SEVEN GRATITUDES: life & death

sevengratitudes

{Seven Gratitudes is a lovely link-up I participate in some Fridays with my dear friend, Leanna. Head over to her blog for wonderful lessons and beautiful, honest writing.}

This week, two people (that I know of) in this world committed suicide. One was someone I didn’t know, but have connections to his work, and the other was a friend from my youth.

I would never presume to decide what happened in the world to lead to their decision, nor would I attempt to judge what they were feeling in the last months, weeks and days of their lives.

So in my grief, in my lack of understanding, I pray for their families and friends, and I turn to gratitude, to the things that give me life today.

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  • My sons’ second violin lesson. I thought that I loved music, that it orchestrated and moved my life through every season, and when I had Eliot, I found out I’m not the only one. In fulfilling this dream, he’s coming alive.

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  • This garden. There is something really sacred about growing plants from seeds. It brings out a nurturing spirit, and I guarantee that if you invest in these little seedlings and watch them grow into adult plants, harvesting their produce for your table, you’ll learn something wonderful about the cycle of life.
  • The latest endorsement to my book, the day after having my first podcast interview with Steve Wiens, author of f Beginnings: The First Seven Days of the Rest of Your Life and Whole: Restoring What is Broken in Me, You, and the Entire World:
“Kaitlin Curtice is the kind of writer whose words carry you to spacious places where you can breathe again. When I read Glory Happening, I was in a frantic season of my life, hurried and harried and kind of lost. With each of Kaitlin’s stories and prayers, I was gently invited back to a place of rest and grace. If you can stand it, please sip this book. It’s too delicious to drink all in one gulp.”
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  • Easter (and everyday life) with this man. He’ll be starting a fellowship with the Carter Center this summer, and I can see the fruit of his hard work coming to life in a way that I always knew it would. He’s one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever known.
  • A moment with one of my co-workers at church in which he leaned into my life as an indigenous woman and spoke to me about the whiteness of the church, about how, after all these years, something must change. In that moment, he honored the lives of people of color and our place in this world and in the church.

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  • Potawatomi culture and ceremonial practice. I ordered sweetgrass and ceremonial tobacco this week, and in honoring my own culture, I am finding a space with God that helps me slow down, breathe easier, and find true, sacred life in all spaces. I need that in the face of difficulty, when I am hungry for a moment of grace.
  • Sarah Bessey and Nish Weiseth, who both took over Twitter this week to point out the way female writers are treated in our world today (#ThingsFemaleWritersHear) and the reality that many women of color are not given a platform on which to share their work.

I encourage you to find your spaces of gratitude today. It can be as simple as a cup of coffee, a moment of silence, a deep breath, a glance out the window to the world that holds you.

I leave you with this benediction:

You have been called out,
Sent out,
Gathered up and told,
“You. You are the one to fulfill this dream. You are the one to know this journey. You are the one to find God and all goodness.”
And like a hand on the small of your back,
You head out,
Only adventure ahead of you,
Only a path untouched,
Only a story untold,
Only a life yet to be lived–
Yours.
Go, my friend.
Go in peace.

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