Photos, sometimes with Commentary, from a lay Catholic.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Birthday, 2013 Litany

Sunset in April

I slept in this morning to catch up a little after working a long stretch of days. I feel so much better with the extra sleep!!

The sun is shining and the temperature warming up this morning, my birthday. A gift for certain! How blessed I am!

Here is my 2013 Litany:

Today, I am grateful for so many gifts.

I am grateful for life, for my parents and family and all the instruction I received from them as I grew up, and for the earliest sense of identity and belonging they gave me.

I am grateful for the influence of the Catholic Church in my early years, for the sacraments of Batpism, Penance and Communion, all before I was 7 years old, and Confirmation a few years later! I loved that I could slip away on my bike and go to our church during the summer to sit quietly by myself in that holy place and pray.

I am grateful for the friends I had in elementary school and for the acceptance I experienced in their company. I am grateful for having a "best" friend in those early years, and for shared secrets and adventures, and a neighborhood "gang" with whom we explored the world! Our "gang's"adventures rivaled any of those in The Little Rascals! (Younger people may need to look up the reference.)

I am grateful for the move our family made to another town, even though it was painful at the time, and for the new friends I made in middle school and high school-- friends that are dear to me now.

I'm grateful for Young Life, and the encouragement I received to read scripture and to pray together with my peers. I am grateful for the awkwardness I felt in high school, which reminds me how awkward we often still feel as adults, and helps me find empathy. I'm grateful for my high school teachers. And I'm grateful for the difficulties and confusion I experienced during those years, for they brought lessons and insights that are with me still.

I'm grateful that my fellow classmates were spared going to the Vietnam War, although the young men had draft numbers, and some were nearly called. I'm grateful that the Vietnam War taught us to honor our young military people who continue to make sacrifices for our country because they are asked to do so, and not because they understand all the political and national interests that motivate our leaders.

I'm grateful for the gift of becoming a mother, three times! I'm grateful for the chance to learn that I could love someone else so deeply that my own life would seem unimportant in comparison I am grateful for the chance I had to hold young babies in my arms for hours, and to reassure them over and over again that they were loved no matter what, and then, over years, to confirm that no matter what our circumstances, we would always be for one another. I am grateful that I could teach my children, and thereby teach myself, what is important in life. And I am grateful to have lived to see my children's children. So grateful.

I am grateful for the humility I have learned through my mistakes and the consequences we must accept for our actions.

I am grateful for the love of my husband and his blindness to my faults.

I am grateful for my good health, not something to be taken for granted.

I am grateful for meaningful work and for having everything I need.

I am grateful that we live in a country that values independence and freedom, and that so many of my fellow citizens are trying to work together to preserve the lives and God-given rights of all persons, regardless of age, race, or religion, and to ensure that our homeland is secure from lawless acts no matter how great or small.

I am grateful for the years I have lived and the ones I may have left to live. I am grateful to you, and all that makes you who you are.

I feel so blessed, like a tree, planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in due season.

As you can see, I already have all the gifts I could ever need or want. Today, I am simply grateful.

(photos from April 20, 2013, iPhone)

Tree at Sunset

Blue Sunset Pine Trees


Peter Olson said...

Wow, beautiful

marylea said...

Hi Peter, Thanks for the comment. You are a beautiful soul.