Inspiring and helpful.

Cancer hasn’t been put on hold during this pandemic. I continue to be blessed with the impact “Surviving the Pink Ribbon” is making. From Tammy: “Inspiring and helpful. I encourage everyone to read this book. It isn’t just for those with cancer but anyone who has a friend or loved one dealing with the terrible disease. The author does an amazing job opening our eyes to what an individual experiences emotionally and physically and how we are able to help them cope with the process and emptions they feel.”

Reading and writing.

Just finished reading “Wired For Story” by Lisa Cron. This book has found a place in my top three books for writers. Lisa links scientific knowledge of the human brain with specific techniques writers can use (and avoid) to make their stories what our brains want. As an avid reader and a writer, I found this fascinating.

Let it.

“The farmers grew impatient, but a few

Confessed their error, and would not complain;

For, after all, the best thing one can do

When it is raining, is to let it rain.”

From “Tales of a Wayside Inn” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Slow down.

I found this fragile slip of paper in some ancestor belongings. The words belong to Wilferd Arlan Peterson, an American author. His words remind me as I step increasingly into public spaces to not always be in such a hurry.

Slow me down, Lord

Amidst the confusion of my day, give me the calmness of the everlasting hills. Teach me the art of taking minute vacations… of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to read from a good book. Remind me to look upward at the towering oak, and know that it grew tall and strong because it grew slowly and well. Slow me down, Lord.

One human race.

“All that inhabit this great earth,

Whatever be their rank or worth,

Are kindred and allied by birth,

And made of the same clay.”

These lines from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Keramos”, were written almost 150 years ago. They remind me of what I fundamentally believe about my fellow humans: we are one human race, and God desires us to be molded more into His image as we live our lives.

Tilling the mind.

As the melting snow reveals my garden soil, I think about tilling—working the soil to help seeds grow and produce. Tilling is deep cultivation (6-10” deep). Tilling disturbs and breaks up the settled soil, enables the mixing in of new material, makes planting seeds easier, and helps control weeds. But too much tilling reduces the fertility of the soil. And so it is with my mind. I use my senses, especially reading to break up assumptions, enable new ideas to mix in and grow, and weed out untruths. As with my produce garden, the garden of my mind needs periodic tilling.

Show love.

“Not in word alone, but in deed, to love one another!”

From “Evangeline” poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

These lines from Longfellow paraphrase what my ESV bible states in 1 John 3:18: “…let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” And this reminds me of a basic rule of writing you may have heard from an English teacher: “Show, don’t tell.” It’s harder to demonstrate love than to simply state it. But the effort can make love more meaningful. How to do that? Well, I’ll offer a portion of the wedding vow I wrote to my husband. Confession; my inspiration came from I Corinthians 13:4-7.

“I promise to:

Be patient with you,

Care for you,

Be kind to you,

Encourage and support you,

Be polite to you,

Be honest with you,

Trust you completely,

Be totally loyal to you,

Carry hope with you in all that we face.”

5 stars!

Grateful for another 5-star review for “Surviving the Pink Ribbon”. Sharon wrote: “I sent a copy to my granddaughter-in-law as she is going through the same procedures. She said that it was very helpful to see another perspective… My husband and neighbor read it also and enjoyed it very much.”