Posting a day late.
The previous weekend (not the one just gone) was a cold one: the kind where you curl up under blankets and read and eat too much. Even in Southern California.
The kind where you're congested from the heating and tired because a good night's sleep is interrupted.
The week before was a week where I dutifully wrote down a handful of gifts. I couldn't see the gifts God gave me. My world was blah.
It got darker. Something rather unpleasant happened.
The little black cloud over my head threatened a downpour.
I read a blog post about finding still points in my day and the world suddenly turned upside down.
I remembered my astonishment that our tropical hibiscus is flowering in the midst of a cold snap. I recalled the beauty of watching Russian Caravan tea leaves meander to the bottom of the clear teapot.
The little black cloud dried up and vanished. I felt God nudge me, remind me and say: "see? You don't need to concentrate so hard on looking for me. I am everywhere."
(Note: God didn't actually say that -- that's the sense I got.)
I wrote the above at the beginning of last week. Now, I am at the beginning of a new week and I see I woke up to God's gifts and blessings at just the right time.
God is indeed good.
This past Sunday was also Christian Unity Week. The Newman Center Catholic Community shares our church space and our choirs are getting together more and more frequently. So we had a pulpit exchange and the choirs came together.
We sang a lot of spiritual, gospel tunes, or not-quite-gospel but similar rhythm.
As we rehearsed and then sang during two services, I felt God with me and I affirming God's existence and God's love for me, and that no matter what happens, God loves me and I love God.
Here are the gifts for this week:
38. unpleasant thing
39. tea leaves floating downward
40. hibiscus flowering in this cold weather
41. "still point" post from Christianne
42. good meditation
43. shady eucalyptus walk with friend
45. afternoon of art
46. whirl of getting dinner ready with dog underfoot (not gracefully)
47. strawberry Godiva chocolates from hubby
48. the kindness of the bus driver who didn't make me pay extra for a bus pass when my electronic one failed.
49. the generous heart of the poor
50. new gelato flavor at Chuao's - chai
51. sleepy dog whacks me in the eye
53. we have each other
54. cool cloud formation
55. the sound of our chanting
56. the stained glass reflected on grey walls
57. might actually be done with mudding the wall
58. realizing in rehearsal that today's music is perfect for where we're at (particularly: "Never give up, never give up, no, never give up, never give up, never never never never, oh, never, never give up.") [here's a link to the song. We sang the English lyrics all the way through.]
59. both communities standing during the last communion hymn (which was different)
60. prayers answered
Joining in Ann Voskamp's: