Yesterday I had a conversation with my best friend; we talked about gratitude journaling. Then after I hung up the phone some unsettling news came in which is requiring a lot of processing. Then a jagged-feeling morning with a flurry of activity: school prep, errands, planning, processing the unsettling thing, food prep, forgotten items, details, details. 4yo’s lunchbox has been left at school over the holidays and leaks putrid juices all over me when I retrieve it; home to change clothes. Resetting our tastebuds with a round of Whole 30, making us feel carb-bereft and put-upon. Get things done, tackle problems, talk with another friend about the unsettling thing, go on twitter, read bad news during lunch, a mostly ordinary day.
But there in my lunchtime feed is that delightful Ann Voskamp, reminding me that “a song of thanks steadies everything.” That the answer to anxiety is rejoicing.
And there it is again: the lifeline of gratitude to which I, melancholy and suspicious being that I am, cling resolutely; day after day, year after year, litany after litany. This is a fill-in-the-blank prayer. You insert <the thing you are personally grateful for> into the line.
God, lately we have been inundated
With excess, both good and bad;
So much so that we have trouble
Discerning the ordinary gifts.
In your presence, we daily train ourselves
To exalt Christ,
To count blessings,
To practice thankfulness,
To pray at all times in the spirit,
We give thanks for ordinary gifts:
Food on our tables
Friends within reach
Clean air and water
Warmth and shelter
For the blessing of <an object or objects>, we give thanks.
For the blessing of <a person or people>, we give thanks.
For the blessing of <an experience>, we give thanks.
For the blessing of <a moment>, we give thanks.
For the blessing of <a comment or conversation>, we give thanks.
For the blessing of <a book or artwork>, we give thanks.
For the blessing of <a pleasure>, we give thanks.
For the blessing of <a comestible>, we give thanks.
We rejoice in the blessing of Christ:
Through whom all things were made,
From whom every good and perfect gift is made available,
In whose presence we are made alive.