June was a heavy month. My heart was weighed down by painful decisions made in the denomination of which I'm a member and minister. In addition, an awareness of what's going on in our world inevitably brings heaviness too - our national political scene, wars, and disasters all over the world. I think a lot about how to lean into the pain of the world and not be consumed by it. I'm convinced that paying better attention to and practicing gratitude for the small, everyday things in life is the counteroffensive needed.

As I write this I'm near an open window. The birds are delighted this morning. Patches of sunshine and shade speckle my front yard where I'm replacing part of our scraggly lawn with a garden. The work of it infuses joy. So does the beauty. Digging, sweating, planting, watering, and coaxing something delightful from something dingy does wonders to my soul.

Today it isn't so hard to be grateful. The air is crisp. Summer holds more breathing space (if the smoke's not too thick). I have a few more perenialls to plant. Looking for joy today.

Here's a fitting portion of a prayer from the book, Every Moment Holy.

Walk with us now, O Lord,

in the stillness of this tilled and quiet space,

that when we venture again into the still

greater garden of your world, we might be

prepared by the long practice of your presence,

to offer our lives as a true and nourishing

provision to all who hunger for


and hope

and meaning,

a true and nourishing provision

to all who hunger for you. ... Amen


Deep joy to you today.