There is a saying in my circles that drives me absolutely crazy some times.
“This Too Shall Pass.”
Honestly, when I’m in the middle of THIS, whatever it is, I’m not all that keen on seeing the temporary of my situation. All I can see is the now and the now stinketh much sometimes.
Take my right now for instance. I am 30 weeks into what started as a simple ankle replacement. I am still in part one of that. My tibia is still broken and we haven’t even gotten to the ankle part. People have commented about my positive attitude and I want to tell you, there are days where my prayers sound like King David’s “How long Oh Lord?”
Now I do know that my leg is going to heal and that life will pick up again and that like the saying goes this will pass. I know this because 10 years ago, it was my heart that was broken instead of my leg.
10-years ago, I didn’t believe this would pass. I felt stuck in a never-ending cycle of hurt and disappointment.
While I was still depressed over my circumstances, I chose to trust God with a single step. Nothing major, just make my bed. Then it was get dressed. Then take a walk. Quit my job. And then the scariest of all – make a new friend. And another. And another.
Over time things changed. I started doing things that scared me to death for a moment and produced wonderful results. (I failed at a lot of things as well, but you know… I kept going anyway)
So beloved – where ever you are, whatever season you are in, know that things do pass, life does change, and if you take one small step of faith and courage great things will happen.
Dare to Live
It is one of those conversations where I catch myself with one hand on the receiver and one hand on the ground so that the Earth’s trajectory – and her self pity – doesn’t send me hurling into space.
“Are you going to die today?”
“Good. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
It’s been almost four years since I first met Anne Lamott in Traveling Mercies. A lot has happened in those four years and in that time, I have read every non-fiction book she has written. I find that how I receive her books is very much contingent on where I am at when I read them. What jumps out at me today, might be entirely different tomorrow.
ultimately, we are just walking each other home. – Ram Dass
The main alcoholic in my life is dying Not today, or tomorrow, but soon. They have a year maybe two at the most left.I think they need to live with me so that I can help and they think they need to stay exactly where they are (over 1, 000 miles away.) They want to die the same way they live: On their terms.
I think that stinks, but nobody asked me.
I can either spend what is left of their life arguing with them, or I can see them for who they are, a child of God, and allow them the dignity of making their own choices.
Stitches is full of Anne’s trademark dry humor, subtle wisdom, and gentle heart. It’s almost poetic in its writing style and it’s soft-spoken much like Anne’s actual speaking voice. Rather than hammer at you, she almost whispers. Stitches is like a sacred conversation between old friends.
Anne writes and speaks with gentle authority and with the wisdom of a woman who has been there, done that, and lived to tell about it. Whether it’s as the overly sensitive child who learned the freedom that comes from choosing to see what is really going on, the woman who is walking her husband home after 40 years, the best friend who grieves, the mother with a mentally ill son, or the teacher who doesn’t give up – Anne teaches us that life is a miracle, the sun continues to rise with or without our permission, that we are not rags, and that if we hold hands, we can stand against the wind.
I don’t know what season you are in. For me, I’m in the thick of chapter two – The Overly Sensitive Child. Perhaps you are facing life without your mate, a sick or wayward child, the loss of a best friend or a community tragedy much like what hit Moore Oklahoma this year. And maybe you are wondering how to stitch your life back together.
Maybe, like me you need to hear that it’s okay to let other people in , that beauty has meaning, we can take our own turn and that we are not rags. Whatever season you are in, or what you may need to hear, Stitches is a book that has something for everyone. I give it 5 stars.
You can get your copy at Amazon.com
DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT: While I do at times receive free copies of books in exchange for honest reviews, no goods or services were received in exchange for this review. I purchased the book myself via Amazon and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to tell my readers about it.
They really need to fix that whole REPLY ALL function in email by adding some kind of warning like “you are about to copy the universe with your opinion, are you sure you wish to do this?” type feature or something.
That would simplify my life a whole heck of a lot.
Granted, so would self-control.
But I digress.
I heard a story one time about a man seeking the wisdom of the Shaman at the top of the mountain. The shaman took a feather pillow, tore it open and released the feathers. “Go and gather every feather.” He said.
The man raced around the mountain trying to catch every feather that fell and returned dejected.
“I tried my best, but I cannot catch every feather that you released. The wind is too strong.” he said.
The Shaman smiled. “And so it is with our words. Choose them wisely because once released, we cannot get them all back.”
I tend to be that man (or woman rather) running the mountain side trying to catch back every feather, every lie, every word, spoken and released at the top of the mountain by well-meaning, and perhaps not so well-meaning, Christians and atheists alike.
I want to snatch it away before it lands on someone’s head and they believe it.
So many responses have come out in light of the events of December 14th. My mail box and Facebook pages are full of what if this and what if that — I get it, we want answers. Lying about God isn’t the answer. Much better blogs have been written on this subject than I can write.
I snapped today — someone sent me yet another “Where was God” post. This one a Mike Huckabee video. I watched the video and immediately responded with “This Crap! This isn’t my God.” — without checking who was on the original list, I started chasing feathers — my response was rather lengthy and I’ll spare you the details. It seems I replied to everyone in this poor man’s mail box. Our church, our district and several national directors of Christian Education.
