“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period…”
“I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out.”
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.” ~Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
"To know and to serve God, of course, is why we’re here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through. What else will do except faith in such a cynical, corrupt time? When the country goes temporarily to the dogs, cats must learn to be circumspect, walk on fences, sleep in trees, and have faith that all this woofing is not the last word.
"What is the last word, then? Gentleness is everywhere in daily life, a sign that faith rules through ordinary things: through cooking and small talk, through storytelling, making love, fishing, tending animals and sweet corn and flowers, through sports, music and books, raising kids — all the places where the gravy soaks in and grace shines through. Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people.” ~Garrison Keillor, We Are Still Married: Stories & Letters
And here’s the lesson that was reinforced for me: In a world where influence now explodes with the power of a sound bite or the speed of a tweet, never doubt the steady impact of a well-lived, other-oriented life. Consistency over time.
“With Jesus, the kingdom of heaven is found in the ordinary,” Shriver said. “Bread and wine from the kitchen counter, fair wages for the worker, caring for your neighbor.”
"Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.” ~Alan Cohen
:: Mom Thanks The Team Of Doctors And Emergency Responders Who Saved Her Son’s Life @ Little Things [I may have been sobbing at the end of this one.]
:: Are you killing yourself for nothing? by Donald Miller @ Storyline Blog [Why do we do this to ourselves? In health and exercise, in life, in homeschoolig—so many ways to apply this concept.]
The same technique can be used with all sorts of areas in our lives where we are defeating ourselves. The question is, what constitutes a satisfactory job? What do we really need to do to be a good father, a good employee, a good wife, a good teacher?
:: Hack the Facebook Algorithm for Spiritual Growth. @ Marc Alan Schleske [Not just about spiritual growth—some important ideas to consider here.]
When you were a kid, your mom probably told you that who you hang out with matters. Well, that’s still true. If you’re going to be on Facebook, you’re going to be hanging out with a lot of people and ideas. Those people and ideas are shaping who you are becoming.
“I’m learning to expect questions I cannot answer – that’s easy; I just say that I can’t answer them. What is far more difficult is questions I would rather not answer.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet
So I am forever a novice and I can’t afford to be an expert in everything; but I also can’t afford to not be curious and sometimes, curious leads me down a path that just simply dead-ends.
I have to be alright with some mystery – that’s what makes God, God, and me, not God. What if we really could understand and explain and discern every curiosity, every difficult thing? With nothing left to learn, how would we spend this life?
Which is why we are trying to do this each day:
Because I have at least one of these children…
:: This Comedian Perfectly Captures the Way Moms Completely FREAK OUT When Company is Coming @ For Every Mom [Because laughter is the best medicine, and my kids have watched this comedy routine too many times to count—only it wasn’t quite as funny at the time.]