These are the last days of summer for a school teacher and church musician. I'm getting ready to meet my students again, some of them for the first time. I am preparing to teach Christmas music in church choir rehearsals. The calendar is becoming crowded already. 

Do you look at your calendar or your day planner with excitement or dread?

I'll be honest - for me, sometimes it's dread. I'm horrible about overbooking myself. Today one of my students suggested that we consider pausing our lessons during the school year, not because she didn't want to learn more, but because she was worried that I'd be doing too much. She would be right.

How can we get past this fear of the calendar? And the need to stuff it so full that we can't enjoy what's there?

It comes back to thanksgiving every time. I'm having a hard time finding things that aren't touched by the need for giving thanks. Thanks is one of the best gifts we give. It's one of the only things we can actually give to God, if you think about it.

So late tonight . . . in spite of so many things . . . I am going to give thanks.

Thanks for the produce given to me by good friends, from the garden they tended with their own hands.

Thanks for the instrument given to me by a friend who was just delighted to give it away - it caused me to sit down on the floor like a little kid and actually play - I lost myself in joy just like a 5 year old with a new toy.

Thanks for the strange bug resting on the pump at the gas station - it looks like a mosaic. I giggled like a little kid when I noticed it sitting there.

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Thanks for this mantis, who has been praying over my back porch almost all summer, keeping me company on my quiet days and my good days and my lonely days . . . 

Thanks for the light ending each of my days like this.

And for the light beginning each of my days like this.

This year I've been trying to give thanks even when I don't like what's going on around me - and I'll be honest - it can be tough. But it makes a difference in my state of mind. It heals something . . . gives something back that I feel like I lost as a kid - wonder. 

What can you give thanks for?

Peace & Goodness,

OLL

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