#ThanksLiving2014 #Abundance

So yesterday’s post on Abundance did not happen on time because we received a call that has us on the road back to Iowa.

As we are traveling today, I am thinking about abundance especially in conjunction with All Saints Sunday. When I think about abundance I think about the abundance of love that I have experienced in my life. Abundance for me is not the stuff we have accumulated (although with five daughters there is certainly a lot material abundance in our life!) rather it is the abundance of people, of opportunities, of beautiful moments shared.

Abundance is having a church member call simply to say “drive safely because you are a treasure to us”. Abundance is getting to share a Father’s Day dinner with your father, father-in-law, grandfather-in-law and husband, four men who are extravagant in their love. Abundance is a six year old who just has to have a snuggle. Or children in the back seat of a long sudden car ride who are singing “El Shaddai” at the top of their voices. Abundance is getting to celebrate the lives of those who have given so much, who have lived authentically and who have influenced your life in ways profound.

Abundance is knowing that the ability to travel, to be with family, to pay for meal after meal in resturants, to sleep in a hotel room is something that many people could not do but you can. It is the having of plenty of everything so you can be where you are most needed when you need to be there. I don’t know how to take a picture of abundance but if I could it would encompass the faces of the many people who have made my current reality possible.

#ThanksLiving 2014

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The Young Clergy Women’s project of which I am blessed to be a part has put out a “photo a day” Challenge for the month of November. Since I have failed horribly with taking pictures of words in the past I thought I would try spending a few minutes at the end of each day reflecting on the word and where it was visible. Today’s word is Gratitude.

I could give you a fairly good synopsis of my day starting with waking up to joyful children sounds instead of an alarm clock (at 8:30 none the less!) and moving moment by moment though my day for all the ways I saw and felt gratitude but I expect that would not be in the least bit edifying for anyone who might read this.

When I think of gratitude and frankly this day, which was nothing special in the grand scheme of days, I think of all the small moments where I saw beauty, where I felt love, where I experienced the wholeness that God longs for creation to have all the time.

“We were made to enjoy music, to enjoy beautiful sunsets, to enjoy looking at the billows of the sea and to be thrilled with a rose that is bedecked with dew… Human beings are actually created for the transcendent, for the sublime, for the beautiful, for the truthful… and all of us are given the task of trying to make this world a little more hospitable to these beautiful things.”
~Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Today I saw gratitude in the faces of the people I love, heard it in deep thoughtful conversation with my 13 year old, smelled it in the chicken vegetable soup made by my mother’s loving hands, tasted it in a Reese’s Cup carefully chosen for me because its my favorite, touched it as my husband held me close. Gratitude is what fills my heart as I think of all the ways I was able to participate today in moments that make the world a little more hospitable to the beautiful things of God.