With ever-changing rules being put into place that physically distance us from each other, there’s plenty of cause for worry. Give way to anxieties. Dwell on the negatives. Worry easily begets worry, which can spiral downward. Although worry is a natural place to slide into, I am choosing concern. When I find myself slipping into worry, I choose concern. To get involved. This lifts me from worry. One small example is knitting a lap blanket for the friend of a friend with a serious illness. I prayed for the person as I knitted, and was rewarded by the smile and words of gratitude when the friend picked up the blanket. Another example is that I wrote short notes and mailed them to some elderly friends who must feel very isolated right now. As Jeanne Marie Laskas has written, “Isolation is a loneness that feels forced upon you like a punishment. Solitude is a loneness you choose and embrace. I think great things can come out of solitude; out of going to a place where all is quiet except the beating of your heart.” Let your heart be concerned and propel you to action.
During a recent road trip, my husband and I boarded a cruise ship with friends. The warning above the cruise ship door at port didn’t concern me. I’m not that tall. My head does need minding though. My eyes and ears are the doors to my mind. They need to be guarded and tended. What I see and what I listen to are my responsibility. Why aren’t my ears pierced? God has designed many openings in my head already. I don’t need more holes to care for!
What an honor to see a copy of my book, “Surviving the Pink Ribbon”, on display at the oncology clinic. No appointment for me. Just dropped off a sweet treat for the amazing staff. Another blessing, when I was updating documents for the close of 2019. My book has been purchased by booklovers from California to Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to Florida, and outside the USA as well. I pray that readers will be assisted and encouraged.
From Anita Diamant: “Romantic love is to married love as fireworks is to fireflies. Both light up the night and gladden the heart, but otherwise, they are as different as grasshoppers and ants; motorcycles and mini-vans; champagne and beer. Romance is like the Fourth of July; explosions, oohs and aahs, and bright colors. The finale leaves you thrilled, exhausted, your ears ringing. The fireflies of married love on the other hand punctuate the dark with silent lights. Their split-second beacons are always a golden surprise. You whisper in their presence and smile. And, they’ll be there tomorrow night, and next year too. If only you remember to go looking for them.”
We’re almost two months into a new year – the time when New Year resolutions begin to fade and old habits creep back in. I resolve daily, instead of annually. And I extend frequent morsels of mercy and grace to myself knowing that I’m a work in progress. Ralph Waldo Emerson captured this. “Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some absurdities and blunders crept in. Forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Continuing to share some of the quotes my late-husband collected. I can picture him standing strong in a mountainous scene as I read this quote from Billy Graham: “Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has. Out of pain and problems have come the sweetest songs, and the most gripping stories. When we take chair lifts high in the Alps to see the scenery, we gaze down from dizzying heights and see some of the most beautiful flowers found anywhere. It’s hard to believe that just a few weeks before, these flowers were buried under many feet of snow. The burdens of ice and winter storms have added to their luster and growth. Our burdens can have the same effect on our lives… like trees that grow on mountain ridges. Battered by wind, yet trees in which we find the strongest wood.”
Let’s say there’s 300 words per page in a book and a book is 267 pages long (your mileage may vary). I produce an entire book every day according to Mark Twain, “What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts, not those of other things, are his history. These are his life, and they are not written. Everyday would make a whole book of 80,000 words — 365 books a year. Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man — the biography of the man himself cannot be written.” What is my mind writing about today?