My hope is to offer encouragement to writers as well as those who simply love to read. You will find eclectic snippets here—news of projects I’m working on, comments regarding books I enjoy, favorite authors, quotes, and reflections regarding my own experiences. I especially like to write about my dreams—those parables in the night seasons. Symbols and metaphors delight and intrigue me. You will find them here.
The trick is learning to take things as they come and fully, too, with no resistance or fear, not trying to grip them too tightly or make them bend.~Paula McLain (From Circling The Sun)
I yelled at him, my voice thin and high. I slammed my open hand on the table, my palm red, stinging. Then my husband yelled back, striking his hand on the table too. He has bigger hands, so it was loud. "I'm done," I shouted, and ran out of the room. We were fighting about ceilings, (of all things) after looking at houses to buy earlier that day. All I said was that I like high ceilings," I whined. "But you've got to understand, Priscilla, that warm air travels upward, and the utility bills are higher; it's much better to have lower ceilings," he said. His voice was really, really noisy, as was mine.
Change is noisy, and it's not about the ceilings. It's about uncertainty, about ambiguity, about money, about compromise, about living with the opacity of where we'll settle next. It's about grief, too. Letting go of a home and life we've honed and developed for the last decade.
Actually, God considers all of humanity to be prisoners of their unbelief, so that He can unlock our hearts and show His tender mercies to all who come to Him.~Romans 11:32 (The Passion Translation)
I wept through a movie this week. That kind of crying where tears stream down your face and roll down your neck. Where all the mascara pools under your eyes and leaves black smudges. A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood is based on a true story about the relationship between a magazine writer and Fred Rogers The magazine writer had established a reputation of being overly harsh and cynical in his reporting. No one wanted to be interviewed by him. His editor at Esquire assigned him to interview Fred Rogers, the only person who would agree to an interview with him. The writer responded with sarcasm, "You mean the guy who talks to little kids? Has all those puppets?" His editor assured him that's who she was talking about. Reluctantly he accepted the assignment, and ultimately his life was transformed by the kindness, love and authenticity of Fred Rogers.
Mr. Rogers didn't judge the writer regarding his acrimonious and bitter demeanor, but rather welcomed him into his world with no judgment or pretense. Validated him. I thought to myself, "Who am I not loving like Mr. Rogers would?" Immediately Donald Trump came to mind. I'd joined in with all the late-night hosts in laughing at Trump jokes, expressing disdain and contempt toward him. I asked myself, "What if Mr. Rogers met Donald Trump. How would he treat him?"
How deep is your love? I really mean to learn.~Bee Gees
The movie practically jumped from the library shelf. Nostalgia. I'd watched it a couple of years ago, and the subject matter had a meaningful impact--so many of the themes I relate to integrated into a movie. Time, memory, grief and love. I decided to watch the movie again. This time the impact was no less great, but perhaps more poignant. This time I watched, I was experiencing some of the same dynamics as the characters in the movie. Giovanni and I readying our house for sale and beginning to pack up our belongings.
In some ways, I'm not ready to move from this home. I've become comfortable here, like a favorite pair of shoes. They go with everything. They don't hurt my feet. I love the way they look. And yet it's time to think about another pair for a different season. I can't wear boots in the spring.
There's been a tendency to become overwhelmed with feelings of grief and loss when I discover old photos. Loved ones gone now. My mind meanders down pathways I've traveled before, desiring to walk those trails again. Remembering.
The lesson, of course, is to stay in the present but welcome change.~Joan Anderson(From An Unfinished Marriage)
I spied the book on the library shelf, Longing For Less. I flipped through the pages, a treatise on minimalism. The title alone whispered direction. For all my working life, I'd stuffed pens and diaries and framed pictures and clothing and jewelry in drawers. "When I have more time, I'll get organized." Boxes of purses and shoes and sweaters filled my closets. And then the books...
Heaps of books brimmed over the shelves in my study. I'd read all of them at one time or another. I knew I wouldn't read them again. Life was changing. I could feel the shift. My husband and I were planning on downsizing. I couldn't take all this stuff with me. I didn't really want to anyway.
I came to understand that God hadn't lost me, even if I seemed for years to have misplaced God.~Kathleen Norris (From Amazing Grace, A Vocabulary of Faith)
My husband began reading my new book this week. He said, "You talk a lot about God. I could call you the God girl." I reflected on his comment and the labyrinthine course of my faith. For many years I "misplaced" Him, or perhaps more accurately, I detached from Him. Wanted no more of the fundamental principles I came to believe were associated with my faith in Jesus. I tried to leave the faith, but found that was impossible. How could I truly remove myself completely from the One who interceded in prayer for me, who promised never to leave me?
For decades my heart was caged in a belief system that was tied into performance-based, conditional love. I believed that the only way I could be accepted by God, loved by God, was performing well. If my behaviors fell in line, then I could receive His acceptance. But if not, I couldn't approach Him. It was all about keeping the rules. I could earn His love by my good behavior. Toxic.
My faith was like running miles around a track. Round and round the track I'd go, racking up miles, fine dust particles affixed to my Nikes, my calves muscular. My performance kept me strong. But there came a time, in a spiritual sense, when I could no longer muster the energy to run--to keep the rules, to perform. I believed I had failed God and He wanted no more to do with me when I was weak, when I was no longer fit and muscular. I was wrong.