This week's Friday Five is all about thankfulness: What are five things that we give thanks for this year?
First on my list is Fellow Traveler, who unexpectedly showed up in my life during a time of great sadness and chaos and disconnect, and who has given me love, encouragement, laughter, focus, structure (she's laughing now) and a new, delightful extended family of two-leggeds and four-leggeds alike. And I'll stop now before I get all sappy.
Next is my church family, which includes not only my pastor, his spouse and the rest of my parish, but all my friends in the greater Body of Christ, including you, Dear Readers. Especially after my mother died unexpectedly back in April, I have felt held in a group embrace; many members of my wider church family have also given me wise counsel and support when I have been the most angry and frustrated with Church,Inc. You've also challenged me in helpful ways -- challenged me to be more articulate and smarter and better; to stay focused on Christ and not on his self-anointed best friends and police force and personnel managers. You know that cell phone ad about having a network -- the caller enjoying a small army of "connection" behind him or her? That is how I feel. Thanks for alternatively patting me on the back, watching my back and very occasionally giving me motivational nudges in the lower end of my back.
What else am I thankful for?
I am thankful for the quiet domestic moments in my life. Even though my house is more like a collegiate crash pad than a middle-aged person's domicile, there are times -- early in the morning, savoring a cup of coffee while looking outside into the woods, or quiet Sunday afternoons reading the paper -- when I look around and think, "Life is good."
I am thankful for my counterintuitive risk-taking -- all those moments this year when I felt the fear and did it anyway.
I am thankful for Buffalo wings, for various reasons.
That's just my short list. But it's enough for today.
Artwork: "Harvest," by one of my very favorite graphic artists, Mary Azarian .