Slow That Train Down

“Anything that can help you get your sense of humor back feeds the spirit, too. Laughter is carbonated holiness. Find people who laugh gently at themselves, who remind you gently to lighten up.” “Rest and laughter are the most spiritual and subversive acts of all. Laugh, rest, slow down. ” Anne Lamott, renowned American author.

Good advice, Don’t you think? It’s so hard to get mad at someone when you are sharing a laugh.

When that rat race pace ratchets up ridiculously, isn’t it good to slow down? Shouldn’t one day per week be devoted to rest? Even retired, stretching, resisting and power walking, daily, I stop it all on Sunday and rest.

Thanks Anne.

Oh, Those Tough Decisions

“Accuracy of language is one of the bulwarks of truth.” Anna Brownell Jameson, a nineteenth-century novelist. 

When I am struggling with a problem, it helps to get its elements clearly written. Penning those elements steers me toward the truth I need to hear. 

It also helps to share the quandary with someone else. And, sometimes, I get to a solution just by activating my neurons to talk. 

Of course, I like to sleep on the demanding decisions. They get easier come morning. 

Yes, sometimes, no maybe often, I need all the help I can get, Lord. Turning to You in prayer is the essence of engendering my best decisions and my best self.

The Journey

“There is nothing more important to our survival, nothing more dignified than learning how to take care of others, how to serve and teach people with kindness and openness.” Samantha Hunt, an American novelist.

I think I stopped short of helicoptering our two kids. But, I just cannot forget the time I yelled at one of my son’s youth tennis opponents when I thought he miscalled a shot as out on a key point. The scream was the diametric opposite of dignity embarrassing my young son. 

Then, there is the ultimate challenge with our loved ones, speaking the truth in love. For me, doing so requires lots of prayer and lots of sensitivity.

Whatever sensitivity I have was learned the hard way. Thank God I have been open to a few lessons when I have erred. Here’s hoping your journey is going well.

The Misfit

Relationships, it seems to me, are timeless. What works between two people always works; what doesn’t is always troublesome. Over time, people learn – or not – how to negotiate what’s difficult, but that doesn’t mean the misfit has gone away entirely.” Rafael Iglesias, an American novelist whose fiction includes A Happy Marriage.

Iglesias’ words certainly have some merit for our marriages. Sensitive negotiating seems central to the art of compromise. Perhaps it can even make us more loving and less defensive in the hands of God.

Negotiating the troublesome is a wide open invitation to prayer. Don’t you think?

Time and Time Again

“There is more than enough time for everything. The important thing is not to waste it.” Camilo Jose Cela, Nobel Prize-winning Spanish novelist.

Lord knows there are lots of minutes in our lives. About 40 million for an average American. Sounds expansive. Don’t you think?

Yet, as I look back, the rabbit trails, the people I should have never befriended, have accumulated. The need not to waste time for my fellow seniors and me is so, so obvious. Dear God, please guide me in finishing with more and more sensitivity and generosity..

Each Moment

As I glance out my window at the delicate, white hydrangeas blooming in our leafy, grassy backyard, I am reminded of the words of Suzan-Lori Parks, Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright: “Each moment is perfect and heaven-sent, in that each moment holds the seeds for growth.

Lord knows as an oldster I still have lots of growing ahead of me if God grants me enough time. It’s a beautiful, ugly, terrifying, comforting place, this planet. Some nights I rest easy, others I cannot find rest. My sweet Lord, one thing is for certain: each instant, bright or dark, is far more valuable to me than those in my twenties or thirties.

Did you ever notice on overcast days, the greens are greener? In the darkest caverns, the light can get through.

Growing up

“An idyllic childhood is probably an illusion.” Martha Grimes, an American novelist.

For me, our lives seem too complicated to get through childhood without emotional bumps and bruises. I had a few and I suspect you did as well.

By God’s grace, those hurts can enhance our sensitivity to others. Perhaps that makes childhood just a little better for our precious offspring.I like to think so.

Uphill

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.” August Wilson, the late renowned playwright.

What a wonderful playwright, particularly his play Fences. How astute he was in showing how we mortals struggle with our demons.

Yes, we all have them. Yes, our spouses and true friends will illuminate them for us. Thank God for providing each of those relationships and speaking through those dear people.

Apart and Together

“Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. “Harper Lee, the late author of To Kill a Mockingbird.

It’s been true for me. I wasn’t ready for my first marriage. It lasted less than a year. I had lived unsuccessfully with myself for two years before the nuptials.

I underwent lots of self-examination in the 4.5 years between the divorce and my current marriage. It now approaches one-half century, if I get that far.

Marriage is still the most challenging, delightful, and difficult experience of my life. It’s been worth all the obstacles and more. Thank God for its longevity.