by Shari Lynne Smothers
Thank you Father, for everything.
For the flowers and the trees
and birds that sing.
For the cool, smooth crooning,
Jazz playing on my stereo.
For all the places You’ve taken me.
For all the experiences I have yet to know.
There are so many things
that I have yet to learn.
There are so many doors that You’ve opened for me
until I know not which way to turn.
I falter at times. Though generally I try hard,
I don’t always put my best foot forward.
Eternally grateful am I that You’re not at all, to me,
indifferent apathetic and untoward.
The ever-vigil watch that You keep,
continuing my very breathing while I sleep
sometimes goes unnoticed.
I can’t always see You through my worries.
I forget that Your graces are
all-powerful through all my stories.
Each scenario I come up with to
worry me to pieces
is a contingent handled. Before I get there
I have been released.
Woe be unto me, not for having been forsaken,
but for forgetting who was in charge of
this light of mine, for forgetting
that Your unerring watch will ever remain unshaken.
from Pebbles in My Shoes ©2004
Back-story: This poem is older than many of the others included in the book. It came from a morning reflection after a particularly hectic time in my life. I was sitting in my car parked at the Lake Front in New Orleans, Louisiana reading a book.
I was distracted by emotion thinking about having finally finished college. And I was grateful. I wanted to capture the gratitude, appreciation and thankfulness I was feeling. I flipped to the back of the book that I was reading and let this flow from my pencil.
Amen represents a culmination of a lifetime of gratitude to that point. It’s in this book because that sense of gratitude is ever present, certainly reinforced by milestones in my life, like the publication of Pebbles in My Shoes.
It’s fitting to end this month with this poem because I’m pleased that I managed to participate even for a short while in National Poetry Month. And I got to do it on my own terms.
Blogging is a great way for me to get my writing out. It’s been pretty exciting since I’m usually not so brave. When I think back, this time last year I hardly knew what the bloggosphere was about. Now I write posts at work and at home and I only want to get better at it.
I’m grateful. And this habit of being thankful has taken over my life. It is something that I consciously cultivated as I reminded myself even in my heaviest hours to be grateful. It’s been joyfully dubbed my gratitude habit by a very dear friend.
Please share your expressions of gratitude. I would love to include a link to your blog in a post in early May.