Friday-Fun-DayGratitude is the best therapy.

One of my favorite scenes from the iconic Christmas movie White Christmas occurs when Bing Crosby sings “Count Your Blessings” to a smitten Rosemary Clooney. This beautiful song with its simple message of optimism speaks to me of the choices we have when faced with the daily challenges life throws at us. While not the strategy for every situation, choosing to actively search for and acknowledge the good in my life can often lift my mood and remind me of God’s provision.

My friend Kelly over at Mrs. Disciple invited her fellow bloggers to join her in a fun Friday exercise that she is calling “High Five.” She shared the five highlights of her week and encouraged us to similarly choose gratitude by joining her in this practice.

Here is my High Five list for this week:

Clarity and Focus: After almost a year in this new season of life, I am becoming clearer about how I want to spend my time going forward. When I sent my baby off to college last fall, I was initially paralyzed by possibility. What should I be when I grow up? Recently, due to a couple of new opportunities, the picture is coming into focus. This fall, I have a couple of speaking engagements booked and two collaborative writing projects, one of which popped up just this week. My blog traffic is increasing and I am becoming clearer on how I might structure my time to further develop my vision for using my gifts in a meaningful way. The serendipitous chain of events and introductions that have led me to each new possibility delights me, surprises me, scares me and intrigues me. Life feels like an adventure. I am grateful that God seems to have a plan and I await the unfolding with anticipation.

Healing: As some of you may remember, I injured my knee in early May. While it did not require surgery, I did spend two months in physical therapy. A few weeks ago, I graduated from physical therapy with a plan for continued healing. This week, I returned to yoga for the first time. Although not 100% back to normal, I was able to participate fully. I am grateful for my strong, healthy body and the amazing capacity for healing that is built into our DNA. I am grateful for the resources which allowed me to get the professional care I needed to recover.

New Friends: In addition to some quality time spent with old friends, this week also included time with new friends. Because we changed churches this year, I am in the process of nurturing new connections at our new church home. After being at the old church for 17 years, being the “new girl” was initially awkward and uncomfortable even for an extrovert like me. This week included a ladies night out with three other women from my small group. We went to see a wonderful movie called Inside Out and then shared food, drinks and conversation afterwards. In this smaller setting, I learned more about each of them and shared more of me. When we joined our last church, my kids were tiny and we were in the trenches of busy parenting. Friendships and connections happened haphazardly and over a period of years. This time, I am old and I’m not messing around. Church isn’t church for me without my girlfriends, so I am hunting them down and pursuing connection and community like its my job. Frankly, I am probably scaring people. 🙂 While I still see and spend time with many of my closest friends from my old church and my neighborhood bible study group, I am particularly grateful this week for time spent with my new sister friends. AND I bought my tickets yesterday to go meet 500 new friends at the Launch Party in Austin over Labor Day weekend….more on that later!

Adult Children: Summer means adult children living in my house again. Adult children do their own laundry, feed themselves when they are hungry and occasionally even clean up after themselves without being asked. Adult children entertain themselves, drive themselves to work, and keep track of their own schedules. Adult children do not require babysitters when we choose to leave them unsupervised for an evening or a weekend. This last one is mostly, but not entirely, a good thing. Adult children attract other delightful young adults who fill my house with laughter, conversation and all sorts of other wonderful noises and mess. We had dinner last night with our girls and their boyfriends and we were thoroughly entertained by their stories, their humor and their energy. These 19 and 21 year old versions of my tiny little girls are simply a joy. The time we are getting to spend with them now will be a great comfort in September when my house seems a little too quiet. And maybe even a little too clean. I am grateful for my mostly grown children this week.

A Place to Contribute: I am grateful this week for the work I get to do at the Lamb Center. This week included a number of opportunities to contribute to the ministry of the Lamb Center through my role as Chair of the Board of Directors, my work on a couple of committees and my Tuesday afternoons leading bible study. I remember after my hubby’s knee surgery, he was eager to get back to work because he said “it is the place I feel most needed.” With my girls needing me less and less, being needed at the Lamb Center means more and more. As I have shared here time and again, I am honored to be associated with the ministry of the Lamb Center because I believe they are doing Jesus work. Loving the least of these, feeding the hungry, giving dignity to the poor, the staff and volunteers at the Lamb Center are doing all the work that Jesus said was most important. Week after week after week, I feel most alive on Tuesday afternoons sharing God’s word with my sisters and brothers around that table. As I sit in meetings, send emails or make phone calls to support this ministry throughout the rest of the week, I am grateful for the part I get to play in keeping the doors of this place open. We are just about to break ground on our new Lamb Center building and it is so exciting to have a front row seat to see God work miracles to make it happen. In fact, let me know if you would like to know how YOU can contribute to being part of the miracles. I am grateful this week for the Lamb Center.

That was fun! Thanks for the invitation, Kelly!

Friends, tell me the 5 things for which you are grateful for this week!