Last week was Bruce’s 40th birthday, so he wrote a post on 40 Prayers for his 40th birthday and asked folks to do the same. That’s all well and good, but I just turned 37 last week, so I thought I’d adjust it to fit my age. If I think of a few more, though, I’ll add them.
The “rule” is to make a list of prayers for 40 (37) things for which you are grateful, give you hope or are in need of God’s healing. These are in no particular order or organization other than free-flow and random.
1. Family, both biological and chosen. I am blessed to have a wonderful supportive group of folks that I call family, some of whom share my DNA. I cannot express my gratitude to these folks for the love and encouragement they give me despite how difficult I can be. Hopefully I will be able to repay them.
2. Pain caused by the church, particularly to the LGBTQ community. Regardless of your view on this issue, from a civil rights standpoint, these folks are treated like second class citizens on many levels and the church has only poured salt in the wounds. I stayed with dear friends this weekend who have to spend thousands of extra dollars w/ a financial planner to make sure they can take care of each other b/c they aren’t legally allowed marriage or a civil union. I’m sorry that they have not been well loved by the church and I pray for their healing.
3. The emergence of the progressive Christians. I’m so glad that finally after years of being drowned out by the religious right those of us who see the role of Christians in society differently are speaking up and being heard.
4. The MBCC church staff and family. These are a great group of folks. I cannot emphasize that enough. It’s been so wonderful to find a place that is focused on Christ, biblically based and open to conversations. I am so happy to have found it.
5. My work folks. I would be lucky enough just having a job, but to have a job that takes care of its folks and to work with such fantastic people, that’s more than anyone could ask for. I get to do some really fun things and work with really intelligent and delightful people. It’s a great place to go every day.
6. My gym. I know it’s less deep that some of these other ones, but I really do love it. It’s got this great small town gym feel with big city gym cleanliness and amenities. The classes and instructors are great, the staff is warm and friendly, and it’s just a pleasure to get to go there every day.
7. Living near water. I love LOVE the ocean and I love that I get to look at the bay all day and it’s a lovely walk through GG park to the ocean on the weekends. Couldn’t be better.
8. Being surrounded by children and babies. Practically everyone I know has given birth in the last 6 months and the rest of them have small children. It’s so great to be part of their upbringing and have them run up and hug me. Having 2 year old Pea know that I’m Tiffany and I play the piano, hugs from Annie and Abby, high-fiving Simona, cuddling Elyse or Babybel during services is awesome.
9. Human Trafficking. There are more people enslaved now than at any other point in history. That should not be. It is primarily women and children who are caught up in this sinister trade and as those called to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves we must do something.
10. Being a musician. I’m really happy that I’m a music person. This is not to say that I’m the best or the most gifted out there, but I like that this is my particular talent.
11. Being surrounded by beauty. I love where I live and that I am surrounded by both natural and man-made beauty everywhere. I always think that God must have had the best time creating all this stuff (however that went down).
12. Good food. I love to cook, I love to eat, and I love that I live in a restaurant city. Sharing a meal with friends, whether at home or out and about, is one of the best things ever.
13. I don’t know much. I find it hopeful that there’s so much out there for me yet to learn. I’m a researcher and I love to dig deep into the subject du jour and find out all about it.
14. The Bible. Cheesy, I know, but it’s my list. I was born, raised, and marinated in Christian culture and I used to be a bit bored reading and re-reading scripture passages. Going to seminary, learning various devotional reading practices and generally keeping an open mind have brought the Bible back to life for me. I always find something new, interesting, complicated or challenging in there. Such a great book.
15. Hunger. In a somewhat bizarre coincidence both obesity and hunger are on the rise. I coordinate an annual food drive at work and to hear the statistics on hunger, especially right now, is staggering. Hunger is particularly an issue in children. MBCC has started a food pantry that is doing some great work. If you feel so moved, please donate to this burgeoning ministry to help us feed our community.
16. Mom & Dad. Love them. My parents are great. Yeah, yeah, we have our differences and don’t see eye to eye on everything, but we’ve come a long way on accepting our differences. They’re super encouraging and supportive and I’m really glad they’re around.
17. Anni, Heather, Mad Grammarian, Lara, Gina. These friends get a specific shout-out for their love, support and encouragement that goes above and beyond. Mine is a particular brand of crazy that is not always dealt with well by others and these folks get mad snaps for handling mine. I have learned so much from them and their insights. Thanks!
