When I watch the news, I seldom hear or see anything that says something good is happening. If there is good news it is photos of happy pets or children celebrating birthdays that the local news stations try to highlight because, well, after reporting another shooting, is there good news?
As I stop to reflect on all the things I have to be thankful for I think about the everyday events that are milestones. Last weekend I attended a baby shower, that’s good news. In my seminary class, this will make baby number three which is exciting. I’m not into baby shower games, but I love babies! So, I am thankful for the healthy babies that have been born here in Sewanee during our time in seminary and the one that is on the way. I can’t wait to do my first baptism. It will be an honor and the most rewarding part of my new vocation. (God willing and the people consenting).
I’m entering my last semester in seminary, that’s good news and relief. I’m thankful for many of the things I have learned. This has not been an easy journey for me. It has been filled with anxiety and doubt. I have had countless meltdowns and finances have been continuing stress. However, after every meltdown, there has always been a way through. That’s God and I’m thankful for God’s constant presence.
I’ve learned to manage stress a little better while spending time in seminary. Especially through my middler year. I remember after my junior (first) year, I had to do CPE, Clinical Pastoral Education, over the summer, and what a stressful time that was, and yet I gained so much from the experience. I had car trouble while I was in Louisville and I was ready to quit then, as I calmed down and took some time to breathe, something in me kept telling me to not give up. I was also surrounded by good people giving me moral support. Looking back on it, I’m thankful for not giving up.
I’m thankful that my cats are getting along now. This may seem strange, but I have had at least two years of having to keep my two cats separated. My cats are Miss Oscar and Isabella. Miss Oscar is thirteen years old and Isabella is going to be three. Miss Oscar has been hissing at Isabella for two years and sometimes growling so I have kept them, for the most part, in separate areas with the ability to close a door to keep them apart. One day I happen to turn around and I caught them touching noses. My heart melted. I wish I could have captured a picture of that moment! This morning, I was getting their breakfast ready (wet food from Fancy Feast) and I saw them touch noses again. That made my Thanksgiving morning! Silly, they are cats, but they have been my little furry family for this journey and I am grateful that I have had their love with me.
I’m spending this Thanksgiving with friends at the seminary and we are having a big feast this afternoon. I am very thankful for this extended family. I am thankful for the organizers who always end up organizing these sometimes complicated events. I am surrounded by gifted people in a gifted community and this will be my last Thanksgiving with them. Initially, I was going to stay in my little dorm apartment and chill. I kind of would like a day to just veg and stay in my sweatpants, but I realize that I won’t be with these folks much longer so I want to enjoy their company during this time of gratefulness.
Now, I am thankful for the food that will be brought to a table and shared. I hope all that read this post have time and space to share with the people you care about and that you feel cared for. Happy Thanksgiving!
This is a selfie taken from the Big Four Bridge in Louisville, Kentucky which is where I finished my CPE training (Level 1). I like that I have a windblown but happy look on my face. This image sums up the experience, happy that it was over and feeling like I had just gone through a storm, but thankful that I received the experience.