“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
…live in the question.”― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
“We must row in whatever boat we find ourselves in.”― Christie Watson, Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away
Less angst, paralysis and analysis about the boat you are in.
Or comparing to other boats.
In action rather than inaction.
Listening, faith, movement.
The path unfolds in the traveling, the daily rowing.
Unknowing, unlearning to see what lies beneath the surface.
Emergence at the right time, slower than our demands.
Ready and steady.
Answers and more questions leading to more clarity, discernment.
Live in, with and through the questions.
Row the boat. Your boat.
“We make our way through Everything like thread passing through fabric, giving shape to images that we ourselves do not know.”― Rainer Maria Rilke
“Expectations are resentments under construction.” – Anne Lamott
“Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for who you were last week, last month, or last year. Forgive yourself for when you were exhausted and snapped at the people you love. Forgive yourself for not being able to do it all. Forgive yourself for your fears. Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Forgive yourself for eating one cookie too many. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. We often look at forgiveness as an intellectual act, but forgiveness is very spiritual. It is one of the most spiritual things we can do. When we forgive, we acknowledge that we are far bigger and greater than one individual moment. When we forgive, we are saying to the universe: I will not imprison myself or anyone else with anger, shame, judgment, or resentment. Gift yourself this freedom.”― Cleo Wade, Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life
Leaves falling off trees to branches alone.
Preparing for winter, seeds planted, slowing, new bloom ahead in due time.
The cycles and circles of seasons, roadmap for life.
Begin. Middle. End. Transition. Begin again and again.
Forgiveness, letting go, moving on.
Empathy, compassion, understanding.
Love, grace, joy.
Shed unforgiveness, ego, scarcity, othering, judgment, expectations, assumptions to make room for peace, growth, gratitude, joy, delight, generosity, abundance, kindness and light.
Set the prisoners free.
The gift of shedding.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes
“Beauty is that in the presence of which we feel more alive.”― Krista Tippett
“Taking in the good, whenever and wherever we find it, gives us new eyes for seeing and living.”― Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
In this day.
Wake up your senses.
Drink in good.
Color. Fresh air. Sweet fragrance.
Laughter. Light. Joy.
All withing reach.
Let them into your bones.
Strengthen your heart.
Lift your spirit.
Take in the good.
“Hope is an orientation, an insistence on wresting wisdom and joy from the endlessly fickle fabric of space and time.”― Krista Tippett
“Let Him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east.”
― Gerard Manley Hopkins
“The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”― Gerard Manley Hopkins
When the counting comes up short.
The comparison leaves you behind.
The measure is half full.
Sit with it for a bit to let it out.
Going through is the path.
Especially the hard parts.
Then look up and around.
Recount. Recalibrate. Review.
Complete the picture.
Take full account.
Blessings and burdens coexist.
Not either or but both.
Neighbors with no fence.
Life is beautiful and hard at the very same time.
Don’t miss the beauty in difficulty.
Don’t dismiss the difficulty on the surface of denial.
It’s the mixture and texture of life, loss, love, gain.
Gratitude, hope, joy are gritty and tough.
Knowing the whole story, choose light, accept and grow in dark.
Pied Beauty by Gerald Manley Hopkins
“Glory be to God for dappled things–
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced–fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
“The lesson, so simple yet so difficult, is that life can be savored even though it contains hardship, disappointment, loss, and even brutality. The choice to see its beauty is available to us at every moment.”― David von Drehle, The Book of Charlie
“Let it go and Hold on! In the way of so many great philosophies, those apparent opposites prove to be two sides of the same coin. To hold securely to the well-formed purposes of your own will, you must let go of the vain idea that you can control people or events or the tides of fate. You can’t change what was, nor entirely control what will be. But you can choose who you are and what you stand for and what you will try to accomplish.”― David von Drehle, The Book of Charlie
Pause to take in the view.
Then take the next step.
Being and doing.
Room for both.
Glance back only for a moment.
Moving forward with what is necessary.
The dance of change, growth, transformation.
The classroom of life.
The art of living well.
“Charlie made an art of living. He understood, as great artists do, that every life is a mixture of comedy and tragedy, joy and sorrow, daring and fear. We choose the tenor of our lives from those clashing notes. Even when Charlie’s strength was fading, when the golf course had become an obstacle course, when the infirmity of encroaching time could no longer be denied, he chose to turn his wedge into a walking stick and to carry it with panache.”― David von Drehle, The Book of Charlie
“The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.”― Jandy Nelson
“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
Diversity of thought and view.
Threads of commonality to bind, to hold together.
Expanding rather than contracting.
The world is rich, overflowing and abundant with color, beauty, light.
Put your energy and effort there.
A worthy use of time.
Wide angle lens living.
“Life is about perspective and how you look at something… ultimately, you have to zoom out.” – Whitney Wolfe Herd
“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” – Samuel Smiles
The Footprints Prayer
“One night I had a dream…
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and
Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, There was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life
This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
You would walk with me all the way;
But I have noticed that during the
most troublesome times in my life,
There is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why in times when I
needed you the most, you should leave me.
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious
child. I love you, and I would never,
never leave you during your times of
trial and suffering.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
I haven’t heard this prayer in a long time.
It was read on the radio yesterday.
I have it on a small plaque too from many years ago somewhere in my house.
Like the serenity prayer, it’s a wonderful reminder of what we actually control and carry.
And who carries us through it all.
It was then God carried you and still does each day on this journey.
“The act of meditation is being spacious.”― Sogyal Rinpoche
“Welcome the life that takes you off course. A plan derailed, a life surrendered, a broken bondage”― Rebekah Lyons
Plans change, never happen, go in a different direction.
Lean in. Move through. Keep going.
You never know what is just around the corner.
Create space and margins for new places.
Ever unfolding and becoming.
Make new plans.
Taking action, expend effort.
Accepting different endings.
Always beginning again and again.
“Act, and God will act.” – Joan of Arc
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius
“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?” – Charles Bukowski
Last day of the week, of the month.
A month that I will carry with me the rest of my life.
In my bones, in my heart, in my journey forward.
Grateful to those who truly walked this month and 7 years with me, quietly.
Mere presence overflowing.
Calls, texts, dinners.
Prayers I’ll never know how many and they mattered, did their work.
No words to describe adequately.
It’s not over, but it’s changing, like life does every day.
Life is never done nor are we ever done.
Unfolding, unfurling, becoming who we already are and forget.
We need only to pay attention.
To seasons, circles, passages, transformations.
The gift of springs, and winters.
Stay awake in this day and pull back to see the whole story too.
Love is right in front of you and has been there the entire time.
“A doorway is a passage, not a place of residence.”― Craig D. Lounsbrough
“You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all.”-Ephesians 4:4-6
This year, Kate Bowler offered another free Lenten reflection guide that aligned with the release of her new book, The Lives We Actually Have: 100 Blessings for Imperfect Days.
Each day a new reflection to consider, focus and ponder. Sundays are “Mini-Easters” where “we take a break from any sad, heavy feelings for a respite to do something that makes you feel buoyed by gladness.” So here goes…
Today is my great nephew’s Elijah’s baptism.
A celebration and welcoming.
An invitation to all to be baptized again.
Dipped in the waters.
Renewed and made new daily.
This is his day and ours by witnessing and accepting the invitation to a peace that passes understanding, a joy everlasting and hope that ties it all together.
So Happy Mini-Easter and Happy Baptism to Elijah and to all who are called to be instruments of peace.
Easter two weeks away.
14 days left of our 40 day journey.
Birth, life, resurrection.
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” Amen.
— St. Francis of Assisi