I’ll be apologizing to the man the next time I see him. I wasn’t trying to discount his motive, just Mike’s Message. Sometimes I wind up chasing my own feathers and that is never fun. Self control would have been prudent. It’s not my place to defend God. I’m learning however, it is my place and my call — to tell the truth about God.
But that is a story for another day.
Be well you guys. and Behave!
There is a difference between a catastrophe and an inconvenience. While some of us are happy that President Obama won a second term, many are unhappy and are reacting as though this were an earth shattering catastrophe. Let me make myself clear here — Hurricane Sandy and the destruction to lower Manhattan and other parts of the East coast is a catastrophe – Mitt Romney losing the election is an inconvenience at best. Some of us need to get a grip.
No matter who you voted for yesterday, today we breathe in, we put one foot in front of the other and we live. Hopefully we live for something outside of ourselves. I voted, and those who know me best know who I voted for and why. Granted if you follow me on Twitter, you already know who I voted for and if you are still reading my blog you either agree with me or came to see if God struck me dead with lightning yet.
So for all of my Christian readers who believe I’m in a hand basket headed straight for hell, sorry. I’m still here. And being black-listed for either being a Christian or being a Democrat does not hurt my feelings. I needed time off anyway and now that my entire month of November is free, I can write my book.
I say that a little tongue in cheek in all honesty. Are we really that petty? Hollywood black lists Christians and Christians black list each other over trivial things. Drama queens abound on either side and yet somewhere in the middle is our tribe.
I’ll admit trying to give up anger during an election year has not been easy. I might as well as tried to give up chocolate while working in a candy store. So many things can make my skull split in half, the word “Koolaid” being the most recent thing that brings out my alter-ego “home-girl.” I try to placate her with cookies, but sometimes she comes out and she is U-G-L-Y.
I have an IQ of over 145, I don’t drink koolaid and neither does anyone else I know. I hear that word on both sides of the spectrum. Not only does the far right use it to describe Democrats, I have several atheist friends do the same thing to describe anyone who dares believe in a God. My writers group is loaded with atheists and progressive Christians. I fall somewhere in the middle I’m sure.
I love my friends dearly, and I know I am a bit of a conundrum to them. I’m a Christian female who gave up my career to raise my family. No regrets. I choose to submit to my husband out of love and respect (not fear or koolaid brainwashing), and yet I am a Democrat. I believe in helping those less fortunate. I believe that women have equal value to men. I believe in a lot of things actually. If I’ve learned nothing from this election season, I’ve learned this: In the final analysis, be us believers of God or not, we’re all hypocrites and drama queens.
That’s good news to me. Knowing we are all hypocrites means we can let go of our masks and just be ourselves and hopefully learn to love each other.
Now let us put one foot in front of the other, breathe in and out, stop awefullizing everything, quit being a victim and LIVE.
Oh yah, no control issues here. Eye rolling is allowed.
I may “waller in defeat” from time to time, as my friend Tonya would say, but I don’t stay there.
Nobody, I don’t care who they are, or how famous and together we might think they are, leads a charmed life.
Everyone has problems.
Everyone has choices.
That’s why I like the Full Circle link so much. Here’s a guy, who hit rock bottom 19 years ago doing a benefit ride for the very place he got sober. I think that’s cool. I think that takes courage.
What does courage look like to you?
- Is it public speaking?
- Saying no when you really need to even if it means disappointing someone?
- Or is it risking feeling selfish and realizing that the greatest gift we can give this world is to be the best us we can be?
One of my favorite devotional pages says :
March 26 in The Little Blue Book ONE DAY at a TIME in AL-ANON:
Why is it so hard to admit we are powerless over alcohol, as the First Step suggests we do? All of us have heard and shared in discussions at Al-Anon meetings as to whether this should be interpreted as “alcohol” or the “alcoholic.” We have no power over either one. No one can control the insidious effect of alcohol or its power to destroy the graces and decencies of life. No one can control the alcoholic’s compulsion to drink. But we do have a power, derived from God, and that is the power to change our own lives. Acceptance does not mean submission to a degrading situation. It means accepting the fact of a situation and then deciding what we will do about it.
Progress begins when we stop trying to control the uncontrollable and when we go on to correct what we have the right to change. If we accept a situation full of misery and uncertainty, it is no one’s fault but our own. We can do something about it!
“Fighting futility is just a waste of energy, Samantha. Either do something or quit fretting.” – Celebra Tueli
While this particular page refers to alcoholism and alcoholics it can be about so much more. It hurts watching people we love destroy their lives. What causes even greater pain is putting our lives on hold while we wait for everyone else to get it together.
It has taken me a long time to really believe that I am powerless over people, places, and things, meaning I cannot control people or make their choices for them. I cannot control how people see me, or whether or not they like me. Nor can I control the weather, or disease/disabilities. Shoot, I struggle with controlling myself, thinking I can control others is pure ego.
All I have is the power to make the best choices for me.
That’s really where courage begins. Finding the power to make the best choices for ourselves regardless of the choices our loved ones make. This includes our spouses, siblings, friends, and dare I say it adult children.
I’m a firm believer that the power to change can only come from believing in a God that’s bigger than me. For some of us, finding that God takes courage.
My wish today for you and for myself is that we stop right where we are at and know beyond knowing that we can make better choices today than the ones we made yesterday — and then go do it.
Maybe for some of us, that choice is simply the acceptance of knowing the we are loved beyond measure no matter what and acting on that belief.
What choices are you making today?