Spiritual Journey Thursday – Gratitude

Spiritual Journey Thursday for June 2021, hosted by Ruth

My one word for 2021 is Gratitude. In 2021 my goal was to say thank you more often–to God and to people.

I wrote about it here and here, and this poem in January with Stacey Joy and the Open Write group at Ethical ELA.

One Word 

Gratefully
I open the letter
ever-flowing and
breathed by you

Gratitude
for love,
life,
learning

Gratefully
I sit at the seashore
and chew on the manna

Gratitude
for sustaining,
up-ending,
building

Gratefully
Gratefully
Gratefully

Welcoming the
flow of justice,
ever-flowing justice

I started this Spiritual Journey Thursday post the other morning because I wanted to join in this monthly group that Margaret Simon had told me about, and that Ruth is hosting this month. This Gratitude post was on my mind when my husband said something sweet today.

I made Mexican food for lunch–fajitas, black beans, homemade salsa and tortillas. It was yummy. Then, soon after we ate, I needed to get ready for a tutoring session.

When he realized it was time for me to get on my Zoom meeting, he began to put away leftovers and do the dishes, saying, “I’ll finish this lunch project now–with a heart full of gratefulness, taste buds dancing in my mouth, and a full tummy.” (I took a minute to jot it down!) This is just one snapshot of this man who has been a role model of gratefulness during our marriage.

Gratitude doesn’t come quite as easily for me, but I’m practicing this year. That’s why it became my one little word. This Epiphany tree, which I put up on the day after the insurrection on January 6, continues to light up my house this June and probably will all year!

The painting of my one word Gratitude is there, as well, to remind me to say thank you–for an amazing husband, our 38th anniversary coming up, God who forgives me in my selfish sufficiency, health care providers, scientists, governments trying their best to solve a novel crisis with limited resources, my health and home, vaccinations, my fine black gel pen, a new president for the U.S., my blog and being able to write and record thoughts and feelings, Kindle books read and waiting to be read, healthy food, clean water, my daughters and their husbands, Jesus who makes life a joy, and so much more.

 

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100 Things I’m Grateful For

Day 3

Today, I’m grateful for…

  1. my home
  2. my husband
  3. the joy I have when he comes home
  4. my daughters
  5. my sons-in-law
  6. the future
  7. Bahrain
  8. vaccines
  9. clean water
  10. wearing flip flops every day for a year
  11. surviving the last year
  12. gifts of the heart
  13. the healthy pizza I had for dinner
  14. Al Raja School
  15. good neighbors
  16. books to read
  17. more people forced to deal with the reality of white supremacy than the previous year
  18. being in a new civil rights chapter
  19. notebooks to jot in
  20. peace
  21. love
  22. joy
  23. patience
  24. kindness
  25. goodness
  26. gentleness
  27. faithfulness
  28. self-control
  29. and those who live in the fruit of the Spirit
  30. fancy car horns that make me smile
  31. calendars
  32. friends to drink tea with
  33. friends to write poetry with
  34. friends to blog with
  35. children’s laughter
  36. board games
  37. a cushy chair at my dining room table
  38. being able to teach part time and a variety of experiences this year
  39. retirement coming
  40. cookies
  41. ginger molasses cookies
  42. chocolate chip cookies
  43. chocolate crinkle cookies
  44. soft pumpkin cookies with cream cheese icing
  45. oatmeal raisin cookies
  46. Lent and how when it’s over I’ll eat cookies again
  47. Jesus
  48. Christians who act like Jesus
  49. rainbows
  50. crocheting
  51. creating
  52. call to prayer
  53. letters in the mail
  54. a clean page
  55. new earbuds
  56. smiling
  57. the paintings  around my apartment–
  58. the tropical flower my daughter painted in high school
  59. the Bahrain map
  60. the souq
  61. Rachel Maddow
  62. Kamala Harris
  63. Joe Biden
  64. wool, cotton and linen yarn
  65. my avocado sapling
  66. all my houseplants
  67. avocados
  68. sourdough
  69. kiwi
  70. navel oranges from Egypt
  71. Fuji apples
  72. karak tea
  73. electricity
  74. clean power
  75. reducing
  76. using up leftovers
  77. students who keep learning
  78. students who bring joy to teaching (Fran McCrackin’s sweet student yesterday)
  79. wind (Kevin’s poem “That Wind of Gust and Din” reminded me how I love a good wind storm)
  80. winds that don’t do damage
  81. Trevor Noah
  82. Hagar seeing the God who sees her
  83. Bartimaeus seeing more than the people around him
  84. my sisters and brothers
  85. my pressure cooker
  86. losing 30 pounds this year
  87. someday buying new clothes
  88. someday going to a party
  89. Special Olympics
  90. spelling bees
  91. mops to clean up spills
  92. the memory foam pad on my bed
  93. hard drives to share files and not have to upload for hours at a time
  94. fast Internet when I have it
  95. hearing so many different languages when I walk in my neighborhood
  96. tissues
  97. Fitbit
  98. church that can still meet online
  99. a future and a hope
  100. my home

An Ode to #VerseLove Poets

All these years as a teacher, and I have never before tried to write poetry in April, outside of my classroom. The month came and went with hardly a notice. Maybe, I would think to myself, how do they do it? But only once, and then went on my way.

This year, one of the silver linings of the Coronavirus is that I have time to make new priorities. Thanks to Glenda Funk and Maureen Ingram in the March Slice of Life challenge, I got brave enough to dip my toes in. Now, I’m looking forward to swimming a lap every day with a new poetry mentor and challenge.

Today I wrote this poem because I was struck how elementary my comments always sounded. I truly am touched by all the poems I’m reading, but I’m just learning how to comment. I asked my husband this morning to tell me words he would use to describe a poem when it really speaks to his emotions and life. He gave me quite a list–cathartic, exposing, touched an open wound, healing, compelling, and more. I kind of forget now exactly which ones were his, but I used all of his words and added some more to it.

An Ode to #Verselove Poets

Wow!
Powerful!
Beautiful!
Lovely!

To my friends:
When I write these it doesn’t mean
I don’t love your poems,
that I’m not truly touched.
I am.

To myself:
But come on, Denise,
that’s all you write.
You are 62 years old.
Learn some precise language
for speaking about what you mean.
How about using a thesaurus?

Try…
striking
compelling
convincing
aced spelling

revealing
healing
appealing
got me dealing with my own feelings

reflecting
connecting
respecting
collecting
wisdom from you, my mentors

exposing
imposing
disclosing
composing that closing

With your words
my soul you’re jabbing
my heart you’re stabbing
my mind you’re grabbing
my eyes I’m dabbing

Your poems are cathartic
for the arctic
sea in me
reminding me of open wounds
yet to be restored when
given your remedy

Grateful Slicer, Day 30

I am a grateful slicer, a new slicer in 2017.

Thanks to all those who have read my posts this month and left kind, helpful and quality comments.

A special thanks to my regular visitors, Aileen Hower and Erika Victor. You have each been a cheerleader to keep me writing on this journey! It seems I could always look forward to your helpful and encouraging responses. When I didn’t feel like writing, or thought I had nothing to say, I somehow knew you would notice. Thank you!

Although, I didn’t make the full challenge, I did manage to post each day. I forgot to add my link to the SOL website a couple times, and I had a week of little to no commenting! All in all, it’s been a great adventure, and I look forward to keeping up my writing with the weekly Slice of Life Tuesday challenge.