Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thankful


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. There is something incredibly beautiful about gathering as friends and family to share moments of gratitude, big and small.

This year I am grateful to have my mom visiting me in California. I haven't celebrated a Thanksgiving with family since 2011, so her presence will be such a blessing. Our plans aren't completely sorted out yet (thank you giant research paper), but there will definitely be mass and dinner with friends.

If you read my blog somewhat regularly, you know that I like to start each week with a thankful heart by recording 5 Weekly Graces. Remembering to be grateful helps me to stay focused on the beauty in my life that might otherwise get pushed to the side with the hustle and bustle and stress of the everyday norm.

My new friend Nina (from Hugs and Lattes) has challenged me to be mindful of what I am grateful for this year by sharing a post with a #Thankful Heart. And since I have seen countless blogs that I follow participate in the Circle Link-Up of gratitude for November, I thought I would light two candles with one flame and link up with both!


Time - It is super easy to get bogged down and stressed in not having enough time to get from a-z or to do a certain task. I am definitely guilty of focusing on the time that I don't have to get something done instead of thinking about the time I do have and the wonderful ways that I use it. So, this year, I am thankful for time. Time with friends, time to learn, time to live.

Hospitality - This year I have been blessed with more opportunity to travel than I could ever dream! I am beyond grateful to visited incredible places like South Korea, Spain, Ecuador, Poland and Italy, but mostly I am thankful for the people who I visited and met along the way. The hospitality I have received not only from friends, but from perfect strangers gives me hope in our world and hope for the future.

Advent(ures) - The liturgical season of Advent is one of my favorites and it begins on Sunday! This year, I am aiming to be more intentional in my preparation and prayer as we await the coming of Jesus. (There might be a post or two regarding this. I haven't decided yet :P )

Nature - Ever since I was little, I have always found the presence of God most easily while surrounded by nature. And though Berkeley doesn't really have a fall (and certainly has not winter), I still really enjoy walking around the neighborhood and admiring the ever-present flowers and other neat foliage (hello succulents!) that we do have.

Kairos - Woah, she's throwing in some Latin. Truth be told, I have never gone on a Kairos retreat (#publicschool) but I love the notion of there being a moment in which you choose to act. I am very grateful for all of those kairos moments in my life that have led me to a deeper relationship with God. It's beautiful to look back on those moments and see which choices of action led me to where I am and to witness how God was involved in all of those moments - whether I recognized it at the time or not.

Faith - As my faith grew in undergrad, so did my understanding of social justice and the connection between the two. This fusion of faith and social justice is intrinsic in my being. I cannot separate the two and I cannot separate myself from them. I'm incredibly grateful for a strong sense of faith and commitment to working for justice. It has filled me with joy and purpose and I cannot wait to see how the Creator uses me to help the world.

University - I am thankful for the privilege to have attended two beautiful universities. With only 1% of the world given the opportunity to go to college, I try to remind myself of this privilege regularly so that I don't take it for granted. Both undergrad and graduate school have surrounded me with incredible professors, role models and friends that have helped shape me into the woman I am today. I can't even begin to articulate the gratitude I hold for JCU and JST.

Liturgy - There's no E in Thankful, so I am going to tie in my love for the Eucharist in liturgy, which makes sense. Both the Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharist bring peace and comfort to my soul. I'm extremely grateful to have the constant opportunity to be filled with Christ and to be held by grace. For, "I can endure anything between two Eucharists." - Dorothy Day

And of course, I am incredibly thankful for YOU! Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to share in my life and ramblings. It means the world.

Peace,
Sarah

*** Also linking up with Simple Moments Stick for the Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop :)

8 comments:

  1. I love that you included the season of Advent in your poem! As a kid, we lit our candle wreath and sang Christmas songs together as a family and it was such a huge tradition for us. We don't do it as much anymore, but it still is such an important season to celebrate to prepare us for Christmas! :)

    Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Wow! What a beautiful family tradition, Niki! Thanks so much for sharing and stopping by!
      Peace, Sarah

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  2. You are so CLEVER to write this out with the letters Thankful! I didn't even catch that until the very end. :) It's so exciting to be with your mom this year! And walking through Berkley in the forever summer sun of California? #jealous. I'm so excited for Advent as well! I love this time of year. It's a beautiful time to reflect on why we celebrate life and Christmas.

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    1. Haha thanks Nina! I wish I was that clever - it was a specific link-up that gave us instructions for the poem :P Thanks for reading!
      Peace, Sarah

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  3. I agree with Niki! I love that Advent (and especially calling them Advent/ures) was included in this. There is so much gratitude and Thanksgiving in this post! I also find God's glory in nature and love each piece of this. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

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    1. Thanks so much, Melanie! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!
      Peace, Sarah

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  4. Sarah, I'm so glad I found you on Faith & Fellowship Blog Hop. I love your list of the things you're thankful for. This is such a great time of year to reflect on our many blessings and look forward to what God will do next. I pray that your new year will be full of blessings!

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    1. You're too sweet, Marva. Thank you! Yes, such a beautiful time for reflection on God's grace. I pray your year will be full of blessings as well!
      Peace, Sarah

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