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  • Writer's pictureLeanne W. Smith

Excerpts from a Gratitude Journal

Last night’s frost took the calla lilies. And the neighbor’s sycamore leaves—golden, crunchy—pile in the corners of the front beds, God’s protective layers covering the plants for the coming winter.

The basil is gone, too. But the rosemary, thyme, fennel, lavender, oregano, mint, sage and eucalyptus are warmer-blooded herbs still holding their own at the top of the hill.

For this, I am thankful.

I stand with you at the cusp of a week that will include food, family, and friends, but for me it started this past week with a Tuesday workplace luncheon and a charcuterie board for students in a Jesus & Women breakout chapel.

(Dr. Marcy Binkley, Dr. Ray Eldridge and I led a Thursday morning chapel for the past 10 weeks at Lipscomb University where I teach in the College of Business, and concluded with a feast.) Thank you, Kristi McLelland, for this video series, and for the insights from your trips to the Holy Lands.

Thank you, Dallas Jenkins and The Chosen while I’m at it. In addition to Kristi's J&W series, the videos that have blessed me the most this past year are those from The Chosen, particularly this 8-minute segment with the woman at the well.

Thank you, Ami McConnell Abston, for organizing WriterFest this past weekend. The keynotes and panel discussions were great, but the real gift was in the rekindling of hope. For me, at least. The stirring of the “wonder” stick, to quote poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

Thank you, Parnassus, for having speakers’ books on hand at WF. If you’re looking for Christmas gifts, signed copies are currently available—of Alone in a Cabin (joy!) in addition to other titles by local authors like Dana Chamblee Carpenter, JT Ellison, River Jordan, Honoree Corder, Jenny Hale, Sharon Cameron, and Claire Gibson.

Thank you, Andrew Peterson, for The Local Show. Favorite band, The Arcadian Wild, was at North Wind Manor this past week. If you are an artist, consider joining The Rabbit Room, as I am.

The week past and the week promised each remind me of the importance of community and the abundance of blessings—of art, of song, of the written word—that capture the human story and reflect it back to us.


What readers are saying about Alone in a Cabin:

"Pure enjoyment!"

"Wonderful autumn or winter read!"

"The kind of book you read again and again"

"A satisfying, emotionally nourishing story"

"This book is magical"

Now who on your gift-giving list doesn't need some of that? Buy print copies early! And happy feasting this Thursday.


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