Gifts & Graces
Here’s my random gratitude collection of mostly small but sometimes large things that helped make September better.
Book Club. For the past few years, a friend and I have done at least one “book club” each year. Although we call it “book club,” the name is more sophisticated than the activity itself! We take turns choosing a book, then read and discuss it during weekly coffee dates. We both love a good self-improvement project, so we often choose books in that vein. Talking about these things is fun and usually leads to a few good insights. And since the “club” consists of only two members, it’s casual and relaxed.
Back to School Supplies. I don’t go “back-to-school” anymore, but that doesn’t stop me from buying new supplies every fall! I go through many notebooks, and nothing makes me happier than scoring a handful of them in cheerful colors for a bargain price. And although I already have plenty of my favorite pens, I usually can’t resist trying a new type of pen or stocking up on even more of my favorites. I can also justify acquiring at least one new pen/pencil pouch since they come in handy to store earbuds, charging cases, extra iPhone charging cables, assorted USB cables, and other tech detritus that needs to be corralled.
Wildflowers. Certain wildflowers signal the start of fall to me. I have no idea if these truly are fall bloomers or if that’s the only time I notice them, but I look for them every September during our trip to Maine. And they are reliably bountiful! I see them growing around our cabin and along the side of the road during my morning walks. I think it’s their hardy reliability and their pure ordinariness that attracts me. They are simple and unassuming – small white or purple asters with many little flowers on every plant and bright goldenrod that inevitably makes me sneeze. A simple bunch of them in a vase for me to admire during breakfast starts my day with beauty and gratitude
Football. Although I’m not a serious football fan, I look forward to the start of televised NFL football every September. I think it’s an excuse to put away my to-do list on Sundays and curl up on the couch (with my husband, the dog, and the cat) to watch games and nap. Inevitably my husband, in all seriousness, asks me a question about one of the players or some detail about a play. I often act as if the answer has merely slipped my mind. In truth, the reality is that I rarely know the answer. I never follow the teams/players off-season and really only understand the basic rules. But it always makes me smile when he asks and thinks that I will know the answer. It reminds me that he loves me, and one of the best parts of being loved is having someone who thinks you are more awesome than you know yourself to be.
A closing prayer
Dear God, please help me pay attention to the many gifts and graces that you bring to my life. Let me gratefully acknowledge the people and things that fill my days with joys that range from small comforts to immense love. And thank you, God, for being with me each day. I am humbled and inspired by how Your Spirit works through the actions of so many people. Amen.