This week has provided us all with a jarring reminder of the fragility of life. What began as a day of celebration and athletic accomplishment ended in horror as another cowardly act of terrorism pierced our bubble and destroyed lives. We’re reminded once again that we are all vulnerable.
Sometimes, I think that God is using a megaphone to speak to me. It happened again last week. Over the course of several days, I heard a message repeated through several friends: stop saying “if”. When I hear a theme like that over and over, I know it’s something I am meant to hear. And probably also meant to share.
Here are some of my conclusions:
Oh, the impact that our words can make. Positively. And negatively. There's even a proverb that says "the tongue has the power of life and death." All of us...young and old...have experienced both encouragement and pain from another's words. And we've all wished we could take back words of our own.
This poem, written by Michael Bright and published in the book Silver Boxes, by Florence Littauer, provides an invaluable picture of the impact our words can make. I hope this will inspire you to wrap up some "silver boxes" of your own this weekend!
Growing up is hard. Maybe I was just a particularly insecure kid, but I remember how painful life could be even back in elementary school. “Does my friend still like me, will there be room for me at the lunch table, will I be the last one picked for the team”… those type of thoughts constantly running through my mind. And I think that if we’re honest, most of us have struggled with those type of feelings at some point along the way. (And maybe we still do!)
I’ve been repeating myself lately. Asking the same question to people I encounter. And delighting in the answers I’ve heard. My question is this: “Who encouraged you? When you think back over your life, who were the people that most significantly impacted you - the person you became, the talent you developed, the path you chose? And how did they do it?”
“Hi. My name is Jody. And I am a perfectionist.” Are any of you...like me...a perfectionist in recovery? There are so many times that I’ve not taken action on something important because I didn’t know how to do it “perfectly.” And what would have been so wrong with that? As I journey through life, I am learning that risking...and failing...are essential parts of growth. Enough staying in the bleachers watching the game of life. Time to jump in!
It seems to be a rite of passage to finally realize that our parents are not perfect, but to love and appreciate them nonetheless. Most of us were fortunate enough to have parents that did the best they could with the “hand” they were dealt. And part of growing up is to accept that truth, forgive their mistakes, and love and appreciate them anyway. (Becoming a parent yourself seems to dramatically help with that great awakening!)
There’s something about the top dresser drawer that invites us to store treasured keepsakes there.
My curiosity for that reality began when I was about three. My sister and I shared a bedroom as well as a tall, hard-rock maple dresser. Being the observant (and annoying) younger sister, I realized that my sister had some special items stashed in that top drawer. I just didn’t know what they were, but I was determined to find out!
C. S. Lewis was right. I know because I'm dreaming new dreams. Or to be more exact, I've allowed the seed of an old dream to germinate. And my greatest joy will come from knowing that the "fruit" of this dream has nourished stronger and deeper relationships between you and those you love.
I don’t remember a lot of things from my early childhood. But I do remember the delight of a nap with my satin comforter. Pale pink on one side, pale blue on the other, quilted, puffy. Aaahhh...pure comfort.
On a sweltering summer day in Annapolis, in our home with no air conditioning (can you spell HUMIDITY?), there was nothing like lying down with that cool comforter against my cheek. I felt like a princess against the beautiful fabric, and happily would settle in for a nap. I felt safe, secure, valued and special.