“i thank You God…”

Here is a beautiful poem from one of my favorite poets, e.e. cummings, which expresses so perfectly the depth of my gratitude for Spring, what I’m most thankful for this week!

i thank You God for most this amazing

day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,

and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth

day of life and love and wings: and of the gay

great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing

breathing any – lifted from the no

of all nothing – human merely being

doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and

now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

– e.e. cummings

leaping greenly

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Gratitude journal

This past Sunday I began a gratitude journal — just a moleskin I keep in my purse to jot down a minimum of three things a day that I’m grateful for.

Here’s what I’ve written so far (two days’ worth), and the journal has definitely been successful in putting a smile on my face!

Barn I pass on my walk

Barn I pass on my walk

  • I’m grateful for the beautiful walk in my neighborhood, that I can take every day if I choose.
  • I’m grateful for the warmer weather and the buds and birds I now get to see on my walk.
  • I’m grateful for my dear husband and our lovely home that we enjoy.
  • I’m grateful for Father’s kindness at my first confession, leading me through it so it ended up being a positive experience.
  • I’m grateful for the beauty and serenity of the little sanctuary of our local church, its stained glass windows, the airiness, the large, solemn crucifix, the glowing stillness of the tabernacle candle. It is wonderful to meditate there.
  • I’m grateful for my collection of songs and hymns that I can play in the car while driving back and forth to town and sing loudly along with. Also grateful for the familiar, happy songs playing right now in the mall while I’m writing this [in the journal]: Eagles’ Taking It Easy, Bruce Springstein’s The Promised Land, and The Train They Call the City of New Orleans.
  • I love meals with my boys! Just had a lovely sushi dinner with my youngest [Sunday night].

I think I’ll start posting a few things I’m grateful for, every Tuesday. 🙂

“Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above…”

Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.

James 1: 17

At RCIA class this week, they also asked us to contemplate, “God, I thank you for…”

I try to keep gratitude for my blessings in mind every day, because it’s such a good antidote to depression and grouchiness. Both dh and I have a tendency toward depression, and I try to remind him of our good fortune whenever I see he’s depressed or he starts grumbling.

We have a home in a lovely area, great children, good friends, and he’s blessed to have a job that supports us. We get to enjoy the outdoors — Jim fishing and I hiking — and we are healthy and should be happy. True, depression isn’t something that one can just “get over”, but on the other hand, I’ve discovered that, now that I’ve started expressing my gratitude to God for all our blessings, I am much less depressed than I used to be.

Just last night, as I was saying the prayers over our Sabbath candles and dinner (in my mind, because dh isn’t religious 😉 it struck me how very happy I’ve been lately. I try to remind myself whenever I see something beautiful, like the woods, flowers, birds, a lake, a sunset (the sunsets are gorgeous here and there was a particularly lovely one last night) to thank God for his goodness. And it really seems to work to increase my gratitude and my happiness.

Lovely lake near our home.

Lovely lake near our home.

I thank you Father for my family, my dear husband, my wonderful children, my sisters and my parents, for my good friends, my home and this wonderful country we live in. Thank you for all the blessings you have bestowed on us! Thank you for the beautiful calm of this Sabbath day, for the sunlight and warmth, the notes of the wind chimes in the breeze, the trembling, glistening leaves, and the brown autumn grasses. Thank you for your gift of the Sabbath, and for the companionable quiet I and my family enjoy on Sabbath days.

Thank you for your Son, who gave himself as ransom for us, suffered and died for our sins, and now reigns with You in heaven. Thank you for Mary, his mother, who guided me to salvation in Jesus and to your Church. Thank you for your gift of faith, and for your unceasing, bountiful love for your people. Amen.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!

Serve the Lord with gladness;

Come before His presence with singing.

Know that the Lord, He is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

For the Lord is good;

His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations.

Psalm 100