Choosing Gratitude Until We Are Grateful

November 21, 2016

I am driving from Des Moines to Mt. Pleasant and see the supermoon rise in the east. I can’t tear my eyes away from the wonder of the universe. I am taking a late afternoon walk and am mesmerized by the swirl of intricate cloud patterns, a sunset palette of red, orange, and yellow, and the jet streams of two planes forming a perfect cross in the sky. I am scrambling up a steep mountain trail in Arizona and am awestruck by the stark beauty of the desert. A cardinal sits quietly in the backyard and stares at me as I work at the dining room table. I am grateful.

1-img_0344I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. Isaiah 45:3


The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. Rabindranath Tagore


Prayer is sitting in the silence until it silences us, choosing gratitude until we are grateful, and praising God until we ourselves are an act of praise. Richard Rohr


Let the little children come to me and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs. Matthew 19:14


God, I am grateful that even when my spirit feels broken and my heart misshapen, you can use me to offer hope to someone else.


Clearly, our Creator loves you dearly, since he gives you gifts so abundantly. So please beware, my little sisters, of the sin of ingratitude, and always sing praise to God. St. Francis speaking to the birds


In a world so torn apart by rivalry, anger, and hatred, we have the privileged vocation to be living signs of a love that can bridge all divisions and heal all wounds. Henri Nouwen


The deeper our faith, the more doubt we must endure; the deeper our hope, the more prone we are to despair; the deeper our love, the more pain its loss will bring: these are a few of the paradoxes we must hold as human beings. If we refuse to hold them in the hopes of living without doubt, despair, and pain, we also find ourselves living without faith, hope, and love. Parker Palmer


Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” Maya Angelou



The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination. John Schaar

Let us come into God’s presence with thanksgiving. May your Thanksgiving celebration be filled with gratitude.


10 thoughts on “Choosing Gratitude Until We Are Grateful

  1. Laurie, Reading your blog today made me feel as if I were on retreat.
    Beautiful photos, scripture and your thoughts! Thank you!

  2. I love your blog today. With all the busyness of the season, sometimes I don’t take the time to see and listen for God. You reminded me to focus and stop and be thankful for all of God’s creation. It surrounds me and may each day I be silent and let Him fill me with His goodness and mercy.

  3. This is very lovely and touching and I thank you for your beautiful thoughts and photographs. I am inspired by so many feelings that this blog has evoked in me.
    Miss you Laurie.

    Best love .

    shirley klipfel

  4. Bishop Laurie, I am grateful that you are still with us…. your blog is
    a life -line to me. It takes me away from despair and back to appreciating
    the beauty of our world and the love that still exists.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

  5. I am thankful for your blog today, Bishop Laurie.
    The blending of your pictures and text make the message stronger. I especially appreciate the Parker Palmer part. It seems that the driven life is full of paradox.
    It brings us closer to appreciating the full spirit of everything we do, and opens up
    the possibilities of who we were created to be.
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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