I had an idea last week. I thought about it often - how I would write a blog entry each morning during Thanksgiving week. I would write each day about something for which I am thankful - a blessing in my life for which I am grateful.
The week came....and the week went. Even Thanksgiving day came and went without my writing a thing. I thought often about how thankful I am but I never typed anything.
Now that the week is over and I have caught up on several things, it is time to share my thanksgiving with you.
I am thankful for what is happening at Mount Vernon Place. I consider the opportunity to watch this historic church be restored from top to bottom to be a rare privilege - a once in a lifetime opportunity. I am excited about our getting back into our sanctuary next summer. It is truly amazing to see the structure being restored - to see the outline of the new chancel floor or the new walls being put in place. I can hardly wait to see what God has in store for this church.
While the building is exciting, it is even more exciting to see the congregation developing. We have an amazing group of new members at the church. There is a renewed emphasis upon serving the community in a variety of ways - we have raised over $2400 this year for a homeless day program. We delivered new blankets to another shelter today. Many people have volunteered to serve dinner at this shelter on a monthly basis. And, the mother of one of our new members knitted 25 scarves for the residents of the shelter - scarves that were delivered this past Sunday. I love the energy - the passion - the new ideas - that are surfacing each week at the church. God is clearly at work.
I am thankful for Craig. Over a decade ago the Indigo Girls recorded a song with a line, "The best thing you ever did for me was to help me take my life less seriously. It's only life after all." Craig helps me take life less seriously often - in the best of ways. He makes me laugh. He makes me smile. He has an uncanny ability to celebrate and seize the gift of life - helping me do the same. He shares life with me - all of life - whether it is listening to my stories, unloading my dishwasher, or reminding me that I am working too hard. Craig adds beauty, delight and joy to each day. I am thankful for him, for our upcoming marriage and for the lifetime that awaits us.
I am also thankful for the gift of living in Washington. My family was in town last week, and I played the role of tourist again. I journeyed along the National Mall, taking in the Vietnam War Memorial, the FDR Memorial, the Lincoln Monument, the White House, the Washington Monument, and Tidal Basin. I was reminded often of what a gift it is to live in this city. I was also reminded of how blessed this nation has been, and I gave thanks for the incredible men and women who have provided great leadership to our nation. I was struck, once again, by the things President Roosevelt stood for, and I gave thanks for his willingness to stand up for the poor. I gave thanks for President Lincoln's leadership - a leadership that brought equality to all people. And, I gave thanks for the men and women who have faithfully served this country as members of the Armed Services. May we continue to fight for the poor, for the equality of all people, and for the veterans returning from war.
And, I have given thanks for the gift of family. My father is one of the funniest people I know. He has a zest for life, a strong work ethic that has been passed down to his children, and an ability to make people laugh...hard. There were several years when I did not have a relationship with my father - when I kept him locked outside of my life, unwilling to hear his side of my parents' divorce or forgive him for what he had done. I am thankful for the gift of reconciliation and forgiveness. I am thankful to have him in my life. And, I am thankful for our visit last week. It was great to have him, his wife, and my little brother here - all four of us in my 537 square-feet home.
God is good. I am thankful. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
What are you thankful for?