaneous snow angels,

For his bear hugs & sloppy kisses,

For the sweet taste of his remaining Halloween candy, freely given (seems like all our talk of generosity is sinking in, eh?),

For building towers & bedtime stories, 

For every blessed time he utters, “I love you too, Mommy!”

Thank you, Jesus.

Also. Help me remember this feeling when this same child throws a tantrum after I cut his hot dog the “wrong way” & myriad other sins that shall go unnamed. 

Help me, Jesus.

And so, Amen.