With Advent fading and Christmastide coming this week, I have much to be thankful for. So I will continue my Multitude Monday list I started last week, a community at Ann Voskamp's beautiful and soul-deep blog Holy Experience. If you are not familiar with this blog, RUN, don't walk right on over there. It's my very favorite blog ever, and my bulging Google Reader list will attest to the huge number of blogs I read. Ann's "scratches in the dark" inspire me to see my spiritual pilgrimage in an entirely new and deepened way that is difficult (even for me) to tie down with mere words. It must be experienced. Her little corner of the blogosphere is truly hallowed ground with a burning bush around every corner. Go, ye....
In keeping with Ann's Gratitude Community, I am adding to my newly-started list those things for which I am thankful this week; last week's list may be seen here.
So to continue from last week...
Thanks be to our Lord God for:
11. ... His provision for us. A good chunk of income arrived just when we needed it quite badly. Thanks be to God!!!
12. ... Christmas carols and the depths they reveal of Christ's love for us and our desperate need for a Saviour.
13. ... dear friends from high school, college, graduate school, Lake Murray, Alpine Anglican, online communities, and our small town who love and care for me despite my faults and foibles.
14. ... allowing us to live in this beautiful little mountain town where we experience four seasons (unlike San Diego), yet are within an hour's drive of the city's culture as well.
15. ... my husband's perseverance, patience, hard work, and faith, despite not having steady work, and his willingness to do everything from landscaping to tiling bathrooms in order to provide for us.
16. ... my daughter's generous spirit. She purchased an expensive Christmas gift (something Keith and I could not afford) for her brothers, spending over $200 of her hard-earned money from her housekeeping job at the local Bible camp.
17. ... the encouragement of my writing and poetry friends, both online and in real life. Real-life friends: Kathryn (Kitty), Judith, Betty, Teresa, Maureen, and Jess, plus friends-not-yet-met: Sarah, Katharine, Petunia, and all the wonderful poets from ReadWritePoem who critiqued and helped me develop my poetic voice this week. I have MUCH to learn, and I value your willingness to help me develop as a writer and a poet.
18. ... the followers and commenters of this blog. You have blessed me beyond expression, especially over this past week. I value each one of you greatly. You have encouraged me to keep on writing, to not think that what I share is worthless and boring, to keep improving my work. Thank you.
19. ... Father Acker of Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity who not only leads us in worship and teaches us how to follow Christ with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength, but also serves the community through free guitar classes for teens which has blessed our middle son greatly. Father Acker is the kind of pastor who becomes a friend, who is always lit from within by the Holy Spirit, and who encourages and serves selflessly.
20. ... our church family at Lake Murray Community Church. Despite living in our mountain town for over eight years, we continue to drive 35 miles (one way) into San Diego (La Mesa, to be precise) to attend Sunday services here. These people are family. When I was bedridden due to my chronic health issues, a group of women took turns driving up the mountain to clean our house each week and continued doing so for three years. They've brought us meals when our babies were born, prayed and cried with me during hard times, paid our propane bill and helped us with groceries while Keith has been out of work, etc. This truly is a church FAMILY -- in every sense of the word. We are so blessed to be part of this amazing family of God.
From the 1928 Book of Common Prayer:
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we, thine unworthy servants, do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and lovingkindness to us, and to all men.[...] We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful; and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.