There is wisdom in Easter lasting for 50 days. It takes a long time for the good news to sink in, to penetrate our bones. Lent, in some ways, comes more naturally to me: to lament, to turn inwards to God, to sacrifice. Joy is more challenging. I need all 50 days to practice living into celebration.
Brené Brown speaks to this challenge in both her books and her new Netflix special, The Call to Courage. The show kept me company as I folded laundry last week. I was half-listening to Brené while I ran through a to-do list for promoting This Life That Is Ours in my mind. Promoting a book is new work to me, and I often feel anxious about what I could and should be doing. However, when Brené described the difference between people who live vulnerable, authentic, whole-hearted lives, and those who don’t, she had my complete attention.
“The number one difference,” she said, “is that whole-hearted people let themselves experience joy.” They don’t run from it and they don’t catastrophize it, she explained. Instead, “they practice gratitude.”
I realized that I had been so worried about all that I could be doing for the book that I hadn’t paused to experience the deep goodness that already existed. Today, one month after the release of This Life That Is Ours and two weeks into the Easter season, I am pausing to be grateful for all that I have received, to savor the graces, and to practice joy. I am writing this list to say thank you to YOU, for the part you’ve played in this journey, and to invite you to make your own litany of gratitude.
A Litany of Gratitude, an Incomplete List
I am grateful…
For each person who came to each event – nearly 150 in all! For the gift of time and open hearts.
For the venues I was in, for the way they so lovingly held the launching of this book.
For the food and the hands that prepared it, and the joy my dad and my husband found in working together to set up the events.
For my mom and my sister taking care of my children, so I didn’t have to.
For my children, generously celebrating and practicing patience at long events.
For the beautiful extra touches my mom provided, the flowers and tablecloths and custom cookies which matched the cover of the book.
I am grateful…
For the gifts I’ve received: the wine and flowers and brownies, the handmade Celtic mug, the necklace, each a tangible marker of celebration.
For each person who has bought a book.
For the privilege of signing books for people I know and people I don’t.
For the ways the book has already been shared: as a gift, through word of mouth, through social media posts, and Amazon reviews.
For the ways I hear through each of these things that this work is important.
I am grateful.
And I pray for the way this book is making through the world. I pray over the current of love that flows from its words to the hearts of its readers. I pray the pages will be a channel through which the Holy Spirit flows. May the book be a good companion to each mother it meets.
What might appear on your list of gratitude? What gifts and graces in your life long to be named? How might you practice joy this Easter season?
If you have read This Life That Is Ours, I have a favor to ask: could you take a few minutes to rate and review it on Amazon and/or Goodreads? Reader reviews are an easy way to share about the book and help others to find it. (You don’t have to have bought the book from Amazon to review it there.)
THANK YOU – for the gift of your time, for reading along with me, for joining the celebration.
May Easter continue to unfold for you. May this season be one of both deep gratitude and deep joy.