Tag Archives: expressions of gratitude


by Shari Lynne Smothers

Flury of Cedar Waxwings

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.

Gratitude Habit

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.

It’s All Good: A Message from My Daddy

Dancing SpiritsI sat by my favorite tree hoping to find a way to unwind. I figured out, from a previous meditation, the best way for me to cast off my burdens. So, there I was, breathing deeply and leaning on a truth made manifest through practice more than comprehension. Moments passed and I lost myself in my internal space and reality passed away. In this session the sun was shining brightly as I rested against my tree. For the first time since I’ve begun practicing Morning B.R.E.W. sessions, I was visited. It was my dad who came and sat with me. He let me know that he was fine and all was well. I was in my meditation because I was all wound up over making things ready for dad’s celebration. He let me know that I needed to relax and have some ice cream.

A few things I must make clear. First, I said that my dad made me know things. I didn’t say “he told me” because it’s a different way of communicating when it’s out of body. The reason I was frustrated and stressed was because I was trying to make people move to help me with dad’s funeral program. You see he had died two days before.

Anyway, I took his advice, calmed down and had some ice cream. It turned out that he was right and everything worked out even better than I thought it would. My mom was pleased. According to my own assessment, I believe that my dad would have liked the way things went as well. So, really, holding onto my stress would not have done me any good. Most probably, it would have impeded my progress.

All the lessons I learned in my life are made manifest time and again throughout my experiences. Everything happens for a reason. Every thing in its own time. And really, whatever the hurdle, there is a blessing in the mix, if you sift and wait and let it rise to the top. Attending to life gives profoundly real and realized meaning to “It’s all good.” Look a little closer, even in the midst of turmoil, try to be empty of stress and worry, sit with an open heart and a receptive spirit. If you do it right, you’ll see them too, gifts of insight and assurance.