March 10, 2009

“Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
…who satisfies your desires with good things 
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103. 2, 5)

I met with my spiritual director tonight, and he asked me to compare the way I am feeling, the state of my heart, to a season. 

“Spring,” I said. “I feel so hopeful, confident, exuberant.”

“And you know what to do?”

“Yes. Give thanks.”

Here’s is a list of 35 things for which I am thankful:

1) Bradford Pear trees blooming on Henley Street

2) Marvel candy sticks at Halloween and the Lucky Strikes and Mustang boxes of candy cigarettes sold at dirty gas stations across the country. World Candy Co.= good candy cigarettes; Necco=garbage.

3) Coffee as black and strong as you get it

4) Taking a shower and washing off all the sunscreen, sweat, and sand after a day at the beach. Wearing a linen shirt that night to counteract the inevitable sunburn

5) A Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur No. 1 English Claro

6) My niece Emery asking to ride on my shoulders

7) Daisy, Patrick and Caroline’s puppy, a Malinois and Great Dane mix from Young-Williams Animal Center

eight)  the pulse of a wild trout on the tip of my Scott 6-weight

9) my cool-down walk after a long run

10) orange juice with as much pulp as possible

11) salmon nigiri

12) a small basket of buffalo chicken tenders and fries at McDougal’s in Nashville

13) making my dad laugh so hard he cries

14) bending over to hug my mom

15) my best friend Hunter Harris and 22 years of collective memory

16) haircuts

17) a slow shave with a straight razor

18) gingko leaves turning lemon-yellow in autumn

19) 10-year-old Laphroaig

20) Sundays

21) eating lunch at Grandmother’s house then taking a nap

22) poetry

23) riding my bicycle down a steep hill without a helmet on

24) pepperoni pizza

25) fine pens

26) funny hats

27) Big Creek, Idaho

28) my sisters Elizabeth and Laura

29) a tea called Lapsang Souchong

30) cutting up fallen trees with a chainsaw

31) bad actions movies with Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Segal, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzeneggar or any kung fu movie

32) weddings

33) clean bathrooms

34) Roald Dahl books

35) Wilson McCoy’s laugh

Praise be to God for all that He has done for us and all that He will continue to do.

2 Responses to “Gratitude”

  1. Austin L. Church Says:

    Thank you for your kind words. Hearing that my writing touches people brings me joy.

    My spiritual director is a mentor in the sense that he walks with me and shares his wisdom. More than anything, he gives me a place to talk about “how it goes with my soul.” He asks lots of questions and points out certain things that are sometimes too close for me to see clearly without help. Hope that makes sense.

    Peace to you.

  2. Bunny Wilson Says:

    I happened across your blog because my GoogleBlog Alerts settings picked up “Henley” Street on this entry. My Henley is a big slobbery Great Dane and has nothing to do with Bradley Pear trees. But, I take nothing like this instance for granted because I have seen God work in my life in very off-the-wall ways before.

    First, I want you to know that I have really enjoyed reading your posts; your poetry is both lovely and thought provoking.

    Second, I’m wondering about your reference to your “spiritual director” and if this is different than what we so often hear of as a spiritual mentor. It seems to me that the spiritual mentor within the confines of how I’ve heard it taught is so vague and often makes the person being mentored feel either left out in the cold for lack of direction or at times feeling like he/she will never actually be able to think through heart-wise to make growth possible. I loved the assignment to compare in this post.

    Grace & Peace,

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