Monday, March 30, 2015

300 and Counting

I made it to 300 this week. Three hundred reasons to be thankful, three hundred moments I almost missed, three hundred blessings I got to stop and see

And this time around, in the past few weeks, I noticed that so many of the things I find myself most grateful for are related to food - sharing meals with friends, baking with my children, feeding myself well, discovering true nourishment.
161) Air poppers and a child's awe  
162) Tiny, tender green shoots
163) Bread and wine for dinner

I have learned this practice of counting the ways from the breathtaking prose of Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts. But my growing appreciation for food, and the people with whom I share it, was first birthed from author Shauna Niequist's book, Bread and Wine. In it, she shares about a loyal circle of friends who meet monthly to exchange nourishment - both physical, emotion and spiritual. She talks of hours around a table, feeding one another's bodies and souls, building community and support and life through an evening a month. 

Inspired by her tales, I invited my own loyal circle of friends into a "Cooking Club," that has now been meeting for an entire year. Every gathering is the nourishment I had hoped I would find, and then some. Last week we met and nourished each other with food that carried a story - a beloved grandmother that taught a recipe, a new way of eating and living after illness, a life-changing adventure halfway around the world and back. 
239) Cooking Club (aka Consumption Club) 
240) Leftover Thai soup 
241) Crunchy shells and soft insides

This past month, I had the privilege of being a part of an incredible movement of people through a magazine called, The Phoenix Soul. My article, God is in Darkness, spoke about the tender journey of learning to find God despite all that we suffer, all that we wonder, all that we are left without knowing. And learning to let ourselves be surprised by where the Divine may show up. 

Then, just weeks later, I stumbled upon Rare Bird, a story so breathtaking, so heart-wrenching, so soul-lifting, that I literally could not make myself stop turning the pages. Author, Anna Whiston-Donaldson, writes in her introduction, "Because my God of rules and committee meetings and sermon notes and praise music wasn't going to be enough for pain this big." - and I knew exactly the suffering and suffocation she was describing, I knew she was speaking my soul's language.

Anna blogs regularly at An Inch of Gray, and has welcomed me as a monthly contributor. I got to share my first piece with her readers today, and am so grateful for this opportunity and the beautiful community of readers she has. 
292) Time for the tap, tap, tapping 
293) Signs of Spring and early blooms 
294) Deep breathes in the stillness before dawn
If you haven't yet, will you join me in counting the ways? There's no better time to be thankful, to stand in awe, to notice all the beautiful right nows, than right now.  

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