10,000 reasons.

I woke up and got to work on time this morning. I have a warm house. I can wear whatever I want to my job. My coworkers are kind and joyful lunatics. My boss let me stay an extra hour to get some stuff done (and a little extra cash). New merchandise. A friendly mailman.

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Robitussin. Books. Coffee. Doctor Who. The songs of ascent. Podcasts. Ruggles Green. Allergy meds. Tea. Magazines. A working phone. Netflix. The Book of Common Prayer. Knitted lace. Cold weather.

You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great and Your heart is kind

Cellos. New guitar strings. Good-quality inexpensive headphones. The Macy’s parade. Our country’s mythologies, for better or for worse. The mothers and fathers of my faith. Twitter. Access to information. Literacy. Handel’s Messiah.

For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

A church where I can serve and love. Its people, who have loved me continually. The body of Christ witnessing faithfully around the world and throughout time. That God still speaks by His Spirit–and that by the same Spirit I can speak to Him. That Jesus didn’t look at me and refuse to help, but that He loved me despite my bad record. “No guilt in life, no fear in death.”

Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
Worship His holy name

Happy Thanksgiving. Find your 10,000 reasons today.

25 things (November) (including a contest!)

1. Know this, friends: I have no harsher critic than my own heart.

2. “But if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.”

3. So I’ve been part-time administrative assistant for my church for about two months now. It’s good work. My pastor keeps apologizing for giving me mundane things to do, but I love that kind of stuff. Hey, someone needs to.

4. One of the things I’m having trouble doing these days, though, is letting myself rest and take Sabbath. I have a hard time saying “no” to people, especially people I feel responsible for/to.

5. I think this is all indicative that I am far too concerned with what other people think of me, and I try to impress them with how hard-working/smart/serving/pious/generally awesome I am. This is a problem.

6. I think I need to let go of some things in my life. Also hard.

7. Friends! Are we not servants of the Most High God? Are we not sons and daughters of the Lord of hosts? Ought we not comport ourselves as members of His household?

8. (I have been considering a lot of medieval literature lately. Go figure.)

9. I’ve been doing some research about Korean culture, especially names, and it turns out my Korean name is considered old-fashioned or countrified by people now–it’s a grandma name, or something like that. So I had the equivalent of, like, Martha or Myrtle or something, which as a strange Westerner I kind of like.

10. My family–both the American and the Korean ones–have all been farm people or small-town people. I come of country folk. And then there is me, the incurable city girl. Go figure.

11. I am considering poetry for Advent through Lent, based on a group of psalms (113-118 and 120-134, the hallels and the songs of ascent). Should be interesting.

12. I thought about doing NaNoWriMo, but as the kids say, ain’t nobody got time for that.

13. On the other hand, I miss writing; I get some done for church with writing some of the liturgy twice a month, and I wrote a song(!) a while back, but not in the way that I’d like. You have to make time, though, and God knows how bad I am at that.

14. One of my small hopes for heaven: Getting to introduce my Korean and American families to one another.

15. The Doctor Who 50th anniversary is on the 23rd. Get excited. Here’s a trailer.

16. One more reason I love my church: The significant percentage of members who are Whovians. Oh yes.

17. The current themes of my life: I have so much to do; there are so many pregnant women at my church; my Half-Price coworkers are crazy and they are great; I am a train wreck; I belong to Jesus; God is continually faithful even when I am not. That works, I suppose.

18. So I just got the new Civil Wars album and good grief, it’s so good and it makes me want them to get back together so badly. John Paul White’s voice makes me swoon.

19. Speaking of swooning, I have developed a small crush on Tom Hiddleston. Not because of Thor (I haven’t seen it), but I watched him do some Shakespeare(!) and heard an interview, and gosh his voice is sexy.

20. I mean, if a tall, redheaded Brit ever showed up at something I was at and he loved Jesus and had a pretty stable life and a good sense of humor (humour?), I call dibs. Sorry, lady friends.

21. Trader Joe’s sells these ginger-flavored Altoid-like lozenges and they are WONDERFUL. They have the unintentional effect of making me want a ginger beer, though.

22. Advent is coming. I’m very excited about this. We do this great arrangement of “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” that’s one of my favorite things we do musically.

23. Oh, so we’re doing a great song at church called “Not In Me” that’s based on Luke 18 and imagines what it would sound like if the Pharisee also came to repentance. For recovering Pharisees like myself, it’s a pretty good theme song:

24. Oh, let me be content and let me be Yours completely…

25. Finally: I wrote some lyrics. I like writing lyrics. However, I am terrible at writing music. And these lyrics could use some music. Not that a lot of you do this, I’m guessing, but if you’re a songwriter and you don’t mind writing for other people, let me know in the comments, and I’ll send you the lyrics. When you’re done, send it to me or link to your YouTube video of it or put it on Bandcamp or Soundcloud or something; I’ll post them all here and put it to a vote. You’ll get a worthwhile prize of some sort, to be decided by me later. Deadline is December 1!