100 Things for Which I Am Grateful

Rev. Susannah tasked the youth group to come up with 100 things for which they are grateful at worship this morning. Here are mine.

  1. People that work for social justice.
  2. Soldiers & Intelligence all over the world that keep us safe.
  3. Music, without which I would not be whole.
  4. Friends who drop everything when you need them.
  5. Angels who show themselves in human faces, like the little boy who gave his piggy bank to the mosque that was attacked in Texas.
  6. Cold, bright, clear weather.
  7. Warm jackets, sweaters, hoodies, scarves, and gloves.
  8. Cheap streaming media. Grateful for Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, et al. I never get bored when I’m cleaning my room.
  9. Medicaid
  10. Therapy
  11. Matt Smith, the actor that played the Eleventh Doctor. He inspires me creatively, both as The Doctor, and in my current favorite movie, Christopher and His Kind.
  12. My therapist, Sarah
  13. My nurse practitioner, Leighton.
  14. Peace with Argo.
  15. Inner peace with Dana.
  16. Jeffrey Thames and Hope Restored.
  17. New possibilities abounding.
  18. Samantha and the rest of my “host family.”
  19. My mom, dad, sister, and aunt who’ve all visited me in DC this year.
  20. My cousin Nathan and his wife and children being close in proximity.
  21. Prianka being a part of my life in reality instead of just virtually.
  22. Reconnecting with Kathryn and picking up right where we left off.
  23. Meeting Stephanie and becoming her friend.
  24. Finding a church that has welcomed me as much as I have welcomed them into my life.
  25. Finding a choir with whom I have a ton of fun.
  26. Learning more about who I am, and who I am not.
  27. Virtual friends that still check in and think of me, even when I am not in physical proximity.
  28. My health, which continues to improve.
  29. Comfortable walking shoes, because I do a lot of it.
  30. Uber when I don’t.
  31. The DC public transportation system, which allows me a chauffeur so that I can think and read instead of drive.
  32. Books. My love of books knows no bounds.
  33. Finding clothes that fit my personality. I wear a size 16 in boys, allowing me crispy shirts where the shoulders actually fit…. and the sweaters. OH, THE SWEATERS. Also, in boys’ clothes, the sizing is always right. No matter where I shop, a 16 is a 16. Grateful that I don’t change sizes from store to store and have to figure that shit out.
  34. The youth group that is slowly teaching me how to lead them.
  35. Not getting the job as the youth director so that I have a mentor.
  36. Rev. Matt, from whom so many blessings have flowed, from firing me up with his words to helping me be a better preacher just by listening.
  37. Being brave enough to say to myself, “it’s time.” I need a Bachelor’s and an MDiv like, yesterday. Want to wear it like I “stole” it.
  38. Grateful to God, but also FOR God, because in my innermost self, I’m still not alone. Just like Jack Lewis, praying flows from me ceaselessly.
  39. Not having so much anxiety. Having a direction and not a distraction.
  40. Airplanes. No one is very far away.
  41. Anonymous joining the fight against ISIS.
  42. Information at my fingertips. I may be umbilically connected to the Internet, but it has its advantages.
  43. All of the bosses I’ve had who’ve encouraged me to be more than I am.
  44. Growing up as a preacher’s kid and then becoming a lay preacher at Bridgeport UCC. Lessons were learned that couldn’t have been impressed upon me any other way.
  45. The Episcopal Church. Just, all of it… but particularly the Episcopal Church in Texas, because they really have their work cut out for them and they’re not afraid of it, either.
  46. Doc Morgan, my jazz instructor at HSPVA. I would not be half the woman I am today had we not met.
  47. Aaron Sorkin and the legend he created out of a knife made by a Boston Silversmith named Paul Revere.
  48. The 7-Eleven clerks that don’t know my name, but they know my coffee order and make sure the Brazillian Bold is fresh when I’m out of tea.
  49. Tea itself. God’s gift to writers.
  50. My own ability to tell my own story and my readers’ ability to respond to it, even when they don’t agree with me. This space has pulled me from the depths of despair, and your gifts have meant more to me than millions.
  51. Meeting Ingrid in choir, who could possibly be funnier than I am, but you’ll never hear me say that again out loud.
  52. Doctor Who, a show that explained God to me way better than I could explain God to myself.
  53. Matt Damon, who inspires me to be a better writer every time I watch Good Will Hunting.
