Thursday, November 04, 2021

Spiritual Journey Thursday: Gratiku Day Four

The fourth day of my Gratiku project is also Spiritual Journey Thursday, a monthly gathering of bloggers around a theme chosen by our host for that month. Denise, who's hosting today, is also doing a Gratiku project, and she's asked us to write about gratitude today.

There is so much to be grateful for. As 1 Corinthians 4:7 puts it, "What do you have that you did not receive?" It's all, all a gift. So far this month, I've written about several gifts: the internet, a Black-and-white Warbler, and imperfection. Gratitude is a good way to live, because it shifts our focus from our struggles to the grace we have been shown.

Today I wanted to write about Haiti. In so many ways (and for good and ill), living here has made me who I am. I am grateful for the chance to live here, not just visit, to live here through so many seasons of my life. I've been through many of the best moments of my life here, and many of the worst.

I struggled a bit with this one. Haiti is a complicated place, and seventeen syllables can't contain it. I wanted to put in the way Haiti is suffering right now, but I eventually decided against it. But that's OK, because I've written so much about this country already, here and elsewhere, and today my focus is just purely on gratitude. 


Thank you, Haiti, for making me welcome. Thank you for teaching me so many lessons. Thank you, God, for bringing me here to this beautiful, frustrating, scary, spectacular country. 

A borrowed homeland
Twenty-five years of birthdays
A lifetime of gifts

Check out other people's posts on the theme of gratitude here.

Birdtober? Gratiku? What's up with me and these made-up words and daily posting? Well, I've learned that a tiny little burst of creativity each day helps keep me going, stops me from being entirely fixated on the mess. That's why I post daily photos on Facebook. And that's why I'm doing these writing projects. This one is a daily haiku about something I'm thankful for. (A gratitude haiku - get it?) As long as the internet keeps working, I'm going to try to post one every day in November.


Fran Haley said...

Ruth: a tiny bit of creativity DOES keep us going each day, as does gratitude for all we've been given. Life (like living in Haiti) is a spectacular adventure. "A borrowed homeland" - that's our existence in this world. Thanking God for His promises and you for your heeart, poetry, and always-moving perspective.

Linda Mitchell said...

I'm so glad that I get to know about Haiti through your eyes and that despite the suffering you are grateful for the beauty and life. I so enjoy seeing Haiti through your eyes. Thank you, Ruth.

Karen Eastlund said...

I love your 4-word description of Haiti. They are lucky to have you, Ruth. Yes, it is all, all a gift. Why is that so hard to hang onto? I'm grateful for your insights.

Denise Krebs said...

Ruth, thank you for sharing that verse from I Corinthians 4:7. I had not noticed that before. (It reminded me of the definition of grace by Frederick Buechner that Karen quoted on her blog post today.) What you say is so true--"It's all, all a gift." Thank you. I think I may borrow that line for my poem today.

Your words are inspiring and helpful. Thank you for sharing your perspective, and I love the poem you wrote today about Haiti. Yes, indeed, "a lifetime of gifts" can be found anywhere. I like Fran's reminder that we are all resident aliens on this earth. Beautiful! All the best as you continue to write daily in November.

Carol Varsalona said...

Ruth, your reasoning for writing about gratitude is simple and satisfying, I am sure (both for you and me, the reader): "Gratitude is a good way to live because it shifts our focus from our struggles to the grace we have been shown." I needed to hear that this morning. because struggles seem to surround life. A new struggle I am trying to wrap my head around is my husband's medical issues. He has been hobbling around for months with doctors trying to figure out what it is that keeps shooting pain down his back and leg. Next week we will find out what the orthopedist says. I will rely on faith and grace to bolster my spirits for the next several months until some resolution is found. Thank you for your inspiration. I know that you have gone through quite a bit but you keep finding ways to thrive with the help of the Lord. I love your gratitude poem with the picture of Haiti. May I add it to my gallery collection? I took a screen shot and await your decision.

Ruth said...

Hi Carol, yes you may! Thank you!

Chris Margocs said...

When you first mention Haiti, gratitude is not what came to my mind, but rather all of the troubles that island has have endured. Hope and gratitude for what silver linings can be found in those dark clouds is, I imagine, what keeps folks going through those tough times. I will keep that in mind as I encounter struggles throughout my day, minor in comparison to the complications of life in Haiti.

Ramona said...

Finally making time to read everyone's SJT posts! Love your gratiku for Haiti. We're currently praying that a dear friend made it on a planned flight home from Haiti yesterday. There are many of us concerned about him. He comes to Haiti with Water for Life. Praying for your safety too in your beautiful, borrowed land.