Monday, March 19, 2012

Doorway into Thanks


It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

    ~Mary Oliver

May you seek and find a moment in the Monday melee to still, to pay attention, to return thanks to the one Lord of all, and to listen in the silence for His voice in His Word, through His Spirit.

Walking through the doorway into thanks once again:
for readings in Exodus reminding me of our blood-soaked atonement, the cost of my sin
for Galatians, reminding me that sanctification, not only salvation, is by the grace of God
for the wisdom of Proverbs
for the Word alive again, still, in John
for new sun-protective clothing to simplify spring and summer with lupus
for grace, strength, and time to finish the James study homework
for lunch with my mom
for happy memories of babysitting a beautiful girl who turns 18 today
for success for A repairing his dad's clock to hang in our kitchen
for a compliment for A from an outgoing boss
for six months without antibiotics
for permission for A to telecommute one day a week
for a visit and meal shared with in-laws
for nephew's profession of faith and baptism
for bluebonnets along the highway on the drive across the metroplex
for real, transparent conversation with a friend at church for the second week running
for larkspur beginning to bloom in the back garden
for a friend's introduction to the songs of a beautiful new voice
for all these and more, I thank You, Lord. Open my ears to hear Your voice today.
(gratitude journal #5188-5204)


  1. i can see why you entitled the post "doorway into thanks"--it's a strikingly beautiful turn of phrase in a poem which works so well precisely because its invitation to a kind of simplicity and humility in prayer is mirrored by the simple, humble language in which that invitation is expressed. thanks for sharing the poem!

    i know that it's as important as it is difficult to be thankful for thorns, or at least for the good God is working in us through them. that said, it's a joy to read a gratitude list that suggests your week has overflowed with un-thorny blessings.

    may you (continue to) find the silence in which our Lord will speak his words of love to you...

  2. Smiling as I read your list, and that poem is the perfect introduction. Mary Oliver has a way with words for sure. So good.
    Where do you get your sun protective clothing? I've purchased Coolibar before, but need a few items and am open to suggestions.
    I've never grown Larkspur, but I'd sure like to try.
    Your words regarding Exodus, Galatians, Proverbs, and John are wonderful reminders.
    Good for A on the positives and freedom to work from home one day week! Continued blessings, friend.

  3. Coolibar for me, too. Some general clothing retailers (Eddie Bauer, Columbia Sports) also offer clothing with built-in UPF now, too. The light jacket with hood has been great for walking and errands, and I am appreciating the fingerless gloves in the car. No more white sunscreen smears on every plastic item I touch!

  4. Love Mary Oliver. Love you.

  5. "this isn't a contest but the doorway into thanks"... i love this friend. i will carry it with me this week. thank you.

  6. "just pay attention"

    It's so nice to have you back, Christina. You are a thanksgiving for me. You help me pay more attention.

    One of my favorites too:
    "for real, transparent conversation with a friend at church"

    May you have a blessed week, friend!

  7. Oh, that poem. A doorway into thanks. And I've just walked through. Thank you for opening it for me, my friend.

  8. You're welcome. Ms. Oliver won a Pulitzer for good reason, didn't she? May the remainder of your week be full of such doors, dear Laura.

  9. What lovely encouragement! Thank you, Lisa. And you for me. Grace to you in Jesus!

  10. Thank you, dear Anne of the Antbed.

  11. So glad. May the Lord continue to pour strength into you, brave girl.

  12. Thank you. So glad you stopped by. Grace and peace to you in Christ for wherever He's leading you this week.

  13. Mary Oliver does write poems lovely in their simplicity. She has some about her dog, too, one even from the dog back to herself. This morning was such an opportunity for silence. Thank you for the blessing. May God grant you the same, friend.

  14. P.S. Allen says don't plant larkspur unless you want a lot of it. Oh well, one person's weed is another person's wildflower. :)

  15. Oh! That poem--it's for me. I've been struggling to post my gift list regularly--wanting to be able to write something eloquent to accompany it every week. And here is exactly what I needed--to be reminded that it doesn't need to be elaborate, it just needs to be voiced. And isn't it beautiful how the voicing of thanks makes room for the hearing of His Voice?

    Giving thanks for His blessings on you this week--and all that Spring in your photos! We are still waiting, waiting, waiting for Spring here. But we are waiting on Him, and even that is a gift. Praying for strength and refreshment in the days ahead!

  16. I understand that pressure to "write something eloquent." Yes, it is beautiful how the thanks opens us to the hearing. Spring is coming, friend. May the Lord strengthen and encourage you in the waiting.

  17. Good to know on the larkspur~thanks to Allen:)
    I hope to get fingerless gloves soon. I have two of the light jackets with hoods (huge white and smaller bright green). I have gone to our Eddie Bauer store and considered some of their offerings.
    Oh, I shared the green tea with S~so perfect.
    Have a good weekend, friend.


Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.