My new BASICS notebook keeps me connected to that “analog life” while consolidating four (4) digital calendars by way of organized paper and my trusty Pilot G2 gel pen. I love my devices (e.g., smartphone, tablets, laptop, etc.) and I believe the muscle memory associated with handwriting allows my written words to adhere to my mind better. In addition to calendar entries, this notebook contains weekly prompts to stimulate me. This week’s prompt was:

Each day this week before going to bed, write down three things that you are grateful for.

My reflections on this task today took me to a revelation that gave me comfort in an otherwise uncomfortable situation. My three grateful things for today found themselves far from the cliché…

I’m grateful for a successful surgical procedure. This morning I underwent oral surgery with a myriad of mixed feelings. I’ve only had one surgical procedure in my life (which was also oral) and that experience crafted an unpleasant memory of pain, abandonment and regret in which I needed (and received) deliverance (Amen!).

Today was not only a simple process, with manageable discomfort, but my recovery the past several hours has been nothing short of miraculous. I know it is because of the prayers of my family, friends and colleagues all over the country. It’s amazing to actually “feel” the power of prayer surround you and I’ve very grateful for that experience / lifestyle.

I’m grateful for syndicating my defunct podcast. Seven years of my life was spent producing a podcast showcasing the best indie music in the world. I was blessed with awards, partnerships, friendships and opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. I produced my final podcast in December 2013  and there are literally hundreds of one-hour MP3s of my show sitting on an external hard drive as well as the cloud.

The site was shut down in ’13 as well, but I’ve revitalized the domain and re-broadcasted shows will be available for download on Mondays and Wednesday. I’m grateful I have such a vast library of creative expression that features so much obscure music that still needs to be discovered. Despite that season of my life ending, it will live on via the Internet.

I’m grateful for phenomenal friends and prayer gladiators. There have been subtle events this week that attempted to make me sad, angry, disappointed and extremely cautious towards individuals. Watching passive aggressiveness mix with long term memories as a function of manipulation just made me shake my head… and pray. The sobering reality is some people enter your life with a one-sided agenda that only benefits them. The harsh reality is some people feel it’s their duty to remind you of your torrid past, under the guise of living in their truth, while lazily acknowledging the deliverance and diligence to walk as a new creature.

The problem is some people choose to exit their season in your life as a victim or martyr rather than embrace their contribution to the departure.

In contrast, there’s a group of people who pray aggressively, consistently and sincerely – with no agenda – and their prayers have become an added layer of awesome over so many areas of my world. Thank you, Jesus.

I recognize the God-exclusive beauty of subtraction actually ADDING to my life. Having a tooth extracted adding to my improved health. Resurrecting a defunct podcast, that’s been dead for three years, will incite discovery into the most creative souls of our generation. Feeling the intercession of those whose ink is still drying from writing my name on their prayer list, while those who’ve professed to care for decades — are leaving with the memory book of sarcastic nostalgia still tucked closely underneath their hearts.

Subtraction can equal addition when you serve a God who defies logic, nature and our perception of reality.

Thank you, God.