This morning I read that GOD is an acronym for “gifts of desperation” (Anne Lamott). Yes, I do believe that makes perfect sense, at least on this morning as I struggle to ignore a head cold and the natural frustrations of dealing with teenage children. I choose to have a fabulous day. I put my troubles in a box and put them on a shelf in the deepest corner of my mind so I can move forward.
In the first class of the day, we read the latest news about North Korea. Fear licks at my heels. Talk of war is crazy talk no matter how sane any one sounds.
“I’m a pacifist,” I tell myself and then I remember the argument I had with my daughter as I dropped her off at school. Am I really a pacifist if I am so easily drawn into conflict and defense of my position? Give peace a chance, let it begin with me? St. Francis and Gandhi and a few crazy hippies start fighting for real estate in my soul. No body is winning. I am at war with myself, the person I want to be and the person I really am. The cold in my head and the conflict in my soul make my head ache. I lean on my hands. Continue reading →
Recently, a frequent contributor to her blog, Jo Anna Rothman, wrote an article called “Wanna Make a Difference.” I contacted Jo Anna and Amanda for permission to post. I’m posting the first part of Jo Anna’s post here and providing a link to Amanda’s site and the rest of the article. The day I read it, it was exactly what I needed to hear.
“Want to make a difference? Yes? Good.
Show up. Do what you say you are going to do. Do what you know needs to be done. Don’t stop. Even when it gets hard. Even when all the reasons that you haven’t done it in the past come welling up. Keep moving forward, letting action and pleasure guide you.
Want to make a difference?
Serve. Every day. And not because you feel guilty. Or bad for anyone. Serve because it feels amazing to. Because it connects you with who you and and connects those that you serve with a deeper truth inside of them. Serve because it reminds you that life is wonderful. That people matter. That this experience has the potential to be absolutely incredible.”
Jo Anna Rothman contributes often and I enjoy reading her posts. Jo Anna has her own web site and her life work is inspiring others. Check out her “Receiving Project.” Find out more about Jo Anna here: http://www.joannarothman.com/
This last weekend as I read the Sunday edition of The Columbian newspaper (The Columbian is Vancouver, WA newspaper.) I stumbled across an obituary for Thomas E. Schindlbeck. Mr. Schindlbeck had ALS (Lou Gehrig disease) so he knew he was dying. It also gave him time to pen his own obituary. I never met Mr. Schindlbeck but I wish I had. I’m sure he wore a smile as he summed up his life for people to read after he was gone.
He lamented the lack of information in obits and decided that his would be different. He left some advice for the living.
Now for the secrets of life:
Keep it simple, avoid drama,
say please and thank you a lot,
and always take the high road.
Everybody will bring you happiness:
some walking towards you, and some walking away.
If something is important to you, you will find a way.
If something’s not important to you, you will find an excuse.
Thank you for your words of wisdom. In the blink of an eye, I will follow you. I don’t have far to go. You remind me that my life is a gift. It’s time to use it wisely. Rest in peace, Thomas. Thanks for leaving the light on for me.
I am the person behind the words printed here. I write because my heart will not allow me the option of NOT writing. It has taken me half a life time to discover this basic truth, but now that I have, writing is as natural as breathing. This is where my breath takes the form of words.