Weekly Word Challenge: Perspective

Aside

Her real Lenten challenge was to have people realize she was Christian when the ashes wore off. ~

Status update on a Lay Marianist Facebook page

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

555082_629951247047385_1429709999_n

1381524_10202370204720748_1352809986_n

395895_10150596300328810_837678809_8894478_1239777666_n

BPT70UfCYAArZHI1452562_10152012126498810_283704191_n (1)

Advertisements

Quotes about Windows

Aside

The “photo of the week” word is windows. Saturday chores start in just a few minutes and I look forward to working on that project.

I do most of my good thinking while staring outside.

In the meantime, I found some interesting quotes.

Poor Tennessee…always a scardy cat:

“We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call;

no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down

with us trapped, locked in it.”  

―     Tennessee Williams,     The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore

A “Come to Jesus” perspective that I prefer:

“Bare heights of loneliness…

a wilderness whose burning winds sweep over glowing sands, what are they to HIM?

Even there He can refresh us,

even there He can renew us.”  

―     Amy Carmichael

This quote brings images to mind that remind me of the hours and hours of BBC dramas that I watched over the long winter school break:

“Every face, every shop, bedroom window, public-house, and dark square is a picture feverishly turned–in search of what? It is the same with books. What do we seek through millions of pages?”

―     Virginia Woolf,     Jacob’s Room

399290_10150673771793810_837678809_9134183_1877237150_n

I like this quote the best. Windows are about feeling safe, eh? :

“It is not real,” he whispered.

“This place is only a thought that has grabbed hold of you.

It cannot harm you.

You are not of this place, and it has no power over you.

You do not need it, nor do you owe it your allegiance.”

I nodded,

listening only to his words and not to the rattling of the windows,

which had begun as soon as we stepped inside.”

―     Rita Murphy,     Bird

Last Spring I Became Smitten, and Was Forced into Happiness

Aside

1452562_10152012126498810_283704191_n (1)Did you read the snippet I found on the internet yesterday?

I put it in this post:

Does Change Have to Happen All at Once?

How does change look in your world? This is a topic that my husband and I have always differed on.

Actually. I drive him kind of crazy.

I say no, all at once can be good…but not as a rule.

He says  yes, all at once is the rule…and is good.

Another difference between us is reflected in my unwillingness to talk about this or to have a debate.

I don’t care. Seriously. I have other fish to fry at the moment. If sweeping change is what floats your boat, then keep on truckin’! Bully for you!

Same token, I’ve done some serious thinking of late and have sobered up to the fact that if I don’t grab these last several “working” years that my body will hopefully give me, I will have missed an awesome boat ride indeed.

When we first moved to Iowa I was certain that I was interested in anything that did not include working in a school. My years as a sub, and various teaching jobs of many sizes and colors never left me disappointed in the magic of children or the power of falling in love with an idea or a letter of the alphabet. (Seriously? You’ve not had a conversation or contemplative moment about the bold roundness of the letter “O”? Odd.)

1477677_10152061644043810_1326140848_nI arrived to our new city life sorely let down by the adult world though and it’s bitter, whining approach to what we as educators should feel lucky to be doing each day.

Iowa being a writing mecca, I wrote. Day after day, blog post after blog post. I read, fed the dogs, wrote, deleted, read, fed the kids, and reread my way into being ready to step out the front door and actually talk to people.

And then there was the mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater, soon after at a religious temple, and shortly after at Sandy Hook.

I went from afraid, to sad, and continue to feel intensely angry about these events.

During that same time period my family was saying: “You seem bored, how about a job?”

No change.

And, “You seem cranky, how about a job?”

No change.

Then, “We can’t take it any more – get a job!”

As luck would have it – a ruby of a job I landed indeed. I’ll spare you the details of how I stumbled into the one I had in the Spring, and the one that I have now – but lucky I am indeed. And, now I know that the computer dying as the spring blossomed was a gift as well.

I had no time or way of processing how happy I was to be working with the hard of hearing Kindergartener for whom I was a communication coach. Being unhappy became a most boring and lonely consideration. Written, or even spoken words not needed.

480201_10151552955388810_1938698632_nI was trapped, smitten, and humbled by his eyelashes, wit, and ornery moves. And, I’m now eagerly re-enrolled in school to help increase the odds that I can keep on working in a series of best jobs ever.

As my cousin said on the phone the other day, “This is my last job, and I plan to make it the one that is the most fun!”

Does Change Have to Happen All at Once?

Aside

“But Gemma, you could change the world.”

“That should take far more than my power,” I say.

“True. But change needn’t happen all at once. It can be small gestures.”

“Moments. Do you understand?” He’s looking at me differently now, though I cannot say how. I only know I need to look away…

We pass by the pools, where the mud larks sift. And for only a few seconds, I let the magic loose again.

“Oi! By all the saints!” a boy cries from the river.

“Gone off the dock?” an old woman calls. The mud larks break into cackles.

“‘S not a rock!” he shouts. He races out of the fog, cradling something in his palm.

Curiosity gets the better of the others. They crowd about trying to see. In his palm is a smattering of rubies. “We’re rich mates! It’s a hot bath and a full belly for every one of us!”

Kartik eyes me suspiciously. “That was a strange stroke of good fortune.”

“Yes it was.”

“I don’t suppose that was your doing.”

“I’m not sure I don’t know what you mean,” I say.

And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.”
―     Libba Bray,     The Sweet Far Thing

 

 

 

The Thing is: Grace Can’t Be Earned

Aside

Hi.

Just a couple of notes on which to end my weekend.

1: another awesome definition of grace.

2: overdue update to let you know that my vision is doing great and I am very, very relieved.

About number one on my list: my mother was famously all about the reality of God’s grace in her midst. She died several summers ago, but I know she would be okay with me describing her life as fueled by the pursuit of grace, especially in the last several years of her journey.

I think, but there is no way for me know, that she would pull one of her trademarked celebrations which was to throw her hands in the air and yell: “YES!” if I said that she defined grace as

unexpected joy

For certain, I nodded my head this morning when our new pastor said,

“And the great thing is that grace can not be earned.
It just can’t be earned.”

~ Fr. Chuck Adams

It’s true…it’s more like, well, what my mom said in my mind just now : unexpected joy.

So I guess that my number one turned out to be a definition with a bonus quote that tells us what grace is not.

And, about number two: I think that in one of my last posts I mentioned that I was having a lot of issues with my sight last winter. Wow. I should look back at that, but I’m pooped from Father’s day celebrating.

The good news is that my sight is now great. I hope I didn’t lead to any worry by not writing this spring! I went from only being able to read at length by way of large print to having almost perfect vision. I have one more cataract to remove at some point in the future, and it is possible that it will be my fourth but LAST eye surgery. Whoop!

The surgeon who removed my cataract was spot on in that my lazy eye corrected itself quickly after having the cataract removed that she described as “debilitating”. In addition, she is not overly concerned about me having glaucoma, so she escorted me along my way.

Great news huh? I’m here to tell you that the process of my eye muscle hopping my peeper back into place (it would jiggle and strain as it was trying to adjust) was no walk down Mark Twain Lane.

Yet…it’s done and I am increasingly joyful at the unexpected joy that grace brought my way this spring.