  54. Great lines. In “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,” the author talks about Harold seeing his mother’s dresses strewn about his house after his mother has left him like “empty mothers.” “Empty mothers” has stayed with me as a sentence so great I could only hope to write one that good.
  55. My room. My space of refuge that rises to greet me each morning.
  56. The Oprah Winfrey Show, which I watched from the time I was 9 until the very last episode. It has ended, but lines in my head from it have not.
  57. Craig Ferguson, who is always fearless and hilarious.
  58. Getting to see the trailer for the new Star Wars movie in IMAX, because I didn’t watch it online and nearly came UNGLUED in the theater with joy.
  59. All of the movies I’ve seen this year that have given me joy, particularly Annie (2014).
  60. The Smithsonian Empire. I love it all. I could explore it until the day I die and not see everything.
  61. My friend Judy, without whom I would see the world differently. Our long lunches have made such a big difference in my life here.
  62. Taking off the mask and getting vulnerable about my disorder. It has helped to a tremendous degree, and I am grateful to myself for allowing grace to happen when I let people in instead of suffering in silence.
  63. Losing the ever-present need to think about my teenage years because the puzzle is solved.
  64. Getting divorced, because while I am not grateful for it, I am grateful for the self-development in which it created room.
  65. Losing toxic relationships, even when I realized that I was the toxic one.
  66. Having every relationship, bad or good, teach me something.
  67. Soda. Grateful for every bubbly sip.
  68. My glasses. When Anh, my optometrist, suggested wearing glasses with prisms, my world opened further.
  69. I’ve mentioned music, but J.S. Bach in particular because he sets my brain on fire, as does Jason Moran (Currently listening to Study No. 6 from “Ten.”).
  70. Having attended HSPVA and getting to know people who’ve gone on to great things professionally, and getting to say “I knew them when…..”
  71. My first love, singing.
  72. My second love, Ryan.
  73. My third love, Meagan. She goes by Meag now. Can’t get used to it. It’s only been 20 years.
  74. Having had the experience of working in restaurants, both front of house and back of house. It changes you for the better. Really.
  75. The craftmanship that goes into a really great coffee/tea mug.
  76. My front porch, where I do my best work when it’s not freezing cold or raining.
  77. Advil, Zyrtec, and Sudafed.
  78. Real Kleenex, with the aloe and everything.
  79. Good memories of my entire life that float by, both in wakefulness and dreams.
  80. Nadia Bolz-Weber and Jay Bakker, without whom I never would have thought there’d really be a place for me in ministry.
  81. Regular Show, which can instantly change my mood from a bad to a good one (Really Real Wrestling! Really Real Wrestling!).
  82. People who follow my Facebook feed as “The Hot List.”
  83. People who are unimpressed with me. That’s how I know they love me, anyway.
  84. Getting two tweets directed at me from Diana Gabaldon, and gaining Ben Vereen as a follower (no, I don’t know how).
  85. People-watching all around DC. It never fails to impress me.
  86. The Wounded Warrior Project, for which I now have a sticker on my laptop.
  87. Americans who actually care what happens to veterans the day they come home.
  88. Being able to preach from this web site. It’s different than getting up in front of a congregation, but not by much. The congregation on this web site is much bigger than any I’ve had in person.
  89. Not having to preach every week…………. yet.
  90. Learning to take care of myself without input from anyone else. I’m better at it than I thought I was.
  91. People who know the distinction between listening and offering advice.
  92. Getting to know my stepsister before she died, and having those memories of her with me still.
  93. The ability to recognize what a good relationship entails, and healthy patterns emerging from my own brokenness and humanity.
  94. My soccer fandom, and my scarf collection. It has brought me so much joy over the years. Before the Houston Dynamo was even a thing, I was a DC United fan. Raul Diaz-Arce was my first love, sports-wise.
  95. Sportsmen that stand up for what they believe. I have Chris Kluwe’s Vikings jersey, and when people don’t recognize him, they ask me what position he plays. I always say, “blogger.”
  96. People who came out publicly in the ’90s. It helped.
  97. Pastors who stand up for gay rights, because YES! THE GOSPEL IS MEANT FOR GAY PEOPLE, TOO!
  98. Every time someone has ever said, “I forgive you.”
  99. Every time I’ve been vulnerable enough to say simply, “I’m sorry.”
  100. You.

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