18. Beautiful shoes. I am a lover of the shoe. I have a picture of my dream Christian Louboutin shoe in a frame on my desk. Don’t judge me. Fashion in general as an art form makes me happy.
19. The original Star Wars Trilogy. It brings together people from my generation like nothing else. I realize that’s not maybe “prayer worthy” but it definitely has a sense of belonging and community about it – where were you when? Every generation has a pop culture moment, like American Graffiti, Rebel Without A Cause, and Woodstock. This is mine.
20. Immigration. Folks, in case you haven’t picked up a history book in a while, America is a country made up entirely of immigrants who then proceeded to massacre the indiginous people. Charming. Now we’re building walls and detaining people who want the same opportunities as their oppressors grandparents. I don’t think we should have mass chaos and open the flood gates but we need a process in place that would make it possible for people to come here and become citizens legally. I want them to be part of the country, to pay taxes and to benefit from our freedoms. I also know how much scripture has to say about how we treat the “stranger among us.” Let’s find some compassionate legal ways to address this, and soon.
21. Torture. By now we’ve all read or heard about the declassified memos regarding torture of detainees in secret CIA prisons and at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. I cannot begin to express how horrifying these accounts are and the cavalier (bordering on gleeful) attitude with which the previous administration approved these techniques – techniques which blatantly violate the Geneva Convention and for which we prosecuted Japanese soldiers for war crimes for doing them to our soldiers during WW II. Now we have journalists being held in Iran and South Korea and we want them back. Huh. Breaking international law has a way of affecting diplomacy, so good luck with that. I hope to hear about some indictments and disbarments, and soon. If you’re going to be pro-life, you’ve got to be pro-life.
22. My health. I have my issues, to be sure, but overall, my health is pretty good.
23. Chloe & Ian. I mean it. I know that I’m a bit biased, but they are seriously the smartest, cutest, best kids in the universe. I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with them but I will hopefully get to see them this Summer and we’ll tear it up. When I get to hang with them or talk to them on the phone, I love to watch them learn and experience the world and see what unique spin they’ll put on it. I also love that I’m their Auntie Tiffy and I get to spoil them and give them junk food and take them to movies and give them lots of hugs and kisses.
24. Books. I’ve been a voracious reader since I was in preschool. I’d bring books to school and read them to the class -when I was 4. I got special permission when I was in 2nd grade to check out more advanced books b/c I NEEDED to read those biographies of Jefferson and Lincoln. I love where a book takes you, fiction or not. I love reading theories, drawing pictures and conjuring accents of characters and visualizing settings. Nothing like getting lost in a good story.
25. Coffee. If I’m going to have one addiction, this is it. My morning coffee makes me happier than anything else possibly could.
26. The Dallas Cowboys. God’s team. ‘Nuff said.
27. Movies. Musicals, comedies, dramas, mostly, but definitely movies. I love to see people’s stories told in visually interesting ways and I immerse myself in a good film. I especially love when there’s a deep moral dilemma or a really depressing ending. Don’t know why, just love them. I don’t see movies to turn off my brain, but rather to engage it, so I’m picky and I rarely see the summer blockbusters.
28. Visual art, particularly photography. I love spending time at a museum, just walking around and soaking in the images. I particularly love photography as a medium. I am fascinated by the ability to capture a moment on a person’s face.
29. Life’s unexpected moments. When someone says or does something you never would expect. My favorite thing is when someone I think I know says something that comes completely out of left field. Love that.
30. Dance. I canNOT dance. Never learned, don’t aspire to it. However, I am so fascinated at the number of ways the human body can be moved and contorted to tell beautiful stories. I love to go to the ballet and various dance performances and see what will happen next.
31. That I’m almost done with this list. Geez, this takes a while.
32. The wisdom of those who have gone before me. I’m the oldest kid in my house and I had to do all the stupid stuff first. I love that there’s a pantheon of people in the Bible, in history and in my life who’ve gone before and from whom I can learn.
33. Travel. I love LOVE to travel. I hope to do more of it as time goes on. I never cease to be fascinated by the people and places around the world that are so beautiful and have so much to teach.
34. The opportunity to give back. I believe that to whom much is given, much is required and I’m all about volunteer stuff. I work for a great company who encourages volunteering and I’m going to start doing some work with Dress for Success this summer. I also have the AIDS Walk coming up, for which I would appreciate your donations 🙂
35. Faith. My faith defines me. I don’t know who I’d be without it.
36. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Just my favorite flavor combinaion of all time.
37. Spa Treatments. Self explanatory.