This My Hymn of Grateful Praise

Growing up in a house with 3 brothers, I watched countless hours of SportsCenter, Around The Horn, and Pardon the Interruption. Two Christmases ago I finally watched The Lord of the Rings series after having been scarred as a child after seeing that orc birth/creation scene in The Fellowship of the Ring. (PSA I recovered from my horror and now love LOTR)

My first experience with a costume drama, my favorite genre (S/O t0 Masterpiece PBS, my own true love), didn’t happen until my brothers were out of the house for reasons I’m not really sure why but probably because we were too busy watching Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon argue.

I think it was 6th grade that I got Little Women on DVD. Oh, I loved it. I remember getting so angry at the different plot twists (I’m looking at you, Jo March). I think it made me really grateful, too that I grew up in a house of brothers because that house full of 5 women seemed NUTS.

My favorite scene happens when the March sisters are celebrating Christmas while their father is away at war. They all gather together in their cozy home, singing what is now one of my favorite hymns: For The Beauty of the Earth.” 

This Thanksgiving, I keep coming back to this hymn, for how its verses move through the different aspects of this life. And here I am, coming up on a day when I am supposed to stop and give thanks. I’m glad for it, because all too often I forget to stop. So here I am: this is my hymn of grateful praise. 

For the beauty of the earth 

I’m thankful for the sunset runs I got to do this summer, when I was working long hours in the city. Those runs were exhausting at first, but I was thankful to feel my body getting stronger as the summer went on, as my muscles grew resilient and my brain accustomed to a schedule that inevitably awaits me come May 2016.

I’m thankful for the sunrise runs I’ve gotten to this fall with my friend Molly. Those runs were and still can be exhausting as the pace of college pushes on unrelentingly, but I was and am grateful for my sister, Molly, and the friendship and conversations that have happened on our sunrise runs and beyond.

For the beauty of each hour

I’m thankful that the end of college is near, because the hour holds more weight for me now. Time is more valuable, less cheap than it used to be. The beauty of each becomes greater as new milestones are reached and other ones come to an end. There have been some dark hours since last Thanksgiving, and some bright ones, too. There’s beauty in this human and earthy contrast as the hours pass. I look forward for the beauty and contrast of the hours to come.

For the joy of human love

I’m thankful for 3 tiny humans who bring increased joy to me and my family. They are funny and make me want to be a better person. And they drain my wallet because I want to buy them presents all the time but hey the trade off is worth it. I’m thankful for my brothers, for the strong men they are and for the lives they lead. I admire them all in different ways, and count myself lucky to have such caring, intelligent, funny people in my life and that they are my family. I’m thankful for my sister-in-laws, for the strong women they are, and for the hard work they put in to their daily lives. I’m thankful for parents who stand by my side and listen to my frustrated phone calls and worries and endure the bad sides of me and still laugh at my jokes.

For thy Church which evermore 

I’m thankful for a God who gives me what I need the most: grace. I’m glad my name is Grace, because I continually need to be reminded of it. I’m thankful that he’s teaching me contentment in this very imperfect world where the list of things I had for myself to do appears to be very crumpled right now. I’m thankful for the community and family He has given me, and I look forward to meeting the rest of them along the way.

Lord of all to thee we raise, this is our hymn of grateful praise. 


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. And if you got all the way to end, thanks for caring enough to keep reading.


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