Centered Hearts, Swelling Gratitude, Abundant Grace. How?

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With busy lives (tasks with deadlines; needs with accompanying cries, whimpers, and whines; minutes that tick by without permission), how can we live with centered hearts (the kind that focuses our caring labor on the long-game care of humanity; not the kind we assume comes from the labels that people use to define our personhood), swelling gratitude (the kind that is born from the “enough” around us; not the painted calligraphy kind that is purchased at craft stores), and abundant grace (the kind that comes from the wells of forgiveness for perpetual imperfection; not the kind from ballerinas or naive optimism)?

If not for the Divine Parent who loves our busy lives, forgives our imperfect attempts, and redeems our busyness, I know not how.

This Thanksgiving, I pause and do more than give thanks.  I pause and pray – reorienting my life in praise of the God from whom all life comes.  In prayer, I move to the place within me where all the tasks, needs, and minutes are interrupted by awe, respect, and gratitude for God.

May I live these days standing in this place – in awe, in respect, in gratitude for the God beyond and within, above and below, present and coming, far and near.

For it is only from this place that I can obtain the centered heart, swelling gratitude, and abundant grace whereby I endure the long days and savor the short years.

So this year, I repeat the steps.

Awe
Respect
Gratitude
Repeat.

Focus
Be satisfied
Forgive
Repeat.

Amen